By Chris Gast, Right to Life of Michigan Education Coordinator
On December 16 2021, the FDA permanently approved the prescribing of RU-486, the abortion pill, over telemedicine appointments. In February of 2021, the FDA temporarily approved the use of the abortion pill through telemedicine due to the COVID pandemic shutdowns. This approval eliminates the REMS requirement that in-person examinations and ultrasounds must be conducted before prescribing the pill to women.
The abortion pill, also known as RU-486, mifepristone/misoprostol, medical abortion, or chemical abortion, has been a danger to women since the moment it was created in 1982 in France. In-person examinations and ultrasound are conducted to make sure that the woman is not experiencing an ectopic pregnancy or rh negative. It is important that the pregnancy also be dated properly to make sure that it is 10 weeks or earlier. Once the woman has completed the regime of mifepristone and then misoprostol at her home, a follow-up appointment is necessary to make sure that the abortion was complete and there are no body parts left in the uterus. This process is already life-threatening to the mother and of course to the baby who is being aborted as the mother goes through labor alone and without readily medical intervention. It typically takes 24 hours for the abortion to be completed as the woman experiences heavy bleeding, stomach cramping, and the emotional trauma of having an abortion. The success rate of the abortion varies according to how far along the pregnancy is as the abortion pill is only permitted up until 10-weeks.
In the U.S., states are not required to report their yearly abortion statistics to the CDC. California, New Hampshire, and Maryland refuse to report any data on abortion to the CDC and the rest of the states that do report, are not held to accuracy or truthfulness when publishing their numbers. According to the 2019 CDC report that was recently released, 24 deaths resulted from medical abortions with 4,000 complications. Complications typically include incomplete abortions, infection from ectopic pregnancy, and excessive bleeding.
A 2009 study from “Obstetrics and Gynecology” found that the complication rate for medical abortions was 20% while complications for surgical abortions was 5.6%. Medical abortions that are incomplete are then followed up with a surgical abortion to stop any infection that may be taking place in the uterus.
The CDC 2019 reported that 629,898 abortions took place in the U.S. Just within 2019, the percentage of abortions performed through the abortion pill increased from 38.6% to 42.3%. Within Michigan, 29,669 abortions took place in 2020 and of those 29,669, 15,333 were completed by the abortion pill. The majority of abortions in Michigan are done through the abortion pill and that number is only going to increase as it becomes more accessible and less restricted.
The lack of restrictions and supervision of the abortion pill will result in future problems for all parties involved. Telemedicine appointments were created for patients that lived in rural areas or who didn’t feel comfortable being in-person during COVID. Typically, the doctor who is overseeing the patient is not located within the area and cannot intervene if complications were to arise during the abortion. Due to this factor, the woman is then advised to go to the emergency room where the doctors and nurses are then responsible to clean up the complications whether its an incomplete abortion and an infection. This is an incentive for abortion facilities to promote the abortion pill because they will not be responsible for the prep or clean-up of the abortion, therefore less money will be spent.
There is also a concern with the abortion pill getting into the wrong hands. Women and children who are being abused or trafficked could fall victim to their abusers using the abortion pill to cover up their crimes. There would be no way for a doctor or health care provider to know who exactly is receiving the drug because they are not taking it in-person at the office.
The bottom line is that the abortion pill, a deadly and dangerous drug, will be shipped all throughout the country through the mailing system. This drug and the method of taking it alone, unsupervised, and not evaluated will result in more deaths and complications.