I’m as pro-choice as a person can be, but this story about a mother purchasing medical abortion meds online and administering them to her daughter gives me the chills.
There are those who will use this story to claim that abortion restrictions are leading to illegal abortions.
With clinics closing across the country, illegal medication abortions are and will continue to be a growing reality. This latest case is a red flag that anyone can be arrested as aiding a patient, regardless of age or relationship.
We all fear that at some point this could happen, but this was not the case here. Abortion is legal in Pennsylvania, and an adolescent can obtain an abortion with one parent’s consent.
I think we need to be very, very careful that in supporting a woman’s right to choose, we also support the protections necessary to ensure that women’s lives are not endangered.
Pro-choice does not mean that we need to have an abortion provider on every corner. It does mean that we need to have abortion that is safe, accessible and affordable. For now, at least in Pennsylvania, we have this, and this mother and her daughter certainly had it.
All this mother needed to do was to drive her daughter to Planned Parenthood in Wilkes Barre or any of the other legal and safe family planning providers in central Pennsylvania, most less than an hour away. I know this area of rural Pennsylvania very well, and pretty much everything, including the mall, is almost an hour away. This is not an unthinkable reality or an unreasonable barrier to care.
Though I do not agree with Pennsylvania’s parental consent provision, it did not pose a barrier to this woman’s daughter obtaining an abortion. What worries me more is whether this mother’s unwillingness to use the medical system was so she could control the outcome and be sure the abortion happened.
What this woman did for her daughter was not safe. She claims to be
a nurse, (turns out she is a nurse’s aide, not a nurse) which makes what she did even more egregious. She bought drugs over the internet without a prescription, practiced medicine without a license, and endangered her daughter’s health.
What she did was stupid, and what she did was illegal.