The ProLife Team Podcast | Episode 11 with Sarah Bowen & Mikayla Covington

The ProLife Team Podcast
The ProLife Team Podcast | Episode 11 with Sarah Bowen & Mikayla Covington
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Listen to Sarah Bowen and Mikayla Covington talk about the risks and facts surrounding DIY abortions at-home.  Hear how their international ministry is reaching dozens of women every day in English speaking countries with life saving direction and help.

The Dangers of At-Home Abortions: What Pregnant Women Need to Know

Pregnant women considering at-home abortions need to be aware of the risks and dangers associated with this method. This blog post aims to educate women about the potential complications and provide information on alternative abortion methods.

Summary

This is Jacob Barr and I recently hosted a Pro-Life Team Podcast where we discussed at-home abortion facts and risks with Sarah Bowen and Mikayla Covington. Sarah, the Executive Director of Promise of Life Network, shared about their work in pro-life pregnancy centers and their response to at-home abortion issues. Mikayla, Director of International Operations, highlighted their international outreach, particularly the chat line service for women considering at-home abortions.

During our conversation, we delved into the complexities and risks associated with at-home abortions, including the misuse of medication, lack of medical oversight, and potential for incorrect gestational dating. The discussion also covered how misinformation and lack of education contribute to these risks, both in the United States and internationally. We talked about the problematic role of certain organizations and online resources in promoting at-home abortions and the need for factual, medically accurate information.

We also discussed the challenges faced by pro-life clinics in promoting abortion pill reversal (APR) in the face of actions by entities like Google, which has started to suppress information about APR. The podcast highlighted the need for prayer and advocacy in addressing these challenges and explored ways pro-life advocates can contribute, such as volunteering for international chat services.

Related Hashtags:

#ProLifePodcast, #AtHomeAbortionRisks, #AbortionPillReversal, #ProLifeAdvocacy, #WomensHealth, #MedicalMisinformation, #PregnancySupport, #ProLifeOutreach, #DigitalVolunteering, #LifeSavingCare

Transcript

The transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors.

Jacob Barr :

Welcome to the pro-life Team Podcast i’m here with Sarah and Michaela and we are going to be talking about the at home Abortion facts and at Home Abortion risks. So Sarah, would you introduce yourself and like Kayla, would you do the same after she goes, would you introduce yourself as if you were talking to a few pregnancy clinic leadership, you know, executive director or a board? How would you introduce yourself to someone you know, a group like that?

Sarah Bowen :

Well, my name is Sarah Bowen. I’m the Executive Director of Promise of Life Network. We are a pro-life pregnancy Center just like the rest of you located in Western Pennsylvania. We have 4 offices. We cover 5 counties. And just within the last couple of years, I published my first book courageously pro-life And we started this international ministry as well related to the at home abortion issues so our pregnancy center does a lot of the sort of standard pregnancy center things we do medical, we do parenting, we have a large and vibrant abstinence education program. We also do grief support for miscarriage and post supportive. And I’ve been in the pro-life ministry space since 2008 and I’ve been the executive director since.

Jacob Barr :

All right, awesome. And Michaela, would you do the same, please?

Mikayla Covington :

Sure my name is Mikayla Covington, and I am the Director of international Operations for Promise of Life Network. So I oversee any national or international initiative that we have. Most of my time right now is being used directing the international chat line that we run for women who are seeking to do abortions at home.

Jacob Barr :

All right. So I’m really glad that you guys were here so we can talk about this issue it’s such a an important issue that has risen and when it comes to, you know, the need for us to talk about it and to hear, you know, potentially a way to respond to this growing abortion pill, you know, at home abortion pandemic that is that’s being created. Would you both, sort of, you know, take turns sort of interacting and sharing about the facts and the risks associated with at home abortion go ahead and tell us what you know about you know that World I.

Sarah Bowen :

Have a lot of issues surrounding the at home abortion. One of the things that I think is really important to start out with is to make sure we know what we’re talking about. So there’s a lot of different terms and pills and names that float around the first one, the one that’s most commonly sort of messed up or mistaken for, is actually emergency contraception or one of the brand names is Plan B. There are other brand names like Ella and those sorts of things. Those are pills that a woman might take within 24 to 36 I think sometimes even go up to 72 hours after intercourse in order to attempt to prevent conception and we know that sometimes that can prevent implantation. But when we say the at home abortion, that’s not really what we’re talking about. So when we talk about the at home abortion, typically what we’re referring to as a woman who’s gotten pills either. From a clinic, like through a telemedicine abortion where she’s spoken over the over a zoom call, kind of like what we’re doing about her pregnancy and her concerns and then they’ve shipped her the pills or they’ve given them to her in person and she goes home to take them. It can cover a woman who orders the pills online. So there are over 80 websites that are willing to sell women abortion pills. Some of them, many of them will ship to the United States. And it can also cover women doing what we call like a DIY abortion, whether they’re trying to take herbs or they’re trying to take over the counter medications to induce an abortion or they’re trying some sort of manual method. So all of that is nightmarish. All of that comes with tremendous risks but one of the biggest risks, even if they’re taking the right medication, which often there’s no way to guarantee that they are, is that they don’t know how far along they are. They haven’t necessarily had their pregnancy confirmed. They haven’t had an ultrasound. They haven’t gotten anything like they did they they’re they really don’t know what’s happening, but they’re taking these pills and so they could be much further along than they think they are. They could not even be pregnant. Most, I shouldn’t say most concerningly, because all of this is concerning, but also concerning, is that we don’t know that the person who ordered the pills is the person who’s taking them. So you can order them for your girlfriend you can order them for your sister. And there are plenty of stories out there of women who have been forced to take abortion pills, and that just shouldn’t happen. And so there’s a lot of potential risk, and a lot of those risks happen just because of the at home sort of nature of it. And whenever I talk about it, one of the things I always bring up is like, how many of us have done our hair at home and have totally messed it up i’m sure, Jacob, this is a huge concern for you. So like, you try to dye it at home, or you try to permit at home, or you try something and you and every one of us, every woman has the story of, like, I tried to cut my bangs at home, I tried to color my hair at home, I tried to permit, and it was a disaster. I remember a girl at summer camp that turned her entire body purple trying to dye her hair purple. And so those are funny stories. But they’re funny because it’s hair and because hair grows back and eventually the chemicals will wash out and eventually you’ll get your normal hair color back. Now, if that we all have stories of trying to do our hair at home and ending in total disaster, what do we think is going to happen when we’re trying to have an abortion at home and the answer is nothing good. So there’s still many side effects and risks from taking the pills in general. And then when you add the at home element to it just becomes even more complicated.

Jacob Barr :

So Michaela, what are your thoughts on the At Home? What would you add to that or what story would you reflect on that would complement what Sarah said?

Mikayla Covington :

Sure i think in the area that I oversee, I think the most common method of abortion that I’m seeing internationally is the do it yourself method and some. Wives tales type methodology that they’re trying out so everything from unripe papaya to lemongrass tea, boiled coke and aspirin is a really popular one that I don’t fully understand the science of, and so understanding that. These women, at least in my department, aren’t in the same situations as a lot of women in the States, meaning they didn’t, you know, they didn’t get these pills from a doctor they’ve probably never been to a doctor, honestly, and they have no idea what’s going on so I think in the States it’s very common for us to have an idea of what pregnancy is, what different gestational ages look like but these women have. Most of them don’t even have an understanding of how they got pregnant, like they don’t understand just the basic anatomy of how their own bodies work. And so I think internationally, education beginning in middle, middle school or younger, is probably going to always be our biggest battle is the education problem because I think that could solve not every problem, but maybe a lot of them.

Sarah Bowen :

I think in the States women are more likely to get what we would refer to as the abortion pill, colloquially, colloquially, so RE four eighty six, the two step process. But something else that we’re seeing overseas and I believe that we’re going to see it here in the United States as well as a way to in some ways sort of bypass the abortion pill reversal process is they’re not going to be, they’re not doing a two step process they’re not taking the first pill, waiting 24 hours and taking the second. They’re just taking Cytotech. You know they’re just inducing labor and so some of the places where you’re going to order pills online and they’re going to come to your house, it’s not going to be the two step process it’s going to be a one step it’s just going to be a massive dose of side attack to induce labor. And essentially what you’re doing is you’re delivering a child alive, and if you’re wrong on your dates, you could end up delivering a very large child alive. And then you obviously we have some serious issues there where you’re labouring and delivering a four month, five month, 6-7-8 up to nine month old baby. And then what do you do when you deliver this child that maybe can breathe or maybe begins to breathe but is struggling or a child that looks very much like a child, you know, it looked like a baby early on we know that. And so we have the physical side effects of essentially delivering a baby at home by yourself, because if you’re ordering pills online, you probably haven’t talked to anyone about your decision. You may be completely alone at your house you may not have engaged anyone else to support you or be there for you or have any kind of backup plan in place if things start to go South. But also, how are women going to react when they deliver this child and how are they going to handle that? And unfortunately, when Panic sets in, the mother could make some very poor choices. And I know all of us as executive directors have stories of young women that have thought that they are 6 or 8 or 10 weeks pregnant and they come in and they’re 3638 or even 40 weeks along. And we’ve had more than one young woman who just, she didn’t know. She did not know how far along she was. And so she came to a pregnancy center and she got an ultrasound. And the conversation changes from let’s talk about your options to OK, you’re you could deliver any day now. And we need to talk about that. And what happens if she doesn’t come to the pregnancy center what happens if she doesn’t get the doctor’s exam? And what happens if she takes Cytotech and goes into preterm labor at 30 some odd weeks?

Jacob Barr :

Yeah what does happen so well first of all it sounds like we have there’s a misinformation a problem of so much misinformation or people not being informed when they’re taking a medical you know, this medical you know this abortion pill the RU 46 and they’re you know there’s wrong dates there’s unknowns and then there’s these risks associated with the effects of that where the woman’s life is now being put in jeopardy obviously along with her child’s life, unborn child but you know, her life is now also being endangered. Is there, Are there, you know, boy, there’s so many questions one would be internationally. I don’t know of any medical body that over overseas. I mean if someone orders the abortion pill over the Internet and they’re receiving it in a given country where there’s, you know, the medical care is sparse, I feel like there’s not even an overseeing body to essentially try and look out for the good of the people in that country. I mean it probably ranges per country, but it feels like that’s a very, there’s a there’s a lot of misinformation from people just trying to figure it out without having like that, you know, from 1 country to another these pills are being shipped and that seems like there’s like, what are your thoughts on that, Michaela, when it comes to the, you know, a pill being shipped across country lines?

Mikayla Covington :

Sure so. You’re right, there is no oversight when it comes to shipping these pills. In a lot of the countries that I work in, there is no oversight to a lot of that medicine that they’re obtaining just in general, it’s something that they can walk into any pharmacy and get. In many countries they can walk in and pick up side detect, just like I can go to Walmart and pick up Tylenol and it’s that easy unfortunately, in some places another problem that we’re seeing is. I’m sure you’re familiar with the Mexico City policy and all of the controversy that seems to continuously surround it. But we’ve seen and I’ve talked to women in other countries who are seeing increased abortion rates directly because of the Mexico City policy so not only are these abortion pills getting into countries and they’re not being checked by doctors, they’re not getting ultrasounds there’s no medical oversight but. The United States citizen tax you know, a taxpayer is paying for a lot of these abortions that’s happening and I think that’s one of the saddest parts is you, me, Sarah, we’re directly responsible assuming you pay taxes we’re.

Sarah Bowen :

Not going to.

Mikayla Covington :

Ask but our money is what’s funding this. And I think that’s the saddest part is not recognizing that the decisions we make in elections in the United States. Affect the lives of unborn in other countries.

Sarah Bowen :

I think that’s probably the most complicated piece of this whole thing it’s so there’s so many variables are they getting the pill from a clinic are they getting a pill from a clinic funded by the US are they getting the pill from a pharmacy are they getting a pill from some random guy on the street? And we’ve had girls who have messaged us overseas and said I had an abortion, but now something is moving in my stomach. And we’re like, tell us more about this abortion and she never had bleeding and she never had cramping she took something, and the person who gave it to her told her it was an abortion and so she assumes that she’s magically not pregnant now, except three four months have gone by and now she’s feeling fetal movement and she’s like, oh, my goodness, what’s happening to me? And that may not be something that we typically see in the United States, but I think that it could, it could begin to happen. Because let’s be real denial is a real thing. Teenagers everywhere. So, you know, they often make choices and that’s why they have parents, you know, to guide them and like help them because they make choices that aren’t the best. And so if someone hands a girl a packet of medicine and says this is an abortion, this will end your pregnancy and she’s thirteen fourteen fifteen years, old is she is she, really going to understand what she’s taking is she really going to understand how it’s going to work and what’s going to happen when she has side effects or she has follow up issues and she maybe she’s afraid to go to a doctor or she’s afraid to tell her parents and so she could suffer you know for a long time and perhaps it could even end her life and i think that’s something that the people who are pushing at home abortions and there are organizations that do that aren’t really acknowledging the level of risk that we have like and at home abortion medication abortion does not do anything if you have an ectopic pregnancy you know and you’re going to continue that atopic pregnancy is going to continue to grow a lot of us saw unplanned and i think that my first reaction to that video was wow they really did not they really did not gloss over this they really didn’t soften this and that scene of her like laying on the floor with blood everywhere in the bathroom that’s what these girls are going to go through and they’re going to go through it at home alone and frankly with no one to reach out to and then another piece that is complicated and we really don’t know how this is going to play out in the united states is some women in some countries are afraid to go to the hospital because they’ve just done something that’s illegal and so what’s going to happen when they go and they’re having pain and they’re having bleeding and they’re they don’t know what’s happening in their bodies we don’t want them to lie a lot of these websites encourage them don’t tell them you had an abortion don’t tell them you took pills tell them you’re miscarrying well that’s not a great idea because if you’re not honest with your medical provider you’re not going to get good care but what you know at the same time like you don’t want to find out that this girl is now in serious legal trouble because she did something she shouldn’t have and so it’s just it’s just it’s so multi layered and there’s so many issues you know where are they getting the pills what are the pills how are they taking them when are they taking them what kind of follow up care are they receiving and it just shows it goes to show that this is really just not a safe procedure i would say at all but it’s definitely not something that should be done at home without any medical oversight.

Jacob Barr :

Wow so I have a couple of questions one would be who is pushing and promoting the at home abortion who is who is that group is You know what’s the what are some of the people of the organizations that are promoting this and pushing this at home abortions.

Sarah Bowen :

Well, the one is repro action. So they actually have a how to video on their website of how to take the pills and what to take and when to take them and all those sorts of things it’s very disturbing. But you can actually go on to the World Health Organization’s website and you can find a how to on how to induce an at home abortion.

Mikayla Covington :

And I think one of the most disturbing things when I Google, like at home abortion, some of the first things that pop up for me are resources that are geared towards young women. There’s an article, a how to article in Teen Vogue magazine that was published about how to do that. So it’s not just, you know, I mean, it sounds awful, but it’s not just Planned Parenthood, you know, it’s permeated our culture to the point that fashion magazines are normalizing it.

Sarah Bowen :

And I would even and I should say this carefully, because I haven’t exactly researched it, but I would even say that Planned Parenthood isn’t the one pushing it.

Mikayla Covington :

No. And say they’re not guilty but.

Sarah Bowen :

Yeah not to say that it never happens, but a lot of abortion clinics actually. And I don’t know that Planned Parenthood is in this group and I’m and like I said, i’m saying this very carefully because it’s not like I’ve done a ton of research on this, but a lot of pro choicers and abortion clinics really acknowledge that the at home abortion is a dangerous thing. So it’s not, you know, So what we’re saying is not because we’re pro-life You know, it’s not like we’re pro-life and therefore we’re like running down this wonderful remedy for women no, like it’s a, it’s a really bad idea i mean, the FDA issued its strongest warning against taking the abortion pill at home i mean, this is not a pro-life issue necessarily, although it is one it’s not just a pro-life issue.

Jacob Barr :

It’s really a frankly it’s a health issue so and it feels like when it comes to like the ultrasound is missing the medical oversight is missing and when it comes to that ultrasound missing, I believe that is how the ectopic pregnancies are discovered is that through an ultrasound or is there a different way that they could be discovered for an ectopic i think it’s just ultrasound, I believe.

Sarah Bowen :

Yeah, ultrasound is the big way to find out, but then the other way is time. So if. An ectopic pregnancy can very easily be missed on ultrasound because they are so early. But if you don’t see something in the uterus, like you should if you don’t, if things just aren’t quite right, then you advise a woman to wait. And every woman that comes into our office, just like probably every pregnancy center, is given a paper called miscarriage and ectopic precautions. And we tell them like if you have these symptoms, you need to be seen right away because you could have an ectopic pregnancy. But if someone takes abortion pills, the pain from those abortion pills could mask an ectopic pregnancy. So where you’re thinking, well, the box says i’m going to have pain and cramping for, I don’t know, this many hours or days or whatever. She could not know that she has an ectopic pregnancy and be thinking everything’s fine, and then she could end up with serious internal bleeding.

Jacob Barr :

Wow, that’s just such AI mean since the at home abortion by definition is not going to have an ultrasound involved and therefore the risk of ectopic pregnancy is now heightened. And to the where the life of the mother will be at risk in a situation where the life of the baby was never not viable because it’s what was an ectopic pregnancy, one of.

Sarah Bowen :

One of the other huge concerns with the at home abortion with any abortion is excessive bleeding and how is the mother going to realize what excessive what is excessive is she going to stay home too long trying to avoid medical care, trying to avoid telling her parents or whatever is she going to be able to access emergency care? So the US it might be a fear based thing. It might be i’m afraid to go to the hospital i’m afraid of what my parents will say i’m afraid someone will find out what I did, but it could also be an accessibility thing if, I mean, the United States is a big and beautiful place and I have friends who are a 45 minute ride from a hospital. So what happens in that 45 minutes to an hour and a half to two hours while she’s waiting for an ambulance and being transported to a hospital in some of these more rural communities? And that’s really not something that they should, they should have to deal with. They shouldn’t be at home bleeding, wondering how long do I wait before calling an ambulance?

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, wow. So on a different note or related note last week on Google the there’s a couple of groups have been their voice when it comes to advertising about abortion pill reversal as being one of the responses to you know that is it. So Abortion Pill reversal is a way of. Reversing a an abortion pill decision, an RU forty six decision if it started within 24 to 72 hours and it typically seems to have about a 55 to 60 % success rate depending on how they’re taking the abortion pill reversal ongoing shot series or treatment of an additional of a large amount of estrogen essentially and the and this medical. Treatment of APR has had two medical journals written about it it’s had several, you know, hundreds of women have gone through APR and now, you know. Possibly in response to the Heartbeat Bill out of Texas, Google has squashed the voice is starting to squash the voice of many clinics and groups who are promoting APR. And APR obviously is not the best. Solution to the abortion pill The best solution is to not start the abortion pill like that’s the best obviously. But once someone has started the abortion pill process the you know the only response would be to reverse it through this medical treatment and which has the 55 to 60 % success rate with no added birth defects if the baby survives that 55 % of the time. And anyways, all that to say is if it feels like, you know, part of the sidewalk of reaching women, the sidewalk counseling or reaching women in this situation is being silenced or squashed. And it’s very, it feels very much like a Goliath and David situation where Goliath is this large. Google entity that’s a monopoly in the US and then a monopoly in other countries like they’re a global level monopoly and it’s very overwhelming. And their voice, i mean they’re essentially squashing the voice of the small pregnancy clinics who are small when it comes to size in comparison to that and they don’t have you know their the power is being removed from that freedom of speech here in the US and other countries i don’t know. What freedom they might have, but yet their voice is being well in China it’s already been removed many, you know, a long time ago so it hasn’t been there. But here in the US we’ve had a voice and now it’s being removed as of last week. So when it comes to like responses and I just feel like that’s such a relevant piece of when it comes to abortion pill reversal being a indirectly connected to the at home abortion world because at home abortions are always going to be. Pill based or you know medicated in comparison to surgical and that APR is now being silenced as a way to respond and providing that life. It’s just hard to imagine how Google is removing that life saving care. I mean, it’s hard to fathom only because. Many people, they look at life as being desired and they you know and have and have like a hatred towards death. And for someone to remove a life caring procedure, a life giving procedure just simply reflects how they must, you know, must be based off of the opposite where life is not desired and death is being promoted.

Sarah Bowen :

One of the one of the biggest frustrations there and my friend Doctor Pohelos is on the APR line and she has AT shirt that says it’s just progesterone. And she points out that progesterone is has been used since the nineteen fifties for vent miscarriage. So it’s not like it’s this like crazy new regimen that’s never been used before. The big issue that we have with APR and the at home Abortion is that they don’t like I said they don’t always take that first pill. So there may be some medical intervention and we have had clients go to the hospital after taking Cytotec and successfully stall delivery or deliver a premature baby and the baby ends up an incubator which is still much better than the baby dying upon delivery. Apri just obviously like medical science, can try if the mother has just taken Cytotec. But the APR regimen is really designed to be used after the first pill, before the second, and so if they’re only taking the second pill, it does decrease its effectiveness.

Jacob Barr :

Oh, I didn’t mean yeah, I wasn’t considering when they were taking that second pill to expel the baby compared to the first pill that’s designed to stop life of the baby. The APR may not have. It’s not designed for. And we’re combating that second pill.

Sarah Bowen :

It was designed to be used if after the first pill and before the second, yeah. So if there is no first pill, if they’re only taking the second pill. And that’s what a lot of them, that’s what a lot of companies or organ, I mean organizations are shipping is just Cytotech then I’m not sure, you know, I mean there’s some things people can do if they go to the emergency room, if they try to stop it but you know, it just really limits, you know what the options are.

Mikayla Covington :

So it’s an entirely different problem like you know with the first pill, the problem is baby is starving, you know and that’s what APR is kind of designed to address. But if it’s just the second pill, well now the problem is baby is coming and that’s a totally different ball game to be playing and like Sarah said, we we’ve had clients we’ve had women who have been able to go to the hospital and get medical attention for that but it’s certainly not the same as if they were taking that first pill and then changed their mind.

Sarah Bowen :

And I think that’s part of why the at home abortion is so dangerous, that it’s really just the Wild West. And even in the United States, you know, I’ve had women message us and say, I want to take this herb. You know, I want to take this i want a homeopathic abortion i want a natural abortion i want an herbal abortion because of course, in the United States it’s you want to be natural, right everyone wants to be natural. And they have this idea that that’s better. And sometimes it is, you know, like having a tomato you grow in your backyard is probably better than one that you get from the store. But a homeopathic abortion is kind of a perhaps terrible idea.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah and if the woman, you know, takes that pill and the, you know, and the baby’s at a certain size, she’s essentially creating a medical emergency in her home without anyone there you know the without medical care to help the complex, you know the complications and the delivery of that. Maybe that might be larger than G, you know, larger than expected based on dates that she had given or based on when she ended up taking the pill there’s, you know, there’s so many unknowns that are being that are essentially in the hands of someone who’s going through a very difficult time, probably having a hard time focusing, hard time being logical and may not be making the best decision just based off of based on their scenario like, there’s a lot there.

Sarah Bowen :

Yeah i mean there’s a lot of pressure and not too gross you out makeup but not all women are regular and I know I’ve had friends that have said I knew my due date the second I took a pregnancy test. But then there’s other women that they don’t know they could be anywhere from six weeks to 12 weeks, 12 weeks to 20 weeks and they’re so they’re kind of guessing at that point and it’s just not a good situation. And we had, and this is from, this is an international story but I talked to a young woman who thought she was 20 weeks along, and she messaged me and she asked that she said she wanted to have an abortion or messaged us, I should say and I chatted with her i was the person on the line. And I told her about fetal development and I showed her a picture of how far along her baby was and what it looked like. And she said, wow, we like, this is a child this is a person i can’t do this. And so she said she was going to reach out to the pregnancy center and I was like, that’s great. And so I said, I’m going to follow up with you and she’s like, fantastic so I put her on my list for two weeks out and two weeks later I sent her a message and I’m like, hey, did you talk to the pregnancy center and she’s like, I had a baby. And she had ten days after I talked to her, she had delivered an 8 pound Full term, healthy, healthy. She thought she was 20 weeks she was 40 weeks and she really didn’t know. And it’s not that women are stupid. You know, it’s not that women aren’t intelligent. And that’s one of the big arguments I see and I see it from some of these organizations like, oh, women aren’t stupid stop treating them like they’re stupid and I’m like, we’re not we’re saying like, there’s these are things that happen. Women, you can be as smart as you can possibly be but if your body doesn’t react to pregnancy the way that you think you should, you could be missing, you could be way off on your dates and it doesn’t mean that you’re an idiot it just means this is a complex medical the diagnosis that needs to be made, and it isn’t something we should be doing at home.

Mikayla Covington :

Well, in the States we have that entire TV show i think it’s on TLCI didn’t know I was pregnant. Like it’s an entire TV show of not just. It’s not just a problem that’s happening in some remote part of West Africa like, these are American women with all of the technology, education, medical care that we have who straight up didn’t know they were pregnant until there’s a baby.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, wow.

Mikayla Covington :

So it happens it does.

Sarah Bowen :

And we had, we had someone here and this was a long time ago but this particular client was smart. She had initiative she worked hard and she came in and she’s like, my mom keeps saying I’m pregnant i don’t think I’m pregnant i’m just here to shut her up. And we’re like, OK, like, let’s look at your dates. And we were. We were kind of like, Oh, well, if you’re pregnant, you’re super early based on everything you’ve told us. So now she’s sitting across the room from a nurse. And the nurse and this client are agreeing together, if you’re pregnant, you’re very early. But they decide to do an ultrasound just to be sure and she was two weeks away from delivery wow and so these are things that happen and they may not be the norm and they may not be commonplace but my goodness, if one woman takes medication and delivers a 32 week old baby at home alone in her bathroom, it’s one too many.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah and that I think that boils down to, you know the fact that some women have gotten the date way off reflects how many women could get the date, the date off by less than that amount and it would and the consequences are dire and it creates an emergency situation and just a very stressful and dangerous situation.

Sarah Bowen :

Well, even the trauma 4, week five, week six week old abortion, you may not see very much twelve fourteen sixteen, you’re going to see a baby. And how traumatic is that for women to basically deliver a home at home alone and not know that they were 14 weeks long and not know what to expect and not know frankly what they’re going to see and they’re going to be all alone in their bedroom or in their bathroom or in their house, dealing with this traumatic experience with no support.

Jacob Barr :

So what does an executive director who is listening to this podcast what is, what does she need to hear or to know in order to help her local community like what is, what is the What ideas could you offer her, or what are the options for her to try and do or to be prepared to help in some way like what what? You know what’s in the world of options that she might have?

Sarah Bowen :

Michaela, do you want to share about the website that we have for the US audience?

Mikayla Covington :

Sure so we actually started a website in response to the increasing use of RU four eighty six. So the website is WWW dot at home abortionfacts.com and that website was a collaborative effort with a lot of different writers and people who are involved in pro-life Work and nurses and just all sorts of people came together to put together this medically accurate resource that goes through, quite frankly, what are some hard facts about the at home abortion pills specifically geared towards the United States and like what we get here, which is RU four eighty six. We also have a Facebook page called At Home Abortion Facts as well. That they can go to and it’ll tell them about the FDA black box warning. It’ll go in detail about this is kind of the things you need to have done before you do an abortion or consider an abortion. Here’s kind of what you can expect, which is something that’s really important for these women to know because they’re not getting that in counseling. You know, because they’re not, they’re not getting counseling at all.

Sarah Bowen :

So at home abortionfacts.com or the corresponding Facebook page at Home Abortion Facts And so we would just really encourage pregnancy centers to link to that on their client websites. Maybe do a blog i don’t know you and I have talked about this Jacob, do a blog post about the at home abortion issue and why it is dangerous. One of the reasons we wrote the website is because when you Google at home abortion, the only websites that come up are pro abortion websites. So they’re not like we’ve gotten really good at search engine optimization in the pregnancy health world. And so there’s a lot of times where pregnancy centers will come up three or four or five of us before the 1st abortion clinic. I love that, but it’s not something we’re seeing in the at home abortion space. And so make sure that they’re using those keywords on their website and you know way more about that than I do. Make sure they’re blogging about it link to At home abortionfacts.com But also like, have your staff review the website. We have a brochure they can get from my website, sarahmbowen.com and we put it there just because I’m too cheap to pay for more than one store and places to download things. But it’s a brochure specifically for pregnancy help workers to understand the differences between the morning after pill, the telemed abortion, the at home abortion. Because those are things that we don’t even really, a lot of us that are working in the field don’t really know. And then we also have a one page flyer for clients that you can put in your client packet that just talks about the dangers of the at home abortion. And I think that, but the most important thing as pregnancy centers we have to understand is that we have something of value to offer these young women, even if they’re four weeks, 5 weeks along, even if they might even be too early for an ultrasound. They need someone to tell them, hey, this is dangerous this is why it’s dangerous, This is why we don’t recommend it. And sometimes I think we almost like trick ourselves into thinking, you know, if we don’t get a super clear ultrasound image or if we don’t get, if we don’t say exactly the right thing on the phone. But we’ve seen through our work with women worldwide that just having someone who says I care about you, I’m concerned for you. And This is why that makes a huge difference. And as pregnancy centers, we can be equipped to do that. And so I would love to get to the place where when someone Googles at home abortion, they’re not getting places to buy it, but they’re getting pregnancy center after pregnancy center, saying this is dangerous. This is why we don’t recommend this please call us, get an ultrasound, get a pregnancy test, talk to a nurse, talk to talk to someone before making this decision because I think that that’s really the answer is we need to make it a common statement oh my goodness, that’s dangerous.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah and what’s sort of bizarre is that last week part of this Google attack that’s currently happening is that they’re marking abortion pill reversal as misleading information essentially you know, judging the trustworthiness of that content and in reality the at home abortion, you know that is dangerous and for it for it to be promoted or sold is. By definition dangerous content and that should you know it’s essentially you know we’re living in a world where the where helpful content is being marked as misleading and is being silenced while dangerous content is not being challenged by the by the Goliath of Google, which essentially owns the Internet when it comes to.

Sarah Bowen :

When it comes to traffic on this topic, yeah, unfortunately. And yeah, I would really just encourage pregnancy center directors go to at home abortionfacts.com educate yourself, educate your team, go to sarahandbowen.com download those resources and just make sure that you know what you’re talking about, that you’re confident and comfortable in this situation. And then something else that they can do. And Michaela and I talked about this briefly before we came on the call. We’re fielding thousands of internationals and some nationals, some United States clients on our chat line and honestly we need the help. So if you have individuals that may be used to volunteer for you and they can’t anymore because maybe they they’re now they’re a stay at home mom or they’ve got kids at home and they can’t come into the office and they’re looking for something to do you know, definitely connect them with us so they can go to our donor, our community website, promiseoflifenetwork.org They can apply to volunteer on the chat line and that’s a volunteer position that can be done from literally anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. We’ll train them, we’ll teach them what to do, we’ll teach them how to respond. And one of the really cool things is that it’s done for us, for our team is we’re all now very confident when talking to the abortion minded woman. Because you think of it in a small rural, which is what ours are, you know, a rural pregnancy center, you might get what like 3 or 4 abortion minded women a week. And even then those women are usually not strongly abortion minded, maybe only one or two are. But when you’re on the chat line, you might have 30 by noon. And so it really just the constant, yeah, if you get a little influence, the just constantly being able to sharpen those skills and talk about options and talk about, you know, the information that they’re interested in, it really can help. And women are women, you know and if you’re talking to a African teenager, a Middle Eastern young woman, if you’re talking to an Indian young woman, they’re going to be, they’re going to have a lot of similarities with the United States client, just because people are people and women are women and we’re a lot more similar than we are different.

Jacob Barr :

So Michaela, how many client calls does your group field and that definitely you know the number seems to definitely reflect the need for more volunteers as it seems like it’s a large amount.

Mikayla Covington :

Yeah so it does fluctuate a little bit every day, just kind of depending on what’s going on here, what’s going on elsewhere in the world. But we’ve talked to over 10.000 thousand since the end of 2019 A majority of those have been since November of last year. So at first it was just a couple of women a week we were like, oh, this is kind of cool like we’re international now ha, ha. And then it was a couple of women a day and in November of last year it was just, it was constant, it was so much that we were just trying to trying to field everyone as best i mean it’s triage. Like triage is what is basically what we call it. It’s we’re triaging the chat and so I think right now the last time I did some average.

Sarah Bowen :

And the average client number that we get per day is somewhere around 75 on the chat line and those are those are new contacts.

Mikayla Covington :

Those are new contacts that’s not us talking to follow-ups ’cause we’re also following up with every client we make contact with at the very least three months from the first day that they talk to us, just to make sure that they got the information they needed hey, like, what decision did you end up making? Is there anything we can do to help that’s not? Accounting, though, is that’s just new contacts the average is about 75 a day.

Sarah Bowen :

And they’re not calls, They’re actually messages. So one advocate is able to manage. I think that I start to feel a little bit haywire, about 25 if I have if I have more than 20 chats, i’m like completely dialed in like I can’t look up i can’t stop breathing, like I’m like, I can’t get up to get a cup of coffee like I can’t get up at all. Anything over 25 and I just it’s too much i can’t handle it. That’s a.

Jacob Barr :

Lot.

Sarah Bowen :

Yeah it’s actually unusual to have like if you would come. So we kind of like communicate with each other like, hey, I’m coming on for my shift, Oh, it’s really quiet right now there’s only like 4 people chatting. So really anything less than like 10 is considered quiet for us.

Jacob Barr :

So i this is this is a good encouragement i think the way you framed it for rural clinics who get a small number of clients because they live in a low populated area, this would be an opportunity for them to essentially spend that time that they have available helping in the greater in a greater international way through your group. They can essentially plug in even if they’re not.

Sarah Bowen :

You know, retired from their normal clinic they probably could you know help you while they are waiting, you know between in person clinic visits from their, you know getting a couple per week situation with a yeah and you think that.

Mikayla Covington :

Yeah, that’s how a lot of our staff, you know, our paid staff that are client advocates in our offices, they’re often on the chat. You know, during office hours, so to speak, in between clients or maybe we don’t have someone scheduled that day. That’s when they do a majority of their chat.

Sarah Bowen :

We, I mean, we get it we’re a pregnancy center if you know, one of our team signs up for two hours and she gets two clients at the last minute, we’re not going to be like, no, you have to be on The International. She’ll say, oh, I have AI, have a client just walked in, got to go and one of us will just, you know, jump on and take care of it like that’s fine.

Jacob Barr :

Wow, that’s really flexible and amazing and then essentially they give someone the freedom to help even without them knowing their schedule completely, which is which is a great way to let someone invite someone in to help.

Sarah Bowen :

And the harvest, honestly, the harvest is so large, we’re seeing 85 % of these very abortion minded women change their minds wow so in the United States, and this is reflected in the chat, when we have a United States client or a European client and even maybe like an Australian or Canadian client, we’re down to maybe 40 % of them will change their minds if they’re very strongly abortion minded. But when we’re talking about the developing world where a lot of them have a very strong sense of the value of an unborn child and their countries are not pro abortion and there are laws in their country against abortion we’re seeing 85 % or more change their mind and choose life. And then our goal is to walk with them as much as we possibly can so obviously I can’t, as much as I would like to, I can’t fly over to Kenya or Uganda or South Africa. But there are our sisters in pregnancy help over there doing amazing work and so we’re able to connect them with pregnancy centers in their countries to get the help that they need that we would give them if they were here, but they’re not and so they’re able to get that assistance from the pregnancy center in their town or their city or their province.

Jacob Barr :

Wow Most clinics that I talked to are they do have room to help they you know most a large portion of them would have room and capacity to help in this way. There’s a group out of Miami, florida where I think they usually seem, they seem to have about 40 in person clinic visits every day and I think they tallied it. I think it was a year ago and they added, they tallied up to 50.000 thousand women served in that Miami area. So you know, a clinic like that is not available but most clinics we I talk to usually handle a fraction of that you know, those numbers and that would just provide space and this would allow them to, yeah, essentially like you said to essentially take on. Increasing their comfortability with the abortion minded client which you know gives making it so they’re even better prepared by having more experience.

Sarah Bowen :

There was this one gentleman. I mean, I’m sitting in Newcastle, Pennsylvania. It is not exactly a population hub. Yeah, we’re in one of the cities that one of the towns, I don’t even think it’s not the city. One of the towns that we’re in when the college isn’t in session has 3000 people in it. Like it’s just and that’s where a lot of pregnancy centers are and honestly that’s where we need to be like there’s nothing wrong with that. But that does mean sometimes that we do have space to branch out and to work. And I tell pregnancy centers too and like, if you want your team to jump on, I’ll give you a number of because we tag each conversation with whoever started it as a way to sort them and keep track of everyone. I’m like, I’ll give you a number and you can say our team talked to 500 women internationally this year like, I’m not, I’m not going to be like, no, you can’t talk about that because this is not, this is bigger than us. And I would love to see pregnancy centers from all over the country jumping in and being trained and answering these chats and then being able to take it back to their community and say, listen, it’s not, we’re not just helping women in our town. I mean, we are and it’s super important but now we’re part of this other thing and we’re working with women worldwide. And I think that donors could really appreciate that, too.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, giving the woman the opportunity to, you know, to help and to get started and to get trained, like all those things are just, that’s beautiful and especially in a rural area where someone only gets a handful of clinic visits per week, you know how and how valuable is it to be able to? Connect to a large number of opportunities to help and to provide care and essentially do what you’re being, you know, what someone’s being called by God to do is to help women in these situations not just local women, but women who are reaching out for help. There was this gentleman, John Enzor, and we interviewed him a few. Months ago, and the quote we interviewed him about was when something is worth doing, it’s worth doing poorly with. Not that we should be doing things poorly, but the idea is that we should give people the opportunity to get involved right away and that we should encourage them to get on the learning curve. Of how to you know how to improve and to be able to do work and to help someone get involved very quickly so when someone wants to get involved and to help, having a way for them to get training and to and to be able to reach out and provide care and you know, without having some kind of insurmountable amount of education and prep work. Essentially giving them a vehicle to start serving. Sooner than later, I think is part of what he was trying to say by referencing that quote because the pro-life work is so important that it’s worth, it’s worth doing even if we are, you know, not many of us go into this not fully prepared and we’re doing our best and we’re working hard and we make mistakes and we learn from those and that’s part of how important this is that we’re willing to do it even in the midst of. You know, trying to trying to figure things out as new problems arise.

Sarah Bowen :

And I think probably one of the most common questions I get from new volunteers on the chat is what if I make a mistake? What if I send the wrong thing what if I say the wrong thing what if, and I’m like Elder Mead did the wrong thing? Like, I once referred this poor Nigerian girl to a South African resource, and I followed up with, hey, sorry, that’s not the right one go to this one. And they’re great. I mean, they’re human like, if we say to them, hey, I’m really sorry, I’m talking to 10 women right now they’re like, oh, OK, no problem. They’re not me like they’re not going to, like, bite your head off. Most of them, if you make a mistake, a couple maybe, but you know, you always get a couple. And so, you know, there is space to just be like, hey, I’m human, I’m a I’m a human person on the other end of this line and that’s why I just made this, you know, mistake.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah and that’s awesome and i think that’s and that’s good that we’re able to you know help and helping 10 people at one time. Inevitably people will make mistakes because that’s i don’t see how you make how you can manage 10 conversations at once or 25 to me, that seems very impressive.

Sarah Bowen :

Yeah, you get used to it. Yeah just to just to close, like, just go to at home abortionfacts.com review it, understand it, really sort of internalize it go to sarahmbowen.com Download those resources and reach out to us if you have questions you I would love for people to email H at promise of life network dot I K A Y at promise of life network dot org. We’d love to talk to you we’d love to do a training for your team, just talk about the issue and then if you do have people that want to volunteer, we’d be excited to talk to them as well.

Jacob Barr :

And if someone does want to volunteer and they may maybe they haven’t volunteered at a pranks clinic before.

Sarah Bowen :

Would that be you know, Would do you accept volunteers who are starting off from scratch and they haven’t had previous counseling experience at A at a clinic yet? Absolutely absolutely A.

Mikayla Covington :

Huge majority of our volunteers are first time volunteers. You know, they they’re not these aren’t people that have pregnancy help backgrounds some of them do and they’re very valuable to our team but a lot of these women that are helping are women who are pro-life and stay at home with their kids and have a little bit of time during nap time, right and so we can train you. It’s super rewarding work. It really is.

Jacob Barr :

Awesome.

Sarah Bowen :

I’m sorry.

Jacob Barr :

I was just going to say I love that this is like a pro-life team opportunity for people to get involved, work from home, connecting into this chat to be able to help you know, essentially come alongside your existing team to help with this large number of traffic from women needing help and I think this is a beautiful thing and I’m really glad we were able to promote this through this podcast and I really hope that this will be shared with people who would enjoy.

Sarah Bowen :

Volunteering or who would enjoy helping women in English speaking countries and I guess you would also probably have some bizarre hours of operation because you mentioned Australia so you’re probably you probably have a team that’s up at you know you probably have a variety of shifts or of hours that involve here we would love to have overnight coverage. Right now we are open quote, unquote from seven AM until ten PM Eastern Standard Time. And then sometimes if one of us feels a little bit of an insomnia, we’ll pop on at like two or three in the morning. But yeah, another that would be, it would honestly be amazing to have volunteers on the West Coast that could do later hours or have people in different parts of the world that are able to kind of jump in on those times where, you know, frankly, I’m asleep, can’t really be available to answer your questions.

Mikayla Covington :

We’ll accept you too say.

Jacob Barr :

That one more time, Akayla.

Mikayla Covington :

Is that even if you also have insomnia problems we’ll accept that as well.

Sarah Bowen :

Like, yeah.

Jacob Barr :

Because I mean, essentially, yeah, you know, it’s not just the traffic, it’s the it’s the hours of operation that will reflect more traffic being able to be served. So if someone does want to volunteer, should they just email? You should they fill out an interest form?

Sarah Bowen :

Which website should they go to email? Us or they can go to promise of life network dot org slash volunteers and then we have a quick application there, sort of asking like kind of the basic stuff, and then we’ll reach out to them.

Jacob Barr :

That sounds really good well, I hope you have a growing number of volunteers who can cover more hours in the night and more hours in the day, letting you get more sleep, ’cause that’s important too.

Sarah Bowen :

Thank you. We appreciate that.

Jacob Barr :

Awesome well, I think that’s probably a good place for us to cut and cue the music and I think that’s about it yeah. Just on a on a side note, I’m trying to imagine like what my response to Google can be because we’re it’s just a bit that’s what my morning was it’s like how do we respond to this attack, the spiritual attack by Google. And I’m thinking I would actually. I wrote this E letter talking about a call for prayer and asking for Prancy clinic direct Prancy clinic teams to pray. As part of our response to what’s going on, sort of explaining this APR voice being silenced and by Google and trying to explain like, how that impacts our ability to help women in these different situations and then asking these teams to pray for either Google to reverse this decision or to be broken up as a monopoly here in the US at least.

Sarah Bowen :

But then here you are. I just read a quote and I’m going to get it really wrong because I’m not looking at it, but it basically said only treat every situation like a spiritual battle if you want to win. Ok so and that’s really what this is this is a spiritual battle and so the more people and as soon as you said we need to know what to do i’m thinking we need people praying and not just pregnancy centers because I think we get very bogged down in like our clients issues in our. I would encourage you if you can like start a prayer team that specifically prays for the ads that you guys run and ask God to send you someone that can specifically run a prayer team just for eye rapture because just because you’re a business and not you know a ministry, I’m assuming you’re a business. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be getting like constant prayer coverage because God can look down and say Google your reign is over just like that statue in Daniel where the. You know, the feet crumbled and the ankles crumbled and you know, on and on and on he’s this sort of nation that was literally controlling the whole world god could say no, you’re done, you’re out. And he could certainly do that with Google as well.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah And we’re essentially, i’m going to send it to my client base, who is overwhelmingly A believing Jesus following group and then also to our pregnancy clinic director list. Asking for their for essentially for them to share it with their prayer teams along with some background story for how they can understand like what’s happening and understanding you know the need for prayer here and then another response is we’re I was talking to my pastor last night and we’re brainstorming on like what other things we could do and we might try to do a 5 minute documentary this week on Google essentially. Silencing this, you know, squishing these the voice of a small of these small clinics, you know, with the overwhelming power that they have of holding the Internet, you know, of access to the Internet essentially with how we how people access information. And so that’s something that we’re going to be working on and then the timing of this podcast is nothing short of God’s fingerprints. And so we’re going to include this in that. Call it a prayer. Because, you know, this is very much connected to the need for the voice on APR but like we said before, this is not, you know, the ideal situation is to not take the abortion pill. But for those who do this is sort of their final opportunity within 24 to 72 hours of taking that first pill. But then boy, that second pill is something that I wasn’t even comprehending or thinking about when it comes to just expelling the baby there is no APR reversal of that second pill. That at least not yet. But yeah, that’s something that’s a different treatment that we haven’t even, I haven’t heard of anyone figuring out quite yet.

Sarah Bowen :

Yeah, it’s like I said, it’s super complex and hopefully this podcast will help people understand some of the issues that are at stake.

Jacob Barr :

Well, it helped it helped me understand that the second pill is being given without the 1st that wasn’t in my field of vision until you said that in this podcast i didn’t see that coming and that’s really good to understand and know so that we can.

Sarah Bowen :

We need to essentially pray for a response that second pill being the only pill and how are we going to deal with that and is there anything we can do?

Jacob Barr :

You know, is there, is there an option? Yeah, I don’t know the answer to that yeah.

Sarah Bowen :

All right well, thanks so much for your time i really thank you. And look and we’ll definitely share this with our supporters as well you know, just let them know that we were on this and if there’s anything else we can do, let us know i did want to tell you too, we did right into our 2022 budget for us to work with you guys and get some of the Google ads used up for at home abortionfacts.com So hopefully we get that approved and we can move forward from there.

Jacob Barr :

Awesome we’ll be glad to work hard for you. And yeah, I really appreciate the voice that you have given this new topic. And also and at NIFLA you were the highlight of my leadership Summit there when it came to hearing about the at home abortion topic that was like. Why didn’t I mean, i guess I’ve come across one other clinic who has voiced an article on this topic. But why haven’t we all been voicing our thoughts on this it’s sort of like one of those common sense things that we like, you know, after someone does it, it’s like well, we all should have been doing that this entire time, but we weren’t.

Sarah Bowen :

So and when we, when we launched the website in 2019 I was sure that by 2020 somebody else would have picked it up and run with it and we’re still pretty much the only voice, Yeah, great. And that’s why we need your help, because we can’t get the website boosted as much as it needs to be.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah and with this podcast, my goal is to highlight God’s fingerprints to identify things that are not commonplace and like at home abortion, facts and risks being content and messaging and information that’s being delivered to help support people that are considering abortions. That needs to be like right now I would say less than 1 % of clinics have content on this topic and my threshold for like promoting it on this podcast would be like if it’s a minority like, you know, less than 20 %, this is easily an idea that needs to be promoted and shared some more people consider it and figure out how to help their communities who are taking on this dangerous at home. Do it yourself creating medical emergency situation kind of content since we need to make content that will help people avoid the danger and problems that come from this at home abortion situation so.

Sarah Bowen :

Yeah, exactly.


As mentioned in the podcast, here is where the at home abortion is promoted:

As mentioned in the podcast, here is an example of a group promoting a patient to provide misinformation to the medical team helping them: https://youtu.be/_Bk0ATluDfE.

The result of at home abortions and providing misinformation/lies to a medical team is going to result in additional risk to women.


Our sponsor for this episode include Heritage HousePatriot Insurance and iRapture.com.

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