Iowa legislators are currently considering a bill that would prohibit abortionists from dispensing the abortion pill by mail. House File 2119 would require that the abortion pill be dispensed in person in a health care setting. Violators would be charged with a misdemeanor. The bill was advanced by the House Human Resources Committee last week and now heads to consideration on the full House floor.
“We’ve heard from Iowa women that have had severe complications from RU-486 [the abortion pill] and have felt like they’re going to bleed to death, oftentimes in their bathroom,” said Maggie Dewitte, executive director of Pulse Life Advocates, a pro-life group in Iowa that is pushing for the new law.
The FDA recently decided to loosen abortion pill restrictions and allow abortionists to send the pills by mail, but despite this decision, there are reasons to ensure an in-person, physical exam and testing prior to women taking the abortion pill. For instance, only a physical examination can rule out an ectopic pregnancy. When a woman experiencing an ectopic pregnancy takes the abortion pill, the result can be deadly, as was seen recently in a tragic case out of India. In fact, while the United States FDA has loosened restrictions on the abortion pill, officials in India are sounding the alarm and warning of the dangers of these self-managed abortions.
While the abortion pill is deadly for the preborn child, it is also extremely dangerous for the woman taking it. Research shows that it is four times more dangerous than a first-trimester surgical abortion, and complications include incomplete abortion, hemorrhaging, infection, and even death. Additionally, approximately 6% of women who take the abortion pill require emergency care for complications. When a woman receives the abortion pill without the direct oversight of a medical provider, she faces a higher risk of experiencing these dangerous complications alone, at home, without medical assistance.
Despite the federal decision to loosen regulations, states are still able to pass their own restrictions regarding the distribution of the abortion pill. In considering this legislation, Iowa joins other states like Texas and South Dakota who are passing abortion pill restriction laws with the safety of women in mind.
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