A pro-choice activist left a pro-life campaigner ‘in tears’ after taking an abortion pill to ‘end a pregnancy’ during a shocking live TV interview.
Jex Blackmore appeared on Fox 2 News Detroit‘s ‘Let It Rip’ segment on Sunday to discuss the Food and Drug Administration’s decision last month to allow abortion pills to be prescribed via telehealth and mailed to patients.
Host Charlie Langton, 61, moderated the debate between Blackmore and Rebecca Kiessling, 52, a pro-life campaigner and lawyer.
‘They’re incredibly safe,’ Blackmore said of the pills, while explaining how the mail-order system works. ‘It is extremely easy and private and allows you to really self-manage your abortion.’
Pro-choice activist Jex Blackmore (left) took an abortion pill during a live television debate with pro-life campaigner Rebecca Kiessling (right)
Blackmore appeared on Fox 2 News Detroit on Sunday to discuss the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to allow abortion pills to be mailed to patients
The activist then held up a white pill, claiming it was mifepristone, a progesterone blocker that stops the growth of a pregnancy that is less than 10 weeks along.
Blackmore explained mifepristone was the first of two pills that a person would take to terminate a pregnancy. The second, misoprostol, causes cramping and bleeding to empty the uterus.
‘I want to show you how easy it is, and safe it is, by taking it myself,’ she said before putting it in her mouth, washing it down with a sip of water, and smiling at the camera.
A stunned Langton could barely get his words out when he asked: ‘You’re not pregnant, are you?’
‘I would say that this is going to end a pregnancy,’ Blackmore replied. ‘This would be my third abortion.’
Kiessling closed her eyes and shook her head in response before arguing against the pill, saying there is ‘no dignitary in it.’
She also said the abortion pill is reversible using certain hormones — a claim the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says is ‘not based on science’ and one that does ‘not meet clinical standards.’
Blackmore said she ‘wanted to show how easy and safe it is by taking it.’ She put a white pill into her mouth and swallowed it, leaving host Charlies Langton (left) open-mouthed in shock
Blackmore claimed the pill was mifepristone, a progesterone blocker that stops the growth of a pregnancy. It is the first of two pills a person would take to terminate a pregnancy
The second abortion pill, misoprostol, causes cramping and bleeding to empty the uterus
Kiessling later wrote a lengthy Facebook slamming Blackmore for ‘callously’ [beginning] the process of killing her baby on TV.’
‘After the segment ended, I just broke down in tears,’ she said. ‘It’s like someone pushing a button for a drone strike on innocent victims like it’s nothing because they don’t see them, while the rest of us are fully aware of the carnage to ensue, the shocking loss of life.’
Pro-life commenters responded to Kiessling’s posts about the television interview with shock and outrage, with some accusing Blackburn of faking a pregnancy.
‘Just watched this and am shaking. So insane,’ one person wrote, while another added: ‘I’m so sorry you had to witness that. Prayers for you.’
‘She probably isn’t pregnant, and it was probably an aspirin,’ someone else claimed. ‘Pure evil.’
Others called out Kiessling for spreading misinformation about the abortion pill, which the FDA has determined is safe and effective.
‘The pill effects are not reversible in any way shape or form, the fact you don’t know this is just wild,’ one critic wrote.
‘It’s totally safe and should be widely available to all women who do not want religious nutcases ruining their lives,’ someone else argued.
Kiessling closed her eyes and shook her head in response before arguing against the pill, saying there is ‘no dignitary in it’
Blackmore tweeted about taking an abortion pill on live TV after the segment. In an email to The Washington Post, she said it was ‘no charade’
After the show, Kiessling slammed Blackmore’s actions, accusing her of ‘killing her child on TV,’ adding that she ‘broke down in tears’ when the broadcast ended
Blackmore tweeted about taking the abortion pill life on air and was met with support from other pro-choice activists.
‘I’ve never needed to use this, but I absolutely would have if I had needed it,’ one woman wrote. ‘Well done to you for trying to end the stigma of termination. #prochoice #MyBodyMyChoice it’s nobody else’s business what you do with your body.’
‘Good! WE need to be the ones in control of our own uterus,’ someone else shared, while another added: ‘Thank you for doing that. We need to end the stigma and lies associated with abortion.’
Like Kiessling, Blackmore also faced backlash from opponents.
‘I’m pro choice, but to be so flippant about it and to seek attention for it is disturbing,’ one critic tweeted.
‘Why would you want the ending of life to be so trivial and unimportant?!?!’ another asked. ‘If you don’t want a baby then take birth control!! Murder is murder.’
In an email to The Washington Post, Blackmore said her claim that she took mifepristone on live TV was ‘no charade.’
‘Abortion is a common and safe medical procedure surrounded by stigma,’ she wrote. ‘Stigma keeps people silent about their personal experiences and creates space for harmful, inaccurate narratives. My action was intended to dispel some of those myths, misinformation, and stigma.’
During her appearance on the show, Kiessling touted misinformation about the abortion pill being reversible using certain hormones
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says the claim is ‘not based on science’ and one that does ‘not meet clinical standards’
Blackmore, who is known for courting controversy, was the founder of the Detroit chapter of The Satanic Temple (TST), a nontheistic human rights organization that promotes egalitarianism, social justice, and the separation of religion and state.
She was later expelled from the group for espousing views that were not in line with the larger TST ethos.
In December, the FDA permanently lifted a restriction on an abortion pill that prevented prescribers from sending it through the mail.
Under prior U.S. regulations, the pill had to be dispensed in clinics or hospitals by specially-certified providers who had to sign an agreement and obtain the patient’s signature to acknowledge the provider informed them about the drug.
The new ruling allows patients to have a telemedicine appointment with a provider who can prescribe abortion pills and send them by mail.
However, it did not override the regulations in 19 states — mainly in the south and the Midwest — where telemedicine visits for the pills are banned.
Women who live in states that do not allow telemedicine for abortion pills must travel to a state that does, but they may be in any location within the state for the telehealth visit and can receive the pills at any address in the state.
Blackmore founded the Detroit chapter of The Satanic Temple (TST), a nontheistic human rights organization that promotes egalitarianism, social justice, and the separation of religion and state
However, she was later expelled from the group for espousing views that were not in line with the larger TST ethos
Blackmore and Kiessling’s appearance on ‘Let It Rip’ aired during the weekend of the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that guarantees a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion.
Laws severely restricting abortion have been passed in multiple Republican-led states, but have been struck down by the courts for violating Roe v. Wade.
In December, the conservative-led Supreme Court heard arguments on a Mississippi law that prohibits abortions after 15 weeks — about two months earlier than Roe v. Wade allows.
The decision, which could overturn or uphold Roe v. Wade, won’t come until late spring or early summer 2022.
Another law in Texas bans abortion after six weeks, when some say a heartbeat in the womb can be detected but before many women even know they are pregnant.
It is the most restrictive abortion law passed in the U.S. since the procedure was guaranteed as a constitutional right nearly five decades ago.
Texas Senate Bill 8, which went into force in September, differs from other efforts in that it attempts to insulate the state from claims of rights violations by giving members of the public the ability to sue doctors who perform abortions — or anyone who helps facilitate them — once a heartbeat in the womb is detected.
They can be rewarded with $10,000 for initiating civil suits that land in court, prompting criticism that the state is encouraging people to take the law into their own hands.
Earlier this month, U.S. Supreme Court dealt another blow to opponents of a Texas law that bans most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. In a 6-3 decision, the court rejected a request by abortion providers to have the case sent to a district judge who had previously moved to block the law
Abortion supporters and protestors gathered outside the U.S. Supreme Court in November as the high court heard arguments in two challenges to the Texas law
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, rejected a request by abortion providers to have the case sent to a district judge who had previously moved to block the Texas law.
Instead, the case will remain with the conservative 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The majority did not provide any comment on their decision, but the three liberal justices on the nation’s highest court penned a scathing dissent.
‘Today, for the fourth time, this Court declines to protect pregnant Texans from egregious violations of their constitutional rights,’ Justice Sonia Sotomayor said.
‘This case is a disaster for the rule of law and a grave disservice to women in Texas, who have a right to control their own bodies,’ Sotomayor said. ‘I will not stand by silently as a State continues to nullify this constitutional guarantee.’
Public opinion polls have found most Americans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases. But a segment of the population, particularly on the religious right, has never accepted the Roe v. Wade ruling and has campaigned to have it overturned.
While weighing in on the Supreme Court’s response to the Texas law and the possible upholding of the Mississippi law, Blackmore told The Post that the ‘anti-abortion movement has been celebrating what looks like a victory to them, but this victory is largely symbolic.’
‘With medical mail-order abortion, we’ve actually expanded access more than ever before,’ she added.