Planned Parenthood of WI suspends RU-486 abortions

A potential milestone for pro-lifers in Wisconsin.

Statewide organization Pro-life Wisconsin announces:

On Friday Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin announced their indefinite suspension of medication-induced abortions across the state, citing the effect of Wisconsin Act 217 – the Coercive and Webcam Abortion Prevention Act. Pro-Life Wisconsin welcomed the news, telling WGBA-TV in Green Bay, “Any day Planned Parenthood is not performing an RU-486 abortion is a good one.” However, we remain suspicious of their plans.

In the late 1990s following the enactment of the state partial birth abortion restriction law, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI) “announced” the suspension of all surgical abortions in the state. That suspension lasted only a few days, later followed by an injunction prohibiting enforcement of the new law. Is this game being replayed by Planned Parenthood? Are they really going to give up one-fourth of their abortion business so easily? Hopefully, but we shall see in the days ahead.

In the meantime, we are pleased PPWI has suspended the reckless and dangerous practice of RU-486 (mifepristone) abortions. The average woman loses four times the amount of blood in a drug-induced medical abortion as compared to a standard surgical abortion. Several deaths have been attributed to mifepristone and therefore its prescription and use – from a medical standpoint – ought to be highly restricted, if not banned.

In 2010, Pro-Life Wisconsin warned of the likelihood of RU-486 web cam abortions in Wisconsin and the health dangers of mifepristone. We reported that Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin dispenses birth control, which can act as an abortifacient, via teleconferencing. At the time, video phones, which are the size of a laptop computer, were at 10 Planned Parenthood locations, chosen because they are the organization’s Title X family planning clinics and receive funding from the federal government.

Act 217 effectively prohibits webcam abortions by requiring the prescribing physician to perform a physical exam of the woman and to be physically present in the room when the abortion-inducing drug is given. The bill also requires the woman to return to the abortion facility for a follow-up visit 12 to 18 days after the use of an abortion-inducing drug to confirm the termination of the pregnancy and evaluate her medical condition.

Tom Barrett stated he would seek to overturn Act 217, “This extreme law intrudes on the doctor-patient relationship, and is designed to throw up roadblocks to the freedom of choice.”

Even with Pro-life Wisconsin’s well-grounded misgivings, hopefully this action of Planned Parenthood’s will save a few lives. If you’re from Wisconsin, Pro-life Wisconsin has a page here for contacting your legislators.

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