Mom May Go To Prison For Buying Her Daughter A DIY Abortion Because We Are Back To The Good ‘Ol Back Alley Days

4I’m not Jennifer Whalen, but as a mom I can assume the 38-year-old mother from Washington, Pennsylvania didn’t make the decision to order the abortion medications misoprostol and mifepristone online for her 16-year-old daughter lightly. Having your daughter face an unwanted pregnancy can’t be an easy thing for any mom to go through, and I’m sure Whalen, who is an unregistered nurse, spent a lot of time contemplating this whole thing before she spent 45 dollars on buying the drugs in January of 2012. According to a news item report, Whalen told police she could not find a local abortion clinic and didn’t want to travel out of state with her daughter. She also didn’t know she needed a prescription to purchase the drugs.

On Feb. 6, 2012, her daughter was transported to the Geisinger Medical Center emergency room with abdominal pain. Medical records obtained by police stated she was “treated for an incomplete abortion and a urinary tract infection.” The charges Whalen now faces are for “medical consultation and judgment;” the misdemeanors are for not being licensed as a pharmacist, endangering the welfare of a child, and “simple assault.”   Whalen waived her right to a preliminary hearing. She has been free on 25,000 dollars bail and her arraignment has been set for March.

I’m sure if Whalen could go back in time she would have just taken her daughter to a clinic, but should she have to? If early term medical abortions can be safety administered at home and followup care can be conducted by a doctor then it should be a woman’s choice about how she wants to end her pregnancy. For those women who don’t want to have an abortion in a clinic or hospital they are going to resort to more of these back alley at home DIY procedures, and if they are simply trying to help their daughters they may end up in prison like Whalen probably will. Making medical abortions harder for women to get isn’t going to stop abortions, it’s just going to make women resort to other ways of having them.

Yes, it’s frightening to think Whalen’s daughter may have ended up with worse complications. She is 18 now. Yes, I don’t think administering these drugs without the care of a medical doctor is the best course of action. But I can’t help but feel for this mom, and her daughter, because this couldn’t have been an easy decision for either one of them to go through.

It’s scary when you think that there are many others mothers and daughters in the world making the same decisions, and if they don’t have access to a clinic or medical facility that performs abortions, they are basically forced into making the same choices the Whalens were. Welcome to the new back alley.

(Image:buyabortionspillsonline)

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    • Kelly

      Yeah, she should have to take her daughter to a clinic. I’m not a fan of back alley abortions. I’m glad she was arrested.

      If abortions were illegal, I’d totally understand but they aren’t. She risked her daughter’s life for no good reason.

    • whiteroses

      Personally- there are way too many potential complications for me to think that a DIY abortion is a good idea. JMHO.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        I agree, I think it’s far too risky, but I also don’t think in every case going to a clinic is the best solution for women either.

      • Angela

        Honestly I disagree. As an actual registered nurse (not the unregistered kind) I know that there’s a lot of good reasons to make sure women are examined by a doctor before pursuing a chemical abortion. For one thing they really need to make sure that the dating is accurate and that she’s not further along that she thinks she is. If she’s too far along it can be dangerous. And there are some people who would not be good candidates.

        Now I don’t see any reason that this cannot be done by a regular OB/GYN instead of at an abortion clinic but I don’t feel that doing it at home without a prescription is the best choice.

      • whiteroses

        I’ll be straight with you- I disagree as well. Performing an abortion at home without registered, objective medical care just seems like a recipe for disaster to me. There’s a reason why doctors can’t work on their own family members, you know?

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        I agree with this reasoning, but (and I will have to google this) – what exactly happens when you take this combo of drugs in a medical setting? I think in some cases you just have to be on a phone with a doctor when you do. Yes, the kid should have received follow up medical care, TOTALLY, but if she would have been able to get an abortion pill from a dr and allowed to take it at home and the dosage was correct (so many Ifs here) then what’s the difference?

      • whiteroses

        Because the mother might not have known the correct dosage, or what to do if things went wrong. Just because she has training as a nurse doesn’t mean she would have had control of this situation. If a pill is prescribed by a doctor, then the doctor is able to care for the patient knowing what the patient took, the exact dosage, and any potential reactions. He would also be able to communicate with an ER and get the patient quality care.

        As I’ve said in above comments- I have a hard enough time giving my kid Tylenol, and I live with people who have a medical background. My dad was a combat medic and my mom’s been in health care for over 30 years. I still take my kid in to his pediatrician, because he needs to be under the oversight of someone who is currently able to prescribe meds, and neither my parents nor my husband can do that.

      • MellyG

        But the mom is NOT a doctor. There’s a reason that some drugs are OTC, some are not. I don’t get to substitute my lack of medical knowledge and decide which ones i can then go get on the black market illegally for my kid.

      • Williwaw

        I assume that before a doctor gave out the abortion pill, he/she would:
        (a) take a medical history and make sure there were no underlying health issues that made the abortion pill inappropriate;
        (b) take vital signs and do a physical examination, and decide whether the patient’s current condition was appropriate for the abortion pill (perhaps abnormal blood pressure, morning sickness, a fever, or a urinary tract infection [mentioned in the article, though we don't know whether the girl had it before she took the abortion pill] might be contraindications for the abortion pill;
        (c) confirm how far along the pregnancy was, since the abortion pill is not appropriate if you are too far along, and a pregnant patient may not always know when conception occurred;
        (d) provide patient-specific information about taking the pill, what to expect, and how to recognize complications afterwards.

        The mother was qualified to do none of these things. Yes, her heart may or may not have been in the right place when she did this but her brain sure wasn’t.

      • Kelly

        The girl ended up in the emergency room thanks to her mom’s “care.” How exactly is that the best solution?

        This is a piss poor example to trot out in support of DIY home abortion kits. She required medical care because of the home abortion.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        I didn’t say either was the best solution.I said I don’t think in every case it is. I’m not the mom, so I can’t say for sure what her exact reasoning was.

    • rrlo

      I have sympathies for this mother. But at home abortions are always a terrible idea and as a mother – she should have provided better counsel and care for her daughter. I am happy that nothing worse happened to that poor girl.

    • LadyClodia

      Sorry, I’m going to be nitpicky. I was confused at first because Washington is a large-ish town near Pittsburgh, so it shouldn’t have been too hard to find an abortion clinic in a reasonable distance. This was in Washingtonville is in central PA in the middle of freaking nowhere, so, yeah, I can see why it might have seemed difficult. From my limited research, though, it looks like a clinic in Harrisburg would have been the closest, about an hour and a half away. That doesn’t seem like too far to me to get her daughter proper care. It’s sad that the mother felt that she had to resort to her own devices, but it doesn’t sound like she was trying very hard either.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        I think the real issue here is that if dudes got pregnant, they would have access to safe medical early term abortions that they could DIY at home and just get a checkup a few days later. Plus, they would probably have better birth control. Plus, free tampons. ha.

      • MellyG

        I agree there should be greater access, but she was charged for dispensing drugs when she shouldn’t have. I’m ok with that. I’d be outraged if this was a “those drugs are not allowed in this state” type of thing, but it’s not. I still think it’s fair to require that you see a medical professional, or get a prescription from one, in order to get an abortion. Yes, there SHOULD be better access, but that’s a different debate. We (as in women, and our ancestors) fought so hard, and still ARE fighting hard, so that women DO have access to doctors, and don’t do abortions themselves.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        But the shitty thing is, this is what women resort to

      • MellyG

        But WHY? I maintain an hour or an hour and a half is NOT that far for your daughter’s health. In some states you’d have to go HOURS, like impossible to do in a day. I’m sorry, this woman’s case doesn’t seem to be that extreme. And if she’s a nurse, but unregistered, that means she is well aware of the risks and well aware she is NOT allowed to dispense drugs. I just have no sympathy for her.

        I DO think that courts and state law and slowly wearing down Roe, and that makes me stabby. However, this woman was not criminally charged for getting her daughter an abortion, she was charged for the unlicensed practice of medicine – BIG distinction, and not something i think should be allowed to fly because she might have had to drive 60-90 miles.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        see, that’s the thing, we cannot say WHY because we don’t know what her reasoning was. WHO KNOWS? I mean, we could go on and on and have a million different speculations (like, oh gosh, maybe her car stinks or maybe she was afraid of seeing someone she knew or maybe she didn’t want her daughter to do it at a clinic, IDK, I am just throwing random guesses out) – I do think she shouldn’t have been dispensing medication, but I also think that we need to come a long way in how we handle these issues of reproductive health

      • Kelly

        Those are shitastic reasons to play doctor, illegally purchase drugs and endanger someone else’s life.

        If any of those things you just threw out are the actual reason she did this, I hope they throw the book at her. That’s disgusting and completely unacceptable.

      • MellyG

        But those are two separate issues. You mention in the title that charging this woman is going back to “back alley days” but the exact opposite is true. Having at home abortions IS the back alley way, what this woman was trying to do to her daughter IS the back alley way. I”m not saying she’s a bad mom, or didn’t have her daughter’s best interests at heart – i’m sure she did, i’m sure MOST mothers do. That doesn’t mean they can commit crimes because of it. I’m sorry, what if the daughter had died? Would we be defending the mother for her reasoning then? And saying she meant well, but oops it killed her daughter? No, we probably wouldn’t. The reasons don’t really matter.

        Yes, there SHOULD be better access. There really really should. But I still think you need LICENSED (not unregistered) medical professionals and “Reasons” don’t excuse someone from acting as a doctor and performing medical procedures when they are not.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        ‘Having at home abortions IS the back alley way’ – SEE, I disagree with this. Because I’m not a doctor and I have NO idea of how dangerous it is to have a medical early term abortion.

      • MellyG

        Right, because you’re not a doctor. Neither am I – but even when done well complications can occur, and it’s not THAT abnormal. An abortion IS a medical procedure, i don’t think at home appendix removal is ok either. And by at home, i mean without a doctor – if a doctor had prescribed the drugs, i’d be ok with that. And it seems that’s the rule of the medical community ;)

      • whiteroses

        It can be extremely dangerous if the patient isn’t looked after by a doctor.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        at what week does it become extremely dangerous? I’m going to need to google

      • whiteroses

        As I understand it, septic shock within pregnancy is caused by introduction of bacteria into the uterus (Penny in “Dirty Dancing” comes to mind). Because of that, it can be very dangerous at any point. Which is why when you have a miscarriage or abortion you MUST be under a doctor’s care.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        I for the hell of it googled what PP does. It looks like to me getting good aftercare is the most dangerous aspect of this

      • whiteroses

        And if the mom refused to drive an hour to get her daughter a potentially safe abortion, I don’t have a lot of faith that she’s be able to provide quality aftercare.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        I don’t understand her logic because I’m not her :(

      • whiteroses

        I’m not either. It just seems to me that anyone with any sort of medical training would think twice before doing something like this. If a layperson can look up the consequences of sepsis in under two minutes, I can only assume that someone who has medical training would know the consequences of something like this. So why she did it is beyond me, but she should have known better.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        CAN YOU (oops cap lock sorry) get sepsis from taking these pills? Not from doing normal activity after taking them. (as in not doing anything any human understands, like you would not know to use a tampon, have intercourse etc).. can you get sepsis from taking these drugs if you don’t do anything that would cause bacteria in the vagina?

      • whiteroses

        Without being too graphic? Yes. If your uterus isn’t cleaned out completely, you can get sepsis.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        but that brings us back to the aftercare thing again, which we all agree she should have done

      • whiteroses

        I agree. But she didn’t. She dispensed medication and then let nature take its course. And she’d apparently need to drive anyway to get her daughter under a doctor’s care, so why didn’t she just make sure the abortion was done under a doctor’s care in the first place?

        It’s negligence, pure and simple.

      • Anon

        As someone who personally had to take these same drugs for a “missed miscarriage” you CAN get sepsis from this. I wanted to avoid the hospital by going the medical route. Part of my aftercare was to have an ultrasound to ensure that everything came out. It turns out that my body retained some of the “products of conception” which is basically part of the placenta. Apparently that can start rotting after a while if it is not removed and you can get an infection (sepsis). So I ended up going to the hospital anyway for the D&C. :/

      • Alexandra

        Yes if the fetus dies and then for whatever reason is not expelled from the uterus.
        (by the way my source is from working in a clinic and advising on aftercare for years, not from being a doctor).
        The aftercare is the total key here.
        I can’t tell you how many times we prescribed those pills for a medical abortion and they didn’t work and the patient ended up needing a surgical abortion. I think 10 years ago they were something like 70% effective for terminating the pregnancy.

      • MellyG

        I also would hesitate to rely on google to give me medical advice. I’m a professional with years of schooling under my belt, it might sound snooty but there is no WAY people can learn the nuances of what I learn from google. I’d like to give the same benefit of the doubt to doctors, which is why only THEY (and some other licensed medical professionals) can dispense drugs. I would venture a guess that as soon as you’re showing up as pregnant, anything you do to terminate that pregnancy is potentially dangerous!

      • Alexandra

        Hi Eve, it’s dangerous after the egg implants at anytime (which is why Plan B is safe for at home use, it prevents the egg from implanting). Also dangerous because it could be an ectopic pregnancy and you wouldn’t know that from a preggo test but going to a doc for an ultrasound would show that (which is why they do ultrasounds before abortions).

      • Kelly

        A back alley abortion is one done illegally by an unlicensed person. That’s exactly what this is.

        What do you think the term means?

      • Paul White

        You know though, we had to drive 1-2 hours for anything more than GP when I was growing up. That sucks but sometimes it’s life. From what I can tell it isn’t like she’s in a state with no clinics or anything. Her mom just couldn’t be arsed to drive an hour and that doesn’t leave me sympathetic.

      • LadyClodia

        Yeah, and I agree. And yet their reality is that they would most likely have had to travel pretty far to see a regular doctor, though, too. They probably have to travel 45 min just to get to a grocery store; there are a lot of places like that in rural PA.

      • MellyG

        That’s what i was thinking. I have family in rural TN, it’s an hour to get to a lot of specialized doctors (anything more than a VERY general physician) and a freaking hour to get to the mall of Target. Most people in the area have NO problem driving this far, so while i don’t know this woman, if her area is that rural, I’m assuming she has to travel great distances for a lot of things, so i’m having trouble swallowing the fact that over an hour was too long. Hell, i live in a VERY populated metro area and my nearest planned parenthood is 30 min

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        or maybe because she didn’t want her kid to have to have it at her nearest facility for whatever reason

      • whiteroses

        But that still doesn’t excuse the potential complications, you know?

      • Kelly

        Right, because giving your kid pills you bought off the black market (which could actually be anything) and risking her life is totally worth saving yourself the embarrassment of taking her to the clinic.

      • MellyG

        That was my thought – I don’t actually LIKE going to the doctor, at all. I find the whole ordeal expensive, time consuming and i hate paper robes. That doesn’t mean i should or can get my drugs black market! My best friend is a doctor in another state, she can’t even prescribe me drugs (let me stress she is a DOCTOR, she is actually a head something or other and high up the food chain, but i always forget terminology) because she’d get in trouble for doing it across state lines. My life would be SO much easier if she could just give me the drugs, but my want of convenience doesn’t trump her professional rules

      • Surfaces

        That doesn’t make it ok.

      • Alexandra

        Oh no Eve, I disagree, please read my post on why this would be a super bad idea. NO DIY abortions – there’s just too much chance of complication :( In general I agree with you, but this is one type of thing that I think doctors are (generally) truly concerned for the health of the woman.

      • Angela

        Ah, I was confused about the same thing. That makes more sense although I agree that if it was my daughter I would definitely make the drive to get her proper care. I don’t really know this family’s situation though so I’m trying not to judge.

      • keelhaulrose

        I once lived an hour and a half from the nearest “women’s clinic” and I was terrified that I might need their services. My car was unreliable, and the three hours round trip would have cost me a 20 gallon task of gas (at the time it was $3.50 a gallon, so $70-ish) which I just couldn’t afford on the top of the cost of the services (exams are free there for my income, but an actual procedure would cost some money). A lot of women I lived around didn’t have their own transportation, and wouldn’t be able to pay me has to go, and I was one of the few people in town who would drive them to the clinic instead of straight to church.
        An hour and a half can be an insurmountable difficulty for some people, and it’s unacceptable.

      • LadyClodia

        It’s not acceptable, but it’s reality. Yes, when I need to get the Plan B pill I was fortunate that I could go to the university health services. But I’ve been in situations where I’ve had to drive a few hours in the winter in PA in an unreliable car, and once our car even broke down pre-cell-phone era, and another time we had to drive 4 hours to Philly during an ice storm for a 10 minute meeting. Life sucks sometimes.

      • MellyG

        THIS should be the bigger issue. Mom’s still shouldn’t take medical procedures into their own hands, but healthcare in general should be more accessible in our country. My english friends don’t understand, they have no concept of not having easy access to health care, or having cost factor in. I don’t understand how we’re a civilized nation and this is STILL an issue. I mean that for women’s care, and clinics and what not, but in general, care of all kinds.

      • whiteroses

        Healthcare should definitely be more accessible. But I still don’t think that a back-alley abortion is the answer.

      • keelhaulrose

        Also Pennsylvania has a 24 hour mandatory wait period between first consultation and the procedure, so that’s twice the trip or a hotel room for at least one night.

    • Angela

      Okay, so just for fun I looked up where the nearest abortion clinic is to Washington, PA and it turns out that there’s one in Pittsburg approximately 30 miles away. Considering that it took me all of 30 seconds on Google I’m not really buying that she wasn’t able to find it but she did somehow have the resources to track down black market abortion drugs. I also don’t buy that she was unaware she needed a prescription to buy the drugs, especially as she’s an “unregistered nurse” (which is code for NOT a nurse). It’s pretty obvious when you have to buy from some shady source rather than the drug store.

    • MellyG

      On one hand I think that access should be a LOT better than it is. There should be less taboo, and no one should have to drive hours if they want or need an abortion. But that’s not really the issue here.

      Having said that, non medical professionals (ie, unregistered nurses) should not be handing out drugs. I’m not sure WHY she thought she didn’t need to consult a medical professional, but the charges are for acting as a nurse/doctor without actually BEING one. I think that’s fair.

    • Kay_Sue

      I really have to disagree with this one.

      It’s absolutely tragic that there wasn’t a provider in their community. That’s a serious issue that needs to be addressed–every woman should have access to safe and reliable healthcare and reproductive services in their community. Period. That’s something we should commit to as a nation (although I fully realize that’s a pipe-dream right now).

      But there’s a reason we rely on doctors, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. There’s a reason that they go to so many years of schooling. There’s a reason they have to be certified. In truth, there’s many reasons. What if this young woman had been permanently injured? What if she had an interaction with other drugs or an existing health condition? What if her mother, with no training in how the drug’s actual intended purpose carried out, didn’t realize that it wasn’t working right until too late? These are questions that these healthcare professionals know how to handle.

      It’s more evidence that we have a lot of work to do for women’s health, but I find the charges absolutely adequate in this case. She endangered her daughter and dispensed medication without a license. That’s illegal, and for good reason.

      • MellyG

        Very well said!

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        I agree with what you say. I think it feels to me like if she were giving her kid medication for almost anything else that she obtained illegally this wouldn’t be as big of a deal as it is, I’ll be curious to see how much ABORTION plays into this case

      • Kelly

        You really don’t think it would be a big deal if a parent purchased black market drugs, gave them to their kid and the kid ended up in the emergency room?

        I’m pretty sure that would always end up with CPS involved (as it should) and possibly criminal charges. That’s a pretty huge deal.

      • MellyG

        I think likely not at all. If she was giving her daughter prescription meds bought on the black market for anything else, she would also be charged. I think it’s tempting to look at this as an abortion issue, but it’s really not. it’s a mom playing doctor when she’s not.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        I agree with what you are saying fundemnetally, but I do think the pro-lifers will be talking a lot about this in terms of it being an abortion

      • MellyG

        Which is why i’d be outraged if the mother had actually been criminally charged with allowing her daughter to have one, but that’s not the case. Pro lifers make a big deal about a lot of things, as do political pundits and loud mouths on all sides of the spectrum – that doesn’t mean they get their facts straight!

      • Paul White

        maybe but that doesn’t mean the charges aren’t warranted or that DA shouldn’t have pressed charges due to the political implications.

      • Kay_Sue

        I don’t know, Eve. I think regardless of what the drug was, if it was say, Adderol for ADD or something, there’d still be a backlash if the parent administered it and the child was hospitalized as a result. Of course abortion is a hot button topic. It’s like that regardless of what context you introduce it in right now–even Girl Scout cookies are not untouched!–but I’d also argue that the potential health complications from a “back alley”, or in this case, Google-facilitated abortion are pretty substantial. That’s part of the reason that we fight for the right to choose, isn’t it? The pure danger of this very practice?

      • MellyG

        Indeed! I love the movie “if these walls could talk” and it deals with back alley abortions. Makes me shudder. And administiring one to your own daughter, without a doctor, makes me shudder – it totally makes me think of back alley days and that’s sad

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        YES, but here’s the thing, we are all not doctors (well, some of you may be) – I don’t know HOW dangerous it is, at what week it becomes a medically necessity to have a doctor’s supervision, and whether or not it’s potentially medically safe to use these drugs at home and then go see a doctor later. I don’t know, I am not a doctor.

      • Kelly

        That’s why we have laws to protect us from other people who are also not doctors, like this woman who was arrested.

      • Kay_Sue

        You’re right. We don’t know. Neither did this woman, Eve. That’s precisely why it is illegal to dispense prescription medications.

        It’s not just about whether an abortion is safe or not–there’s also a potential for drug interactions and interactions with other health conditions that we, as laymen, also probably don’t fully understand. And this woman didn’t either.

      • MellyG

        Exactly what Kelly said. That’s the point, we’re not doctors. Neither is this mother. (she’s an unregistered nurse – as a fan of REGISTERED nurses, and as someone who thinks REGISTERED nurses are the best, there is a WORLD of difference between the two!) That’s the point. SHE doesn’t know how dangerous it is either, so she shouldn’t be giving her daughter a back alley (that’s what it is, without a doctor) abortion. She was charged with playing a doctor when she’s not one, that’s all this is about.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        Here, I googled:

        Patients will take mifepristone (the abortion pill) at PPIL and receive misoprostol to take at home the next day. Most women will have a complete abortion within 4 – 24 hours of using misoprostol in the privacy of their home.

        Patients will be given post-abortion self care, medications and a birth control method. Any complications experienced during or after an abortion procedure must be reported to PPIL immediately. For your convenience, PPIL is available by phone 24 hours a day.

        A follow-up appointment is required 2 weeks after taking the abortion pill. The appointment will consist of a pelvic exam or ultrasound, birth control consultation and breast exam/Pat test upon request.

        I agree she should have taken her kid in to the office for an aftercare checkup, but it seems to me that the aftercare is the most important part

      • whiteroses

        And if she bled out? What then?

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        well, yeah, I think I even said in my article she should have taken her to the doctor, but my main point is that I don’t think this mom did this with any ill will towards her kid

      • whiteroses

        She probably didn’t. But she was still negligent, and she still deserved to be arrested imo.

        I’m not trying to jump down your throat, Eve. I hope you know that.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        Nooo, I know you aren’t. I don’t even think we are technically disagreeing anyway. I think my brain basically thinks there are all these awesome amazing drugs that lawmakers keep from us and this is just more fuel for the pro life fire plus I do feel bad this mom is going to jail because I watched OITNB and I don’t think jail seems fun.

      • Kay_Sue

        My mom sat on the first trial in our state for “homicide by child abuse”. It was a man that accidentally smothered his child because he could not get the child to calm down.

        To this day, despite returning a guilty verdict with no shame, she maintains that he had no ill will towards his child. He had no idea how to parent, he was tired after a long day working, and he made a mistake.

        Parents can make the wrong decision with no ill will. That doesn’t make the decision any less wrong or illegal in cases like these.

      • MellyG

        I feel like you’re in my brain, saying exactly what i want to, but better. Every. single. post. <3

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        yeah but that is nothing new, Kay Sue does that ALL THE TIME

      • Kay_Sue

        I am omniscient.

        Now I need you to all come to my house and convince my husband of this fact. :-P

      • MellyG

        I am obviously new to mommyish, but i got drawn in because of the comment section – i really do love how it seems people can intelligently disagree and not resort to acting like toddlers. On the internet, this deserves some sort of medal – civil discussion, it’s like finding a purple unicorn!

      • Kay_Sue

        We’ll take trophies, but only if they are filled with alcohol.

      • MellyG

        Done!

      • whiteroses

        And they have to be encrusted with rhinestones. Otherwise, no dice. :)

      • MellyG

        I”m all for rhinestone ANYTHING. I have an addiction and it’s a problem.

      • whiteroses

        I’m still pissed off Bedazzlers aren’t cool anymore.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        OH but they are! Maybe we should make it a thing, can you still buy them?

      • MellyG

        Lol. They SHOULD be. I’ve been told i own too many sparkly things for a professional woman. I really don’t give a crap. I’ll sparkle where i want to sparkle!

      • whiteroses

        My DH calls me “Glitter”. It’s an issue.

      • Kay_Sue

        Too right. How could I have forgotten that?!

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        PLUS, you guys have no idea how happy it takes me ti find people willing to yammer with me about issues like this. My dog finds me terribly boring

      • Kay_Sue

        My dog is a terrible conversationalist and has perfected the art of ending any conversation with terrible flatulence. *sighs*

      • Psych Student

        My wife’s childhood dog (a yellow lab named Jake) would occasionally pass *terrible* gas and then sneak out the room before his humans noticed and then they’d say “eww, Jake” and he’d look at them with a look of shame mixed with “it wasn’t me, I have no idea what you’re talking about”. We now call that “pulling a Jake”. She did that to me the other day – we were talking and she just walked away. Then I smelled it.

      • MellyG

        I teach law, and i can’t get TOO soapboxy with my students – i have to be a bit neutral. Sometimes that REALLY sucks. Especially when I have to teach con law and abortion! My cats find me boring as well, though the only time they want anything to do with me is when i’m teaching on skype – then they’re stomping all over my laptop

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        My dumb cat is the same way

      • Kay_Sue

        Psssh, I think you’re doing a great job expressing yourself. If I have missed an upvote, it is only because it is difficult to keep track with you all rapid firing with so many good points. ;)

      • MellyG

        awww *bluses*

      • MellyG

        What if it wasn’t even safe for her daughter? The initial drug? THAT is why we have medical professionals – google doesn’t always do the trick. I have to consult with a doctor for my birth control, because it’s a fairly harmless thing, but it MIGHT not be right for ME. If we didn’t need doctors, abortions, birth control, vicodin, morpine, and a host of other drugs like adderal and other things, would just be available at CVS.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        Man I went and read above at what I wrote and my main point what that I feel for this women and her kid. If GOD FORBID my kid ever got pregnant I would rather her be able to have an early term medical abortion at home rather than in a clinic. That was my whole point. I’m not arguing with any of you because I agree with you. I just think that the mom probably had her reasons which we still don’t know yet :)

      • MellyG

        I think all of us agree that the mom didn’t have ill intentions, but that doesn’t excuse her behavior. I just read an article about a couple being charged with manslaughter because their child died since they refused medical treatment due to religious beliefs. They meant well, i’m sure in their heart of hearts they meant well, they really did think they could pray the illness away. That doesn’t make it any less stupid or harmful because they meant well.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        I think part of MY own personal ish is that I believe that there are ways for women to have safe early term medical abortions at home lawmakers don’t want women to. They want to make it complicated and humiliating and scary and expensive and all that. That’s my bias. That you can argue with me about.

      • MellyG

        I agree to a certain extent. I have issues with a lot of requirements, such as counseling, waiting periods, or in some states where they make you have an ultrasound (or see it) or force an intervaginal ultrasound. (i believe all of these things are designed to deter women, and that’s bs – most women, i assume, think LONG and hard before they make the decision) I think lawmakers should stay out of medicine, full stop, and leave it to the doctors. That’s key – if a DOCTOR says you can take this drug, go home, and be fine, then great. But the mom isn’t a doctor ;)

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        Noted and I agree :)

      • Kay_Sue

        If we had significant proof that this was possible, I’d be all for it, much like emergency contraception. But typically something that requires aftercare like that, you’re not going to find OTC. It’s just easier to make sure people seek the aftercare if you can make the appointment while dispensing the original prescription.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        BUT WHY? see, that’s what I get hung up on… ” But typically something that requires aftercare like that, you’re not going to find OTC.” … who is telling us why and when we need OTC from taking a pill?

      • Kay_Sue

        Usually doctors, lol. That’s how this works!

        But really, there is an entire process that goes into prescribing medications. If that process is unnecessary–like with Tylenol or Advil or Nyquil–then it becomes over the counter. And believe me, pharmaceutical companies WANT their products to be over the counter. They want people to be able to get them easier, because more people will buy them. And while the pro-life segment may be strong, consider this: expenditures on healthcare lobbying are usually more than twice what gun rights and oil lobbies spend in any given year. So it’s a very, very strong lobby trying to get us access to whatever drugs we want, whenever we want them, because they want to make A LOT of money off of us.

      • MellyG

        The medical professionals decide what is safe for the shelves and what is not. To be fair, I DO think that lawmakers get too involved, and the FDA is more political than medicinal, and mistakes are made. But again, we can’t arbitrarily decide that it’s our opinion that Drug A should be OTC, so we’re just going to get it black market (thoug, shhhhh, i do sometimes get codeine in Canada, i live on the border!) But I feel like that’s another debate for another time :) That’s also one of about 20 reasons why i’m actively trying to move to the UK, especially before I have kids.

      • Ashie

        An early term abortion is pretty much the same as a miscarriage. Having myself experienced many miscarriages you need medical attention afterward to make sure your body has cleaned everything out ( I had to get ultrasounds, pelvic exams etc.) If pills were available for over the counter abortions, you would still need to see a medical professional to make sure everything is okay.

      • shel

        I wouldn’t want actual abortion medications to be available OTC, as they are too dangerous to count on them only being used in the proper way (wasn’t there some guy who slipped them into his preggo girlfriends food/ tricked her by saying it was a vitamin) and that significant complications can arise, as with any prescription medication.
        But, it shouldn’t be so difficult to get a prescription for this medication, nor to get it filled. Your OB/Gyn should be able to prescribe it as needed (just like we prescribe antibiotics when you come in and your exam/history indicates that they are needed) and they should be available at most pharmacies.
        The problem seems to be hurdles in getting that very basic care because someone else wants to be the morality police over another’s body. Like we always talk about, abortions should be readily available, affordable, and hopefully rare (especially if we could provide proper education and contraception before pregnancy occurs)

      • Kay_Sue

        I agree. I mentioned similar points in my original post.

      • Kay_Sue

        Before prescribing a medication, a doctor is (I hope) going to do a work up of other risk factors. Based on the information they obtain, they make a decision on what to prescribe. That decision is critical to any prescription drug working safely and effectively.

        They also talk a patient through what to expect. How to know if things go wrong. Pharmacists, in particular, are really great at this.

        So I can’t agree that the aftercare is the only important part. That entire process is important.

      • Angela

        When I was in nursing school I did a rotation at PP and at least at that time while they would prescribe mifepristone to be taken at home they would only do it AFTER a patient had been examined at the clinic so that pregnancy staging could be confirmed with ultrasound. Or they would also accept it if the patient had been seen by another OB/GYN and was able to bring in a copy of the ultrasound. Occasionally if a patient had trouble getting into the clinic we could arrange to have her doctor fax over her records and our Dr could call in the prescription (because of state laws the regular OB was not permitted to write the prescription himself). Then she could do the follow up care with her regular OB. I don’t know if that’s how every clinic operates or just the one that I was at but to me it doesn’t seem too unreasonable of a restriction although I do think it’s ridiculous that a general OB/GYN can’t write a prescription.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        Thank you for clarifying!!

      • Lackadaisical

        Her daughter ended up in hospital because she botched it. I think this isn’t about abortion so much as a woman risking her own daughter’s life instead of consulting proper, licensed medical staff. I agree it is a hot topic, but I suspect that may be a factor in her taking it into her own hands (at the risk of her daughter’s life

      • Crusty Socks

        Yea, Eve, I gotta agree with Kay on this. This woman isn’t arrested due to abortion issues, but for endangering her daughter’s life.

        This teen girl could have died or have serious future medical complications due to the recklessness of this mother. It doesn’t have to be for abortions, it could have been for any medical procedure and the outcome should be the same.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        yeah we all yammered and then we talked about bedazzlers

      • Kay_Sue

        Because every discussion in the world should end with bedazzlers. #Truth

      • MellyG

        As a lawyer, i’d like to enact this law. Mandatory bedazzlers and bedazzle discussions for ALL

      • Rachel Sea

        I think that will depend on whether the judge is pro-life.

      • AP

        I looked up Washingtonville, PA on Google Maps. It makes sense that there wasn’t a provider in the community- it’s exactly 6 blocks long by 2-3 blocks wide.

        In rural areas, driving an hour to get basic necessities is pretty standard.

      • Kay_Sue

        I grew up in a rural area, although not in Pennsylvania, and you are absolutely correct, although the nearest doctor was forty five minutes, so I guess we should have counted ourselves lucky. Thanks for the info.

      • Rachel Sea

        And that’s why, when I was 4, my dad took me to the local vet to get stitches. I was gushing blood from my head, so we went to the only person within 45 minutes who could practice medicine.

      • Christie

        Actually, Washingtonville PA is a stone’s throw from Geisinger Medical Center…one of the country’s finest healthcare providers. So, even if the daughter may not be able to have her abortion performed there, there is a staff full of OB/GYN docs who can offer consultation on a proper course of action. I realize I am entering the conversation late to the party, but I agree with so many of the posters here that this is less about the abortion procedures than the mother’s use of prescription meds without medical consultation. There are indeed many meds prescribed in the USA that are available OTC in other countries; I may buy some OTC Retin-A in Mexico but I would certainly not give it to my child.

    • MellyG

      Also, i think because this is abortion, it becomes emotional. But what if the mom decided she could prescribe morphine to her kid, or treat appendicitis without a doctor, the emotion wouldn’t be attached. I think it becomes a slippery slope – mom thinks the clinic is too far away so takes it into her own hands. What if she thought the dentist was too far away and did a root canal herself? Or any other number of things. Where do we draw the line?

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        I agree.

      • Lackadaisical

        Yes, this isn’t about the right to abortion really. It is about a mother skipping proper doctors to give powerful medicine to her daughter that is considered to dangerous to be given without proper medical consultation, and it going wrong leading to the girl going to hospital. UNregistered nurse? That is not good enough to take matters into her own hands with something like this, unregistered nurses aren’t able to prescribe it for a reason. Not wanting to drive her daughter to another state? Why? If the daughter’s health was suffering that is precisely when you need to consult a doctor before tinkering with very powerful self administered drugs, if not then drive the poor girl because her health is more important than the inconvenience. I suspect she didn’t want her own doctor to know so was taking risks with her daughter’s life to brush it under the carpet.

      • Psych Student

        I don’t disagree with any of your points, but I do want to side with the “unregistered” people of the world. She may be working on getting registered or is registered in a different state or may be waiting in line for testing (right now an MFT who is working to earn hours can expect to wait at least 6 months after getting all hours complete to take the test to get licensed – it’s a paperwork backlog). Like I said, you have very valid points, but the unregistered thing may have more story behind it than we know.

      • ted3553

        I had a friend who had an abortion in high school and she had to travel 8 hours for it because that was the closest clinic. An abortion is a huge decision to make and I can’t imagine making the choice to put my child through a procedure like this with serious drugs instead of driving farther.

      • Rachel Sea

        When I needed an abortion, I took two buses to the nearest clinic, and two home for a total of 8 hours of travel time, half of it while bleeding. I have a hard time imagining that if you have the resources to track down drugs to administer to your kid, that you don’t also have the resources to go to a clinic.

      • MellyG

        The bigger debate – or rather, the bigger discussion – is that the clinics should NOT be that far away. There really should be more access. However, that’s not a reason to administer medical procedures when you’re not a doctor…..i’m with you, i’d drive as far as i needed to before endangering my child

    • Jimbo Jones

      Free Kermit Gosnell?

      • whiteroses

        Ew. No.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        ew never

    • Alexandra

      “If early term medical abortions can be safety administered at home and followup care can be conducted by a doctor then it should be a woman’s choice about how she wants to end her pregnancy.”
      THEY CANNOT. I am not anti-choice, but you MUST go to a clinic for these types of abortions SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE they may not work leading to infection, possible continuation of pregnancy with Serious complications, and even death from hemorrhage.
      Not to mention if her daughter is RH negative and doesn’t get a RhoGam shot she’s jeopardizing ANY future pregnancy this girl may have. Just super scary. Sorry, I’m pro-choice, but you have to have a doctor check you out before and after. What if she had an ectopic pregnancy? She’s not a doctor – she would only see the positive test.
      This just makes me sick. Makes me think she was trying to hide it versus doing what’s best for her daughter

      • Lackadaisical

        Yes, this was not a safe and easily applied procedure. It went wrong and she had to go to hospital. If she had a doctor talk her through the medication, check her health before for anything that might cause complications and check her health after then it would have been a different matter. Unregistered nurse? That isn’t good enough to deal with something like this when a young girl’s health is at stake.

      • shel

        I would think more along the lines of a physician can evaluate the patient and prescribe the medication to be taken at home and then after the medication is taken, to follow up with that same physician, as opposed to having to find an abortion clinic in places where they might not exist.
        This of course does require physicians who are comfortable with this type of medical management, and knowledgable enough to evaluate for risks etc… which should be most OB/Gyns. And would also require anti-choice people to not bomb clinics or harrass physicians who are willing to offer these services.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      This is why I am pro-choice.
      Whatever you may think of abortion, surely we can all agree there has to be a better way to deal with the issue than to pump your kid full of drugs bought online??

      • MellyG

        EXACTLY. Or women resorting to coat hangers or any other number of horrific things. I feel like whether or not to abort is a very personal issue, VERY personal. I’m not going to judge a woman one way or another because i haven’t walked in her shoes. That’s why the laws shouldn’t intervene, it should be a personal decision between a woman and her family (and clergy or what not IF she so decides). Allowing the gov’t to interfere creates situations where there’s too much stigma, and enough desperation to do stupid things that end up harming or killing women.

      • gothicgaelicgirl

        exactly.
        I was so ashamed to be Irish when poor Savita Halappanavar died in an Irish hospital, because they put religion over her life.

        So SO ashamed and mortified of my country.

      • MellyG

        I understand. I”m not Irish by birth (born in the US) but my family is from Ireland – hence the strict Catholic background that i broke away from :) I’m very proud of my heritage, except the religious stuff :(

      • gothicgaelicgirl

        It’s sad, because I completely respect all religions, Catholic, Buddhist, Muslim, etc.
        But when a corrupt system gives a whole religion a bad name (a handful of Muslim extremists, a handful of sexually abusive Catholic priests), it damages ALL people’s faith.
        Some people choose to believe and that is fine. But these strays, the handful of “bad eggs” can seriously damage a person’s belief, and in turn, lead them to be discriminated against.

        “I’m Muslim”
        “O, do you hate America? Are you Al-Qaeda? Are you a terrorist?”

        It harms everyone.

        I may not believe in god or religion, but I DO believe in acceptance of other people’s beliefs and being respectful of their religion.

    • Rachel Sea

      30 seconds on Google showed there is a clinic an hour from Washingtonville. Maybe she didn’t mean any harm, maybe she really didn’t know she was doing something illegal, but all in all I think this was a clear case of criminal stupidity.

      • SA

        It was probably more of too embarrassed to take her daughter to a proper clinic…get this done at home in private type deal.

    • tk88

      I don’t think the woman should go to jail, but that’s something that most definitely SHOULD be monitored by medical professionals. There are so many things that can go wrong with abortions and the reproductive system to not take the proper precautions to make sure your child doesn’t have some catastrophic reaction. I think this is a lot less of an abortion issue, and more of a medical one. It’s not like she gave her daughter the abortion pill and everything was fine.

    • KT

      I did go to a clinic to receive the abortion pill — and ended up in the ER a day later for severe complications that required two blood transfusions. Once I started having issues the clinic wanted nothing more to do with me. I called numerous times before I had to be taken in, and each time I was assured that nothing was wrong. Even when the hospital called them they refused to be involved further. So the “safer” route of going to a clinic isn’t necessarily better.

      • Surfaces

        True, but it usually incurs fewer legal troubles.

    • CMP414

      I’m a Pro-Choice person and I don’t get this mother at all. I live in Pennsylvania and I can tell you that you would not have to leave the state to get an abortion. Granted I never have heard of Washington, PA and I live here but I still would not risk my daughter’s life by administering a medication like this. Unless you’re a trained medical professional it’s just too risky

    • myintx

      “If Whalen could go back in time…”, perhaps she’d teach her daughter about abstinence (it’s best to wait to have sex until you are in a committed relationship), contraceptives (if you are in a committed relationship, or really cannot wait, then use multiple forms of protection if you really don’t want to get pregnant, not just one), and responsibility (get that contraception girl! even if it means waiting; don’t be afraid to tell a boy NO, take responsibility for your actions (which would not include killing an unborn child to get out of a bind)) …