By Dr. Karla Polaschek
Since the fall of 2018, seven women who regretted their decision to take medication to induce abortion sought help from the Women’s Choice Center in Bettendorf and followed the abortion reversal protocols. Three of the moms have returned to the pro-life center with their babies to celebrate their births, said Linda Rubey, the Women’s Choice Center executive director.
Of the other four moms, “I do know that two of the babies did not survive the attempt,” she said. The center lost contact with two of the prospective mothers. “When we do lose contact, often it is because there is a lot of pain and embarrassment and fear (on the part of the moms) for what they are going through. We do our best to stay in touch.”
Dr. Karla Polaschek, the Women’s Choice Center medical director, shares with The Catholic Messenger a composite story of the experiences of her patients who have followed the abortion reversal protocols. She shares the following fictional story (with fictional names) that includes some common occurrences relating to abortion, regret and couple-dynamics surrounding these issues.
Kelsee, a college student, looks forward to Christmas break. The stress of school, work, looking for a real job and preparing for finals seems to be affecting her physically, more than she expected. She is not sleeping well and worries because she has not had her period yet. She feels nauseated most of the day.
She has also been argumentative with Jarrod, her boyfriend of two years. He is a college student who will graduate in the spring. He would like to go on to graduate school to get his master’s degree. Kelsee hopes they have a future together, but she is not sure. They do plan to go to Florida for Christmas break.
With one final to go, Kelsee tries to set aside her worries. Thoughts that she might be pregnant, however, won’t go away.
After she finishes the final, she takes a pregnancy test. It is positive, but she has a hard time believing it. After all, she and Jarrod always use protection. Kelsee knows she read somewhere about a pill that can stop a pregnancy. She searches for information online and finds it. She purchases the pills and takes the first one. She must wait 24 hours before taking the second pill.
Jarrod, meanwhile, has been thinking about Kelsee and wondering why she has been so moody lately. He thinks the stress of school must be getting to her. He hopes she likes the flowers he got for her. She’s not home right now, but her roommate told him it would be OK to drop them off at the apartment.
He happens to see a medicine bottle in her room and wonders whether she might be on a new medication. What is Mifepristone, he wonders. Maybe that’s why Kelsee hasn’t been feeling well. Curious and concerned, Jarrod goes online, looks up the name of the medication and discovers that it is the first part of a protocol to induce abortion.
“Why didn’t she tell me? How could she do this?” he asks himself.
Kelsee walks into the apartment. “What are you doing here?” she asks. Jarrod wants to know why she didn’t tell him that she was pregnant. “I didn’t tell you because I thought I could take care of it. I assumed that is what you would want,” Kelsee says.
“I love you,” Jarrod responds. “I wish you would have told me. I checked on line about Mifepristone. Have you taken the Misoprostol (the second pill) yet?” She had not. “Thank God,” he tells her. “When I was looking up Mifepristone I found another website — abortionpillreversal.com. You don’t have to take the second pill. The website listed Women’s Choice Center as a provider for reversing the abortion pill. Can we go over there and check it out?”
Kelsee tells Jarrod that she is not ready for motherhood, but she also is not prepared to go through with an abortion. She said she was told to take both pills and could not change her mind. “Do we need an appointment for the Women’s Choice Center?”
“No,” Jarrod says. “Let’s go.”
The center’s staff treat the couple with compassion. Kelsee begins the abortion reversal protocol, hoping that it will save her unborn baby. An ultrasound test shows that the baby, six weeks in utero, has a strong heartbeat. Initial studies of the abortion reversal protocol have shown a 64-68 percent success rate.
“I hope we’re successful with the Progesterone treatment to halt the actions of the Mifepristone,” Kelsee tells Jarrod. “I am so glad you found out about the Women’s Choice Center. It was convenient that they had the ultrasound, counselors and a nurse onsite and they were able to give us the medicine. I love you Jarrod. I am so sorry I didn’t tell you. I was so scared.”
“I love you too,” Jarrod says. “Now we hope and pray for success.”
(Dr. Polaschek is a physician at Medical Arts Associates Ltd., Moline, Ill., and member of St. Mary Parish in Davenport in addition to serving as medical director of the Women’s Choice Center in Bettendorf.)