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Herbal abortion

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

This appears to be the most suitable place to post this question. I am NOT looking to start a debate and am personally pro-life, but here goes. A good friend of mine has two children with her abusive.... partner/ex/on-off boyfriend and just discovered she is pregnant with a third. She asked me to lend her my copy of Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, because I lent it to her before and she remembers there is a section on how to carry out herbal abortion. She thinks she is in no position to raise another child on her own with the father's constant abuse and pressure weighing heavily upon her all the time. I can't say I would do the same, but I certainly understand. 


My friend had one homebirth and one UC and is NOT interested in going to an abortion clinic. She only just missed her period and wants to use herbs to terminate her pregnancy. Here is my concern — if I lend her the book and the abortion turns out not to work, it is my understanding that the herbs can still cause heavy birth defects and the pregnancy cannot be continued. Right? Yet I can see her not going to the doctor if it doesn't work out. 


My question is, I guess, how she can do what she is going to do anyway in the safest possible manner, and if any of you have any advice for her. I don't want her to do anything dangerous, and I know absolutely nothing about this topic. There must be some ladies here who do know and are willing to give some advice. I am terrified that she will use the herbs suggested in the book (don't know what they are and haven't read the book since my last UC) and that something will go wrong.

post #2 of 9

A friend of mine had a herbal abortion but her midwife would only give her the herbs under the condition that she understood she would have to have a medical abortion if the herbs failed to work.  She ended up needing to get the pill abortion because the herbs did not work.


Of course it is her body and her choice but honestly, I would be terrified for your friend too, mainly because she is unlikely to seek medical care in the event that something goes wrong.  I'm wondering if part of the reason is because of the abuse she has been suffering.  Abuse makes it very difficult for people to trust anyone, let alone health care providers.  Your friend probably needs the help of a good volunteer doula, social worker, or therapist.  Someone who can help her safely access the care she needs.  I'm sorry if that is not a good answer but it is the only responsible one I can think of.  

post #3 of 9

Some more thoughts.  It might be helpful to explore with her the reasons why she would not want to go to an abortion clinic.  Is it because she is afraid of judgment?  Because her partner might retaliate?  Does she lack health insurance or money to pay?  Is it because she wants to be at home for the abortion?   Does she need to feel in control of her body?  Does she need to feel autonomous and like this is something she is doing for herself and not something being done to her?  There are ways to work with all of these and many other situations in the event that the herbs don't do what she wants them to.  There may be a window where she will still be able to do a pill abortion and be at home, and there are funds for women who need abortions but can't pay.  Feel free to pm me.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your honest answer. I totally agree with your comments — my friend is extremely weary of outside intervention and scared of doctors. Her, whatever you call him, is also against her seeking advice from doctors or anyone except the local lay midwife. This is probably because he wants total control over her. 


Yes, surgical abortion can be a risky affair, especially where we live. It can lead to infection, cervical damage, or punctures in the uterus. I wouldn't trust the local abortion clinic to provide her with proper care either (we live in a developing nation and that was a huge reason why I chose to UC). But from what I have read about herbal abortion since posting this thread, it is only effective about half of the time at best. This really is a difficult dilemma.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your thoughts, again. You seem like a really caring person. I might direct her here so she can find out more. She would be concerned about the side effects of the abortion pill, for sure, but I haven't heard that this is even an option where we live. Perhaps it's best that she sees a TCM practitioner, who has the qualifications to give proper advice about herbal abortion. 

post #6 of 9

Are you in a country where the pill abortion is not legal?  I shouldn't have assumed. 


I think your idea about recommending a TCM practitioner or a reputable herbalist is a good one and probably much safer for her than trying to do something out of a book, even if it is Susun Weed (and honestly, I don't remember that it would be in that book, since most of the herbal remedies Susun recommends are nourishing and tonifying). Herbal doesn't mean safer, nor does it mean without side effects.  Certain abortificient herbs can be dangerous to the woman if they are not taken with great care.  Medical and surgical abortions can also have side effects, but a reputable and compassionate health care provider should be able to help her figure out which would be safest for her, which would be least stressful for her, and should be able to help her manage any unintended effects.


She is also welcome to pm me.

post #7 of 9

I'm sorry, I missed your first reply about the general unsafety of surgical abortion in your area.  You might also try getting in touch with an herbalist via the internet.  Susun Weed, Henrietta of Henrietta's herbal.  Your friends - whatever he is - sounds very scary and controlling.  I'm really sorry she is going through this.  She's lucky to have you helping her. I wonder if there are any organizations that can help women obtain safe abortions in countries where access is restricted.


 I wish your friend had better options than an herbal abortion that may not work, and honestly this doesn't feel like a much better option at all.  The best would be if you could find a care provider you could trust but it sounds like tht would be difficult.  





If you explore this site there may be other resources.

Edited by cyclamen - 10/2/13 at 11:47am
post #8 of 9


post #9 of 9

sisterzeus.com is an informative place to start looking


Each herb can interact with other herbs or medications.  You must look that up.  Bleeding disorders and other medical conditions can make herbs unsuitable. Do be careful.  My understanding is that many of the herbs consider 'toxic' are unproven to be either way.  My midwife said she's had women try with even pennyroyal and deliver healthy babies.  Wormwood, cedar, and tansy look kind of dangerous to me as far as potential defects go.  How far along is she?  That will play a major role in how successful she is with the herbs.  Don't forget stretching and the like.  Exercise a lot and so forth during the process.  Get decent nutrition.


PM me if you like. 

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