By Kerry Uhlenkott
Planned Parenthood has initiated plans nationwide to install what are called “web cam” facilities in all of the states. In Idaho, we have convincing evidence that they want to implement web cam facilities in our state, as they have already done in Iowa. If this becomes a reality, web cam abortions could be done here.
A web cam abortion is one that is enabled by a video conferencing system that actually replaces face-to-face consultation between the doctor and his patient. The doctor never meets or directly examines the mother, but instead is located at one central Planned Parenthood facility and talks with the woman located at another satellite facility via a video computer monitor. This satellite facility and the mother could be miles or hours away from the doctor, where no physician is actually present.
If the woman decides to have a chemical abortion, the doctor enters a command on a computer keyboard which remotely opens a drawer miles away at the woman’s location.
The drawer contains the two very potent drugs which will kill and expel her unborn child. The mother is instructed to take the first drug, mifepristone, in the office while the doctor observes via the monitor. This drug will gradually kill her unborn child over the next couple of days. She is instructed to take the second drug home and administer it to herself there. This drug is misoprostol, a prostaglandin, which will stimulate powerful uterine contractions to expel the dead baby. The mother will deliver her dead child at home — alone.
Promoters of web cam abortions would have us believe that web cam abortion is a legitimate form of telemedicine and is very safe. But chemical abortions — which combine these two very potent drugs — can have significant physical and physiological health risks for the mother. And, of course, there is added risk for the mother if there are complications or an emergency, because the “virtual” doctor is absent and may be hours and miles away.
As stated, during a web cam abortion, the woman is never actually in the same room as the abortionist. The doctor never does an actual physical examination to accurately ascertain the state of the mother’s health and to ensure that an ectopic pregnancy is not involved. While the woman enters into virtual reality with the doctor on the monitor, it is not the actual reality of having a face-to-face visit and real examination with “her doctor.” A web-cam abortion is an abortion by remote control, done by a total stranger.
Abortion by remote control can be very dangerous for the health of the woman. Of course, it is always fatal to the child, and can also be fatal for the mother who is home alone and completely absent from any medical care. Complications of chemical abortions already have included hemorrhage, infection and death.
If there are problems, the doctor may be hours away and the woman’s facility may not be equipped to do surgery or handle some of the more serious complications or emergencies that can and have occurred. There is no keyboard “help key” for these situations.
Remember the Planned Parenthood slogan: “An abortion should be between a woman and her doctor.” Perhaps Planned Parenthood should edit that now to say: “An abortion should be between a woman and the doctor on the monitor.”
As has been done in 17 other states, the pro-life movement in Idaho has introduced common sense legislation to protect at least the woman’s health by requiring the physical presence of the physician when performing a chemical abortion.
Please ask your Idaho state senators and representatives to vote for House Bill 88. Contact your state legislators by calling: 332-1000 or go to www.legislature.idaho.gov.
* Kerry Uhlenkott is legislative coordinator of Right to Life of Idaho, NRLC’s state affiliate.