October 2019 – A three-year study by Franciscan University of Steubenville (FUS) in Ohio used rats to examine the effects of the abortion pill, a series of drugs (mifepristone and misoprostol) that causes death by releasing the baby from the lining of the uterus and then expelling the remains. The results were published in Frontiers in Neuroscience in May.
The study found strong biological and behavioral risks associated with terminating a viable pregnancy using the abortion pill. Rats displayed anxiety-like behaviors and depression, including decreased appetite and self-care. The effects were significantly worse among rats that experienced induced versus spontaneous abortion.
According to Dr. Stephen Sammut, neuroscientist and FUS psychology professor, rats were used because of similarities to humans in physiology and neurophysiology.
Other studies have found that risks associated with the drugs include excessive bleeding, severe abdominal pain, infection, hemorrhage, and death.
The Guttmacher Institute reported that the abortion pill is used now in 23% of all abortions, a 17% increase from 2008 to 2014.