Planned Parenthood fights requirement of pelvic exam prior to a chemical abortion

By Dave Andrusko

We’ve previously written (and will again tomorrow) about women leaving states with protective abortion laws to go to Illinois where abortions are easy to come by, there is no requirement that women reflect on their decision, and the industry is essentially unregulated.

But here’s a new low, even by Planned Parenthood’s standards.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in a story that ran Tuesday, reported that “Enforcement of a rule requiring women to have a pelvic exam before receiving a pill abortion is sending Missouri’s Planned Parenthood patients to Illinois.”

Reporter Jack Suntrup channeled the response of the abortion industry captured by Dr. David Eisenberg, medical director at Planned Parenthood in the Central West End, who told Suntrup that he informs women they can go to Illinois—which “100%” do.

Suntrup wrote that the Department of Health and Senior Services’ [DHSS] requirement “puts the state at odds with guidance from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, or ACOG, which does not recommend requiring pelvic exams prior to medication abortions. The group says pelvic exams are medically unnecessary prior to medication abortions in most cases.”

What does the very pro-abortion ACOG specifically say?

“Any decision to perform a pelvic exam should include a discussion of the potential benefits and risks, and emphasize shared decision making between a patient and provider — patient understanding and consent to the procedure are paramount.”

It’s worth noting that the Planned Parenthood closest to NRLC —Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC —tells women that a pelvic exam may be given prior to a “medication abortion.”

Even Eisenberg acknowledges that “state regulations have long required pelvic exams prior to abortions,” Suntrup writes, but counters that the rules shouldn’t apply to medication (chemical) abortions.

Eisenberg told the Post-Dispatch that “even though pelvic exams were technically required for all abortions, the state had not cited Planned Parenthood for omitting the exams prior to medication abortions. That changed in March, Eisenberg said, when the DHSS cited Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region for not complying with the pelvic exam requirement.”

“Pelvic exams are very much a part of standard care for women receiving gynecological services,” Dr. Randall Williams, director of the DHSS and a board certified obstetrician with 30+ years of experience, told the Post-Dispatch. “We think that our job is to ensure the safety of women undergoing these procedures.”

Missouri has been in the forefront of passing legislation to protect the health and safety of women. That includes requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles; abortion clinics to meet the requirements of ambulatory surgical centers; and a regulation requiring that abortion providers performing chemical abortions have two Ob-Gyns on call 24/7 who have admitting privileges.