Veterinary and medical professionals in Wisconsin said Friday that they have been warned about a potentially alarming practice among the state’s rural youth: teenage girls ingesting livestock drugs to cheaply and discreetly end their unwanted pregnancies.
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.
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.
At the American Veterinary Medical Association, Assistant Director Kimberly May said Friday that her organization first heard the rumor about the teenagers in mid-February from the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association. Since then, the American Animal Hospital Association has also posted an advisory about the issue on its Web site.
Injected properly in livestock, prostaglandins shorten a heat cycle so a female animal can be bred again, May said.