Neuroscientist discusses research findings on abortion pill

Grace Murphy
Social Media Manager

A neuroscientist shared his research findings on the negative effects of the abortion pill on rats at a talk Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Gentile Gallery.

Stephen Sammut, who holds a doctorate in neuroscience, presented the results of his experiments on the abortion pill in rats, which pointed to negative behavior and physiology following the chemical abortions. These results were published in a 2019 paper titled “Biological, Behavioral and Physiological Consequences of Drug-Induced Pregnancy Termination at First-Trimester Human Equivalent in an Animal Model.”

His findings indicate that the pregnant group of rats who received the abortion pill displayed a significant decrease in body weight, a significant decrease in food intake and decreased exploratory movement around their cages.

“This loss of weight, as a result of the abortion, indicates that the abortion is doing something negative to the animal’s behavior,” he said.

Sammut began his lecture by giving the background information behind his study. His background information included explanations of different types of abortion procedures and statistics on abortion.

He then moved into the experimental design of his research. He said he chose rats as the model organism for this experiment because they display similar physiology to humans but are independent of the social influences that affect humans.

Next, Sammut explained his results.

Sammut said the significant decrease in body weight in the abortion-induced group was not due to the weight of losing the pregnancy. He said there was a group of pregnant rats in the non-abortion group that naturally miscarried, which showed no significant decrease in body weight relative to the control.

Sammut said, “There was no significant change in food consumption between the rats that had the natural miscarriage relative to those that gave birth normally.”

After his presentation, Sammut took time to answer audience questions about the research. Sammut also had copies of his paper available for students who wanted one.

Sophomore Gabrielle Falter said, “I thought it was extremely interesting — the whole control group with the natural miscarriage and the differences between that and the ones who actually had an abortion. The results were actually quite drastic.”

The lecture was cohosted by Students for Life and Franciscan University Student Government (FUSG). Senior Alex McKenna, FUSG president, introduced Sammut before his presentation.


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