I don’t know if you clicked through, but earlier Prin posted a link to this story about how there are rumors of girls in Wisconsin taking livestock drugs to induce abortions. I was all prepared to write a post being all “Holy Jesus, how could this be happening?” But then I read the story and did some googling. And every single story about girls shooting themselves with cow medication seems to come back to one woman saying that she knows of ten girls who have done this. I quote:
So far, the professionals in animal and human health and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction are treating the reports of girls inducing their own abortions with prostaglandins – drugs commonly used by cow breeders to regulate animals’ heat cycles – as rumors, because no cases have been officially confirmed by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
But Anna Anderson, the executive director of Care Net Pregnancy Center of Green County in Monroe, maintains that she has identified at least 10 girls ages 14 to 18 in a three-county area who admitted to taking some form of cow abortifacient in the past year. Care Net is part of a large system of pro-life, Christian-affiliated pregnancy resource centers that counsel women against abortions.
Anderson said the girls told her they took it because they found it to be a cheap and easy way to end their pregnancies without their parents finding out.
And I find this interesting because it sounds plausibe until you start to consider the details as we have them. A cow weighs quite a bit and a teenage girl, in comparison, doesn’t. So, girls are supposed to be self-medicating in this way and yet no one has ended up in the hospital or dead? How would teenage girls find out about this? The articles mention emails and websites, but I tried googling every thing I could think of that might bring up a site that would tell me how to induce an abortion with prostaglandin drugs, and the sites Google found, no matter what terms I used, seemed only to bring up stories about how Anna Anderson is telling everyone that girls are doing this. And email? In this day of cell phones and text messages, do kids send email anymore?
But weirder still–why would girls who have already done this report it to Anna Anderson? She runs a pregnancy center that counsels women against having abortions. Are the girls in Green County so depraved that after they have abortions, they come in to brag to the anti-abortion folks about what they’ve done? Taunt them with their acts? If so, then why supposedly go to the effort to have an abortion in a way that can be kept hidden? Don’t get me wrong. I know teenage girls are idiots, but it strains credulity to think that they’d be so desperate to hide their abortions that they’d inject cow drugs to keep their parents from finding out, but then they’d go brag to the local anti-abortion crusader–who seems to have a remarkably big mouth, with the calling of the school and the spreading it to the media–like it was no big thing.
So, the whole thing seems implausible. Highly implausible.
So why tell it?
Why would Anna Anderson make this up? In a weird way, it almost seems like she’s hoping that a girl near where she is will hear about this method and try it, thus confirming the story and proving that she was right all along. But she’s right that a kid could die trying this, and I think we have to give Anderson the benefit of the doubt that she’s not hoping for anyone’s death.
Okay then what? Is she trying to signal to the parents and school officials in her community that she is someone who must be listened to because she knows things about the children in their care that they don’t? And what would that be? That they might be sluts and you’d never know it?
Or is it some kind of anxiety about living in a farming community and seeing that livestock’s reproduction is manipulated casually in ways that you find completely inappropriate for humans?
Is it about the threat of girls being able to do what they want with their bodies without anyone knowing? A way for her to call a bluff on girls who might be considering an abortion of any kind? Trying to insinuate that they may think that what they’ve done is a secret but that she will find out and she will tell?
I’m not sure.
But I find it strange.