Friday, October 23, 2020
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Abortion? There’s an app for that

Nowadays, missions aren’t the only thing you can abort in video games. The new Mexican-based video game is called ¿No Te Baja?, which means “Missed Your Period?” and it teaches players (i.e., pregnant senioritas) to safely perform a medical abortion on themselves. As you can imagine, the game has caused a lot of controversy, and there are even people on the pro-choice side of the abortion debate who are against the game. But are they right?

The 19-year-old protagonist, Claudia, begins the game by saying ”To avoid judgment and fear, it is always useful to step into the shoes of another person.” According to RH Reality Check, the game is an app-style “choose your own adventure” game, where you click through various scenarios that change around your personal situation and decisions.

MamasLatinas then describes it this way:

The game then takes women through the use of Misoprostol, a drug that is actually supposed to treat ulcers but is available over the counter throughout Mexico and often used in parts of the country where abortion is illegal. But since pharmacists don’t know how to use it safely, this game women who need it “each detailed step of the process of self-administering a medical abortion” including “if it will be safe to self-administer.”

Women in their first trimester can legally get abortions in Mexico City, but many other states don’t allow this. Therefore, the game teaches them how to use “Misoprostol” to do it themselves. LifeNews has this to say:

In countries where RU486 [a two-drug procedure] is not legal but misoprostol is legal for purposes other than abortion, women, at the encouragement of abortion activists, have tried using the misoprostol alone to induce their abortions. However it does not induce an abortion in a significant percentage of women and has been associated with a high number of developmental anomalies among those children who do survive, as we have reported numerous times.

They argue that the game is harmful and there’s a risk that is not being communicated. Irina Gonzalez from MamasLatinas agrees; and her opinion is not so biased because she is pro-choice:

Honestly, this is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard when it comes to a woman’s right to choose. As someone whose mami had an abortion and I fully support her difficult decision, it completely breaks my heart that some women have to resort to putting their own lives in danger to terminate an unwanted pregnancy because their government outlaws this basic right.

It’s seriously infuriating and I’m very afraid for the women who have to use this game to do it themselves. I just hope that they can stay safe until the government overturns their awful decision.

I don’t have a strong opinion about the drug itself because I am even more ignorant than the Mexican pharmacists who apparently know little or nothing about it. But as far as a tool for education, I would say it’s a good thing as long as the information is accurate (I don’t know if it is). I say it’s good because I believe that education is good. Being informed is good. Once someone is educated, they can make a more informed decision about what to do.

I agree with Gonzalez, though, that laws should allow abortions everywhere. I think the recent case of the woman who died in Ireland because she wasn’t allowed to get an abortion that would have saved her life is a good enough reason for this.

I’m not sure if this video game is going to help or harm, but just playing it isn’t going to make things worse. People just need to know what they’re doing.

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