Experimental abortion pill trial could lead to lower safety standards for women

abortion pill

This week, Right to Life of Michigan reported on an experimental trial, led by Gynuity Health Projects, to give abortion pills to women in New York, Oregon, and Washington, with “few questions asked.” As Michigan RTL notes, “this practice is not approved in the U.S. by the FDA”:

… [I]n Australia and in the Canadian province of British Columbia, this has become a common practice. All it takes is a quick call or Internet chat with an abortionist and you can receive the RU-486 abortion pills through the mail….

On [Gynuity Health’s] own website they boast of organizing abortion trade convention workshops entitled, “Medical abortion service provision: How low can we go?” and “Can we omit the screening ultrasound before medical abortion?”

At this point, reports Kaiser Health News, the “experimental trial” does require women to have an ultrasound and bloodwork before they receive their abortion pills by mail, but the fact that Gynuity is questioning the need for ultrasound screening is disturbing.

As I’ve reported before at Live Action News, ultrasound is standard procedure before abortions, though you’d never know it from the way abortion advocates fight against informed consent laws. Some have even gone so far as to compare a transvaginal ultrasound to “rape,” and yet the abortion industry itself says ultrasounds are necessary. And Live Action News’ Kristi Burton Brown has noted:

Anyone involved with abortion – and especially those who provide it – are well aware that the best way to determine gestational age and the only safe way to ensure that a woman is not suffering from an ectopic pregnancy is by conducting an ultrasound. In fact, in a gruesome twist, ultrasounds are actually what most abortionists use to determine the type of abortion they will perform. Without accurate information on gestational age, women’s lives can be put at risk….

Ectopic pregnancy is a serious, life-threatening situation. The abortion industry isn’t doing women any favors by allowing it to remain potentially undiagnosed due to a lack of proper care by a physician. Handing out abortion pills without any screening ultrasounds, as Gynuity seems to feel may be warranted, is putting women’s lives at risk.

Another reason why skipping an ultrasound before the abortion pill is an unsafe proposition is because this would leave it up to the patient to determine exactly how far her pregnancy has advanced. New FDA standards for the abortion pill (made more lax following pressure from the abortion industry) state that the abortion pill regimen should only be used up to 10 weeks gestation. If a woman judges her baby’s gestational age incorrectly and is further along than she thought, this could lead to complications for the woman and require her to undergo a surgical abortion. Former abortionist, Dr. Anthony Levatino, explains the process and risks of the abortion pill:

In discussing the abortion pill experiment, Kaiser Health News shares the anecdote of one woman, Marie, who took the abortion pill regimen with few complications:

The first pill, as expected, had little effect. The next morning, with her mother at her home to watch her toddler, she took the second. Almost immediately, the bleeding and cramping began. Within three hours, her eight-week pregnancy was over. She described the pain as a five on a 10-point scale. That night she cooked dinner for her family, and the next day she went back to work.

If this sounds too easy, that’s because for many women, taking the abortion pill has been the complete opposite experience. Christina saw her seven-week baby after delivering into the toilet — an experience she says was “worse than labor.” She ended up in the emergency room after, and continued to have contractions for two weeks. Abby spent 12 hours in the bathroom with nausea and blood clots. Another woman had contractions for 10 hours and was “sweating” and “screaming.” Another says she “writhed” in her bed and “bled profusely” for hours. Another “bled for 14 days” and got “huge, cystic boils” on her back, neck, and shoulders. These women didn’t exactly have good outcomes.

Thankfully, some women, upon taking the first of the two abortion pills they receive, change their minds and receive medical help (visit for more on this) to save their babies’ lives.

But, obviously, Gynuity isn’t really looking to save lives. “If the study shows the telemedicine and mail approach works,” said Gynuity’s Dr. Elizabeth Raymond, “that could encourage the FDA to stop restrictions on mifepristone.” And of course, that’s the goal, since 19 states currently ban telemedicine abortions. If the FDA were to buy into the idea that the abortion pill regimen is totally safe, those state laws could eventually erode. And while those in favor of telemedicine blame politics for getting in the way of free, unfettered abortion, their goal to advance it at the risk of women’s health should be heavily scrutinized. Women’s safety should be paramount, especially when you claim to be in favor of “women’s health.”

Sadly, we know that we really can’t trust the abortion industry to keep women safe. A pro-abortion “experiment” that leaves women to fend for themselves if something should go terribly wrong is just confirmation that the abortion industry isn’t about women’s health or safety. It’s about abortion.

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