Monday, August 08, 2011

Tele-Med Abortions: Planned Parenthood's Newest Tactic Poses Grave Dangers to Women

A new study says the growing practice of tele-medicine abortions, in which women are prescribed abortion-inducing medications without having a physician present, is “safe and successful”—but that declaration is dangerously deceitful.

The truth is that at least 3,534 women have been mildly to fatally affected by the pill in question, Mifepristone, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000. According to a recent FDA report, there have been 14 reported U.S. deaths.

Ibis Reproductive Health was responsible for the study—but why would a conscientious health organization promote an unsafe practice like tele-med abortion? The answer is found on the Ibis website, which says that its “projects focus on improving access to abortion.” Unfortunately, media outlets like ABC News that are using the study to advertise the safety of tele-med abortion never reveal the Ibis agenda...

Despite the elevated risk, Planned Parenthood has recommended and prescribed the abortion pill outside of FDA guidelines and without patient access to the prescribing physician. In some cases, follow-up surgery is follow-up surgery is needed to complete the abortion, a situation that increases in frequency with the length of the pregnancy.

Promoting access over safety should be cause for alarm, especially because women’s health care organizations are promoting Mifepristone so heavily. Aside from the major complications and fatalities, studies show that abortions have at least an 8 percent failure rate.  And because tele-med abortion is meant for women in rural areas with less access to emergency care, complications could be life-threatening. Pill-based abortions are painful and can take days to bleed the baby out, according to Planned Parenthood’s own website...

Making abortions more prevalent and delinking them from personalized medical care are ideological goals, not compassionate steps to improve health care. For example, since 1988, abortion rates among American teenagers have decreased by nearly 60 percent, according to Heritage’s Family Facts. Such a decrease is an accomplishment neither side of the abortion argument should want to reverse.

The Guttmacher Institute reports that five states—Arizona, Kansas, North Dakota, Nebraska and Tennessee—have already passed laws that limit tele-med abortions, but advocates like Ibis and Planned Parenthood have a vested interest in reversing such decisions. They are already targeting these states to repeal their laws.

As ABC News reported, abortion is one of the “most common procedures undergone by women.” Tele-med abortion will only make that phrase more tragically poignant.

(Ericka Andersen, The Foundry at Heritage Foundation)