When the Corner Pharmacy Becomes an Abortion Center 

“We are extremely disappointed that the two largest pharmacy chains in the United States are offering abortion drugs,” stated Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “Mifepristone, the first drug in the two-drug process, was developed to take the life of an unborn child and always has the potential to harm the mother."

LISTEN to Maria Gallagher explain the power of Divine Mercy in the fight for the cause of life.

By Maria V. Gallagher

It is an announcement that has sent shockwaves through the pro-life movement nationwide, demonstrating that threats to innocent human life can be as close as the nearest drug store.

The pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens announced on March 1 that the dangerous abortion drug mifepristone would be sold in their stores, with a prescription, in select states. A representative for CVS said the corporation would be dispensing the abortion pill in all of its stores in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Walgreens will be selling the drug in unidentified pharmacies in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania.

“We are extremely disappointed that the two largest pharmacy chains in the United States are offering abortion drugs,” stated Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, which has affiliates in all 50 states. 

“Mifepristone, the first drug in the two-drug process, was developed to take the life of an unborn child and always has the potential to harm the mother,” Tobias added. 

Mifepristone’s former name is RU-486.

Mifepristone, the abortion pill
This is the way the two-drug process works: A woman takes mifepristone to block the pregnancy hormone progesterone in order to starve the baby to death. Then the woman takes the second pill, misoprostol, to expel the body of the dead baby. (The Food and Drug Administration [FDA] originally approved misoprostol as an anti-ulcer drug.)

Mifepristone and misoprostol are generally used up to 10 weeks after the baby has been conceived.

For some time, the National Right to Life affiliate where I work, the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, has been ringing alarm bells about drug store sales of mifepristone, which is better known as the abortion pill. Our members around the Commonwealth have been writing and calling pharmacy chains, urging them not to dispense the dangerous drug.

In addition to causing the death of an innocent human being, the abortion pill can cause grave health consequences for women.

Randall K. O’Bannon, the director of education and research at National Right to Life, has been studying the effects of the abortion pill for years.

“Even the FDA admits that these drugs will fail or come with complications for a number of women," he notes. "When hundreds of thousands of women take these pills, even a couple of percentage points of women hemorrhaging, dealing with infections, or ectopic pregnancy means thousands of women desperately seeking emergency treatment, which may or may not be nearby.”

In addition, advocates for life note that women who take the abortion pill must deal with the trauma of seeing their dead babies expelled from their wombs. Medical professionals fear such a harrowing experience can lead women to suffer a host of psychological disturbances, including depression and suicidal thoughts.

Supreme seriousness
Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments this spring regarding the FDA’s decision to loosen regulations of the abortion pill.

“We hope the justices reconsider the approval of this dangerous drug combination or, at the minimum, reinstate long-standing safety protocols,” Tobias said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that about 56 percent of all abortions are performed using chemical methods such as the combination of mifepristone and misoprostol. As a result, the abortion pill is now the leading cause of death for preborn children. 

It is all the more appalling that the abortion pill is now available at local pharmacies, turning the corner drug store into an abortion facility. Advocates for life are engaging in nationwide protests of CVS and Walgreens in response. To learn more, visit abortionpillprotest.com.

Abortion pill reversal
What many women may not know is that, once they take the abortion pill, they can stop the abortion process through something called “abortion pill reversal.” Women who take the abortion pill and who regret it can call a national toll-free help line, (877) 558-0333, and be connected with a healthcare professional who can put them in touch with a doctor who can work to reverse the abortion pill process. By taking the natural hormone progesterone, women have been able to save their babies in as many as 68 percent of cases.

If you are interested in obtaining brochures for Abortion Pill Reversal, you can contact the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation at www.paprolife.org

While the emergence of abortion pills at local pharmacies is alarming, advocates for life can take this opportunity to educate people about the dangers of the abortion pill and the miracles inherent in abortion pill reversal. Now more than ever, we need to be engaged in rebuilding a culture of life, invoking the help of the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph to point us the way forward.

Maria Gallagher is the author of Mercy's Power: Inspiration to Serve the Gospel of Life (Marian Press, 2023).


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