Texas Planned Parenthood says 4-fold increase in chemical abortions since FDA relaxed protocol

By Dave Andrusko

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fdabuilding91reSince pro-lifers have no insiders inside the Guttmacher Institute, we can only speculate why it takes forever and a day (three years or so) for this pro-abortion think-tank to update its abortion statistics. And that’s important because, in spite of its former association with Planned Parenthood and its clear “abortion-rights” posture, Guttmacher’s numbers are considered the best, because they aggressive seek out data rather than passively wait for them, as does the Centers for Disease Control.

It’s not necessarily surprising that a major Planned Parenthood affiliate (in this case Planned Parenthood of Greater Dallas) would be able to grind out abortion numbers. But whether numbers produced so quickly are completely accurate–or serving an agenda, or both–is another question.

Consider, it was barely a month ago that the FDA retroactively affirmed the decision by PPFA to unilaterally change the way the two-drug “RU-486” abortion technique is implemented.

For our regular readers, you recall that the FDA, modified dosages [more of the cheaper misoprostol, less of the more expensive mifepristone], changed the administration, reduced the number of visits [eliminated the second visit altogether], expanded the prescriber pool [no longer confined to just doctors], and extended the length of pregnancy the drugs may be used [from 7 to 10 weeks].

So here’s the lead from a story written by Anna M. Tinsely that appeared this week in the reliably pro-abortion Star-Telegram:

There’s been a sharp increase in the number of Texas women who are using the abortion pill to end their pregnancies now that federal officials have eased restrictions on the drug, according to officials at Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas.

Until recently, the number of women seeking medically induced abortions at Texas’ Planned Parenthood facilities had dipped to about 1 percent because of stringent guidelines put in place by state lawmakers, officials say.

That changed in late March, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration relaxed guidelines for women taking mifepristone, a pill geared to induce abortion early in a pregnancy.

“We have seen a fourfold increase in the number of our patients choosing medication abortion since the FDA updated its protocol,” said Sarah J. Wheat, chief external affairs officer at Planned Parenthood. “From our perspective, it’s restoring options for women.”

Okay, so there are numbers, right?

No firm numbers are available yet, but Texas researchers and abortion providers say they see the increase and hope to have better estimates in the coming months.

Is this an example of the wish being father to the thought?

As NRL News Today reported, following the FDA’s March 30 decision there are many, many questions that remain unanswered.

Congress is interested as well. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Senator James Lankford (R-OK), joined by 73 of their colleagues, send a letter to Dr. Robert M. Califf, M.D., the FDA’s Commissioner, “requesting information about the agency’s recent decision to change its policies regarding the abortion drug mifepristone.”

Included are such issues as

  • A thoroughly updated “Postmarketing Adverse Events Summary” including any reported deaths associated with mifepristone through December 2015. The current available data on Adverse Events has only been updated through April 2011.
  • A copy of all documents, studies and other evidence used to assess the safety and efficacy of the Mifeprex (mifepristone) changes announced on March 30, 2016.

NRL News Today will keep you up to date on further developments