National Right to Life on Guttmacher Data Showing Increase in Percentage of Chemical Abortions in 2020

WASHINGTON — On Thursday, the Guttmacher Institute released preliminary numbers from its periodic survey of abortionists showing that, for the year 2020, 54% of abortions were chemical abortions.

“This is a trend that we’ve been seeing for years as abortion advocates have urged the loosening of the safety protocols for chemical abortions,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “The abortion industry has pushed for lowering protections for women undergoing a chemical abortion, while it peddles lies about the ease of the method.”

The Guttmacher Institute does not give hard numbers showing how many abortions 54% actually represents. Guttmacher said that this percentage is based on “preliminary findings from ongoing data collection” for 2020 to be filled out with “final estimates” to be released “in late 2022.” The percentage could change as data from more “providers” comes in, but Guttmacher does not expect the proportion for chemical abortions to fall below 50%.

Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved the sale of mifepristone in September of 2000, there has been a slow and steady climb in chemical abortions. The FDA modified regulations of mifepristone abortions in March of 2016 by broadening the prescriber pool to include any “certified healthcare provider,” adjusting doses (lowering costs to prescribers), extending the use cut off from seven weeks to ten weeks from the last menstrual period, and dropping the requirement for in-person follow-up visits.

FDA requirements that mifepristone only be delivered to patients in person were suspended during the pandemic and were eventually dropped entirely. This allowed for the prescription of abortion pills by telemedicine and delivery by overnight mail without any direct physical exam.

“Promoters of these pills like to trumpet high safety rates, but they neglect to mention that with hundreds of thousands of women taking these pills, even a couple of percentage points of women hemorrhaging, dealing with infections, and ectopic pregnancy, represents thousands of women desperately seeking emergency medical treatment, which may or may not be nearby,” said Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., director of Education and Research for National Right to Life.