As the abortion debate rages across the United States, one woman is battling her own dark memories and the pharmacy who ruined her life. Here’s how a drug mixup ended her chance to build the family she always dreamed of.
States to Decide
When the United State Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in the summer of 2022, they threw the debate over abortion rights back to individual states.
Abortion Debate Has Exploded
Now legislators and voters from coast to coast and from Texas to Ohio are grappling with how to handle reproductive rights in their states.
Not All About Abortion
While most of the headlines focus on the medical procedures involved in terminating a pregnancy, there are related issues that wiggle into the conversation from time to time.
One of those related issues is the use of abortion pills to achieve the same effect of terminating a pregnancy.
Same Argument, Less Shouting
The arguments over abortion pills usually take the same form as the fights over abortion procedures themselves, even if the cage matches end up being slightly more civil.
The Bible Tells Them So
Pro-lifers argue that the abortion pills kill babies, with many citing religious considerations.
Pills of Choice
Meanwhile, proponents of the pills argue that they’re all part of a woman’s right to choose what happens with her body and her life.
Something Else to Think About
The idea that these powerful drugs could have unintended consequences for women and families seldom comes up in heated conversations.
She Knows the Danger
But Tamika Thomas, a mother of four from Las Vegas, knows all too well the dangers presented by the mere existence of abortion pills.
They Wanted One More
Back in 2019, Thomas and her husband decided to have one more baby.
Their dream had always been to have a big family, and they wanted to add one more member before time ran out.
Big Baby Problems
The problem was that Thomas ran into serious problems with two pregnancies, bad enough that she had to have her fallopian tubes removed.
That meant she couldn’t conceive in the normal way.
They Found a Way
Determined to have a fifth child, though, Thomas and her husband opted for IVF treatments.
They Wanted to Be Sure
After implanting a fertilized egg in her uterus, doctors prescribed a fertility drug that would help ensure Thomas’ new pregnancy was viable.
Thomas had the prescription filled at a local CVS, then headed home and took the meds.
She knew something was wrong right away.
All Was Lost
Doubled over with cramps, Thomas ended up bleeding and panicked.
When she went to the doctor, they confirmed her worst fears – the baby was lost.
They Found the Culprit
In the aftermath of the tragedy, Thomas and her doctors retraced their steps, and it all led back to the CVS that filled her prescription.
A Deadly Mixup
It turned out that the pharmacy tech had typed in the wrong drug name, and two pharmacists failed to notice.
The result was that Thomas took abortion pills instead of fertility pills.
Slap on the Wrist
Thomas filed a complaint with the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy, who didn’t make their ruling until September of 2023.
The two pharmacists received fines and a year of probation, while the pharmacy was fined for $10,000.
No Amount Would Be Enough
Those punishments feel nothing to Thomas, who admits that no amount of remediation could replace what she lost.
Not Enough Medication in the World
“There’s not enough therapy. There’s not enough medication that’ll take the thoughts away. That will take the pain away,” Thomas said in a report on a Las Vegas news station.
A Cautionary Tale
While seemingly rare, tragic stories like Tamika Thomas’ will no doubt be told over and over as the abortion debate rages on.
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