By Dave Andrusko
As we’ve discussed previously, attorneys for the state of Arizona have agreed not to begin enforcing new laws that regulate chemical abortions until Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Richard Gama can consider arguments by Planned Parenthood which is contending that the new statutes are unconstitutional. At the August 22 hearing “Gama will need to decide whether to issue an injunction, placing the laws on hold while the case goes forward, or permit them to take effect,” reports Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services.
The laws prohibit nurse practitioners from performing chemical abortions (which account for about half of the abortions in Arizona) and require clinics that perform chemical abortions “to satisfy state requirements on personnel, equipment, facilities and procedures that previously were imposed only on clinics that perform surgical abortions.”
The lead sentence in a story yesterday by Maggie Pingolt for Cronkite News Service highlighted an important truth about RU486 abortions: “A sharp drop in surgical abortion procedures in Arizona has been offset in recent years by a corresponding rise in nonsurgical procedures — the abortion pill [R486].” While Arizona may be the most dramatic example, clearly this two-drug abortion technique is changing the dynamics of the abortion trade in an ever more dangerous way.
It’s very important for several reasons that the abortion industry in Arizona is using nurse practitioners.
Well before the FDA authorized American use of RU486 proponents had established the foundational myth—thanks to a willing press—that chemical abortions were safe and easy. They are neither, as NRLC Director of Education Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon explained Monday.
At least fourteen women have died after taking RU486 in the United States and at least five more abroad. Allowing non-physicians to distribute these potent drugs both solidifies the myth and increases the danger to women.
In addition, the number of providers has “leveled off,” according to Rachel Jones, a researcher for the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute. She told Rick Ruggles of the Omaha World Herald last month “many physicians are reluctant to offer the pills because they don’t want to be harassed.”
Maybe. But a more likely explanation is that they are aware of the massive number of what the FDA gingerly calls “adverse events”– 2,207 women to be exact of whom 612 had been hospitalized since 2000.
But even if the number of “providers” who dispense RU486 has leveled off, the number still rose from about 600 in 2001 to 1,066 in 2008, Guttmacher told Ruggles. Guttmacher reports an overall 25% decrease in abortion providers from 1992 to 2008. As Maggie Pingolt explains, the increase in one largely offsets the decrease in another.
There is one additional twist, principally undertaken by Planned Parenthood that both increases the number of abortions and the risk to women and plays into the reluctance of abortionists to perform surgical abortions but dispense RU486: web-cam abortions.
Under the webcam system, an abortionist, perhaps from a clinic in a large urban center, communicates with a woman at a remote location by means of a video conferencing system.
After a brief screening and counseling session, he clicks a mouse and triggers the opening of a drawer from which the woman takes out the two drugs that make up the “RU-486” chemical abortion regimen: mifepristone and misoprostol.
This is largely the brainchild of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland which is in the midst of a massive program of expansion. PP Heartland is not coy about its goal: it is to reach “underserved” populations in rural areas.
Webcam abortions are incredibly dangerous. The woman may bleed to death. She may come down with a life-threatening infection. She may unknowingly have an ectopic pregnancy; the symptoms – bleeding, pain, nausea – mirror what a woman is told to expect from a standard chemical abortion. And RU486 doesn’t always “work,” prompting surgery.
Whether it be using non-physicians to dispense RU486, “prescribing” them via webcam, or pushing to use RU486 in medically underdeveloped parts of the world, the result is the same: a larger “customer base” and more dead women.
Tomorrow Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon will take a further look at the update that is now posted on the FDA site of RU486’s “adverse events.”
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