Have you ever attended an abortion?
The thought may conjure up images of surgical tools or the dull hue of a hospital gown, but ending a pregnancy can be as simple as swallow a prescription. That was the point Jex Blackmore, a Detroit activist and artistwanted to illustrate the moment she ingested a mail-order abortion pill during a live interview with Fox 2’s Charlie Langton on Sunday, she said to terminate a pregnancy.
“Wow, that doesn’t happen often,” Langton said as a smiling Blackmore washed the pill down with water.
The Food and Drug Administration lifted a restriction on abortion pills in December that allows people to get them through the mail and at pharmacies. Previously, mifepristone and misoprostol were only available in a doctor’s office, hospital or abortion clinic.
Both drugs are approved for use by the FDA. Mifepristone can end an early pregnancy if taken up to 70 days after gestation and followed by a dose of misoprostol 24 to 48 hours later. The pills work together to temporarily block a hormone called progesterone, which is needed to develop a pregnancy.
According to the FDA, cramps, vaginal bleeding, nausea, and fever/chills are common side effects of treatment. Blackmore told MLive that while everyone’s reaction was different, she felt similar discomfort to an intense period.
Related: Most abortions occur in the first trimester and other facts about Michigan abortion rates
Blackmore said she took the first abortion pill on live television to address the stigma surrounding abortions and to bring attention to mail-order pills. Blackmore said he plans to complete the procedure.
“Almost one in four people with a uterus will have an abortion at age 45, regardless of their political beliefs,” Blackmore said in an email. “It is essential that this information reaches everyone.”
Blackmore appeared on Fox 2 Detroit’s “Let It Rip” with Rebecca Kiessling, lawyer and activist from Michigan. The interview was scheduled to mark the 49th anniversary of Roe vs. Wadethe Supreme Court ruling that protects the right to have an abortion without undue government restriction.
Abortion rights campaigners fear the landmark decision could be overturned. State lawmakers across the country are also taking steps to restrict access to abortion procedures. Michigan has a 1931 law that would make it a crime for anyone to perform an abortion if Roe vs. Wade is canceled.
Related: Anti-abortion advocates gather at the Michigan Capitol and express hope that Roe v. Wade will be knocked down
Blackmore advocated for the use of mail-order abortion pills as a safe alternative to other types of abortion procedures. She also pointed out that the pills are now widely available instead of being distributed only in certain settings, thanks to the FDA’s December decision.
“They’re incredibly safe, safer than Viagra or Tylenol,” Blackmore said. “They’ve actually been in medical practice since 2000, so if you order it in the mail, it would be the same thing you would receive if you were to walk into a clinic… It’s extremely easy and private and allows you to truly manage your abortion yourself.
Blackmore, who called out to the show wearing a pin that read “abortion pills”, then held up a white mifepristone tablet for the audience.
“I want to show you how easy and safe it is by taking it myself,” Blackmore said.
Without further ado, she swallowed the pill and took a sip of water.
“You’re taking a — are you — you’re not pregnant, are you?” said Langton.
Blackmore said it was her third abortion. Kiessling, the anti-abortion campaigner, appeared to shake her head in disbelief.
“I have a lot of friends who have had abortions on the abortion pill and there’s really no dignity in losing your baby and screaming in your bathroom and going through contractions,” Kiessling said.
Kiessling also promoted a treatment to “reverse” the effects of abortion pills. Anti-abortion groups claim that the hormone progesterone can stop a medical abortion.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has called such procedures potentially dangerous and unethical. A 2019 study designed to test abortion pill reversal has ended due to security issues — three women required medical treatment for severe bleeding.
Related: Proposed ballot initiative would add abortion rights to Michigan Constitution
Kiessling also said she opposes the use of levonorgestrel, also known as Plan B or the morning after pill. This is another FDA approved drug used as emergency contraception and taken after unprotected sex to reduce the risk of pregnancy.
In a Facebook post posted after the interview, Kiessling said Blackmore’s display was disturbing and brought him to tears after the TV segment ended.
“Pray for Jax Blackmore to change his mind and cancel the abortion pill, pray for his baby, pray for all of us, pray for an end to abortion,” Kiessling wrote.
Kiessling drew attention to a controversial piece of performance art that Blackmore created during her activism with the Satanic Temple. As seen in the documentary “Hail Satan?” Blackmore performed a “ritual” where she said, “We’re going to storm press conferences, kidnap an executive, release snakes in the governor’s mansion, execute the president.”
Blackmore is a former spokesperson for the Satanic Temple and founder of its Detroit chapter. She described the organization as non-religious, saying its members do not literally worship demons or the concept of “Satan”. Blackmore also does not identify as a Satanist and has not been a member of the Satanic Temple since 2018.
Blackmore has since explained that the artwork was not intended as a threat and intentionally did not name specific politicians. Instead, the intention was to broadly criticize political power.
Blackmore went into more detail about his style of provocative activism in response to questions from MLive.
“As an artist and activist, I am interested in creating actions that inspire others to recalibrate their point of view, inspire discussion, and empower individuals to seek creative modes of confrontation,” said said Blackmore. “My process involves identifying moments that provide a platform for critical discourse, developing a performative spectacle that addresses the issue, and bringing the performance to public spaces in a way that transforms passive viewers into participants themselves. same. When faced with something uncomfortable and unfamiliar, we are often forced to assess our own beliefs.
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