Domestic abuse, a slippery, secretive form of violence in the home, remains difficult to solve in our society as victims are often manipulated into keeping their mistreatment to themselves, making the opportunity for justice near impossible. But what if victims didn’t even realize they were being abused? Unfortunately, this tilted power dynamic has become a reality through the abusers’ dream drug: chemical abortion pills. The recent story of a Texas woman being allegedly secretly fed these pills by her husband is a key example.
In a case that horrified the nation earlier this month, a young Houston attorney, Mason Herring, was indicted on two felony accounts (assaulting a pregnant woman and “assault — forced induced to have an abortion”) after he was accused of spiking his pregnant wife’s water with the chemical abortion drug misoprostol. According to court documents, Herring’s wife testified that he was displeased with her pregnancy and began telling her to stay hydrated, repeatedly offering her drinks that appeared to have been tampered with.
Upon drinking the first cup — a glass of water she noticed afterward was “cloudy” — Herring’s wife said she became severely ill, consequently refusing further drinks and questioning him on why the water had been murky. According to his wife, Herring claimed the cup or the pipes were dirty. But, she testified, she later found a dirty secret — the packaging for misoprostol — in the trash. Their child was later born prematurely (likely due to the spiked water), but reports indicate it was a healthy delivery, despite Herring’s alleged efforts to ensure otherwise.
Sadly, while this one particular story made headlines in corporate media (although not in The New York Times or on CNN’s website, both of which ignored it completely), it is not an isolated incident. Abusers in homes across the nation and worldwide have utilized chemical abortion pills in the same way that Herring allegedly did. The vehicle of disguise, however, does change. Women have had deadly abortion pills slipped into their tea, Starbucks, orange juice, yogurt, pancakes, sandwiches, and cereal. In another case, an abuser lied to his partner about what the life-ending drug was, saying it was an antibiotic.
If it’s something a woman can ingest without suspicion, it can be used as a cover-up. Abusers aren’t picky — just as long as it kills their inconvenience.
While Herring’s wife did eventually deliver their healthy (albeit premature) baby, this does not appear to be the norm in these cases. Instead, when abusers deceitfully feed women chemical abortion pills, they usually end at least one life — if not two, as they take zero regard for the mother’s wellness. Her life and health are also endangered by these same pills as they can result in maternal injury, infertility, and death.
The overwhelming evidence is clear: Abusers do take advantage of chemical abortion pills, and they are a powerful evil in their hands, capable of taking multiple lives.
Millennials and Gen Z understand those risks. Students for Life of America’s Demetree Institute for Pro-Life Advancement, in polling of 18-34-year-olds earlier this year, reported that more than 6 in 10 opposed “no test, online distribution” of chemical abortion pills. In fact, “65% support in-person purchase to prevent abusive partners or sex traffickers from getting the drug to use on women without their knowledge or consent.”
This, however, seems to be the last concern of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — a conundrum since the agency’s mission is to protect “public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security” of human drugs, among other things. Nevertheless, their catastrophically irresponsible decision to allow chemical abortion pills to be sent through the mail without an in-person visit throws the door wide open for maleficent behavior.
It’s the very opposite of securing these drugs — in fact, it’s much more akin to telling abusers to “come and get ’em.”
Even the FDA has communicated some concerns over the effects of these standards to Politico. In a recent article, an unnamed FDA spokesman told the news outlet that health providers who are “prescribing abortion medication to people who aren’t pregnant” is “potentially dangerous for patients.” No joke, Sherlock; you don’t need a medical degree to figure that one out. And yet, the FDA has not recanted its reckless loosening of the chemical abortion Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS), which allows such unfettered access.
In the face of such an obvious public threat — a monstrous situation created and unresolved by our own “public health” agency — American citizens must lead the charge for the protection of our neighbors by urging our U.S. representatives to pressure the FDA to reconsider health and safety standards that protect women’s lives. With domestic abuse, we can never know what goes on behind closed doors. But by strengthening safety protocols on chemical abortion pills, we can at least help to ensure that pregnant women know their food and beverages haven’t been easily tampered with by abusers intent on killing their children.