Abortion Pill

Report: Abortion pill use from virtual facilities has risen sharply in Iowa

The use of telemedicine to access the abortion pill via virtual-only abortion businesses rose 200% month-over-month in Iowa between April 2022 and March 2023, according to a We Count report from the Society of Family Planning.

The report also states, “Virtual-only [abortion] services increased by 85% compared to the pre-Dobbs period, going from comprising 5% of all abortions to 9% of all abortions.” In Iowa, the actual number of abortions via virtual-only facilities rose from 20 to 60 per month.

Abortion in Iowa is currently legal until 21 weeks, six days as a lawsuit against the state’s more recent law protecting children from abortion beginning at six weeks proceeds in court. In the meantime, the use of telemedicine to commit abortions appears to be rising in the state.

In Iowa, it is legal for a woman to use telemedicine to access the abortion pill, however, the woman must visit the abortion facility for an ultrasound before taking the two-drug regimen.

Carafem, a virtual abortion business, states on its website, “Due to restrictions in Iowa, you’ll have to obtain an ultrasound before we can move forward with your abortion care.” Plan C’s website states there may be a “legal risk” for accessing the abortion pill online. However, Aid Access does not state that an ultrasound is required.

WeCount reports that nationally, “while the overall number of abortions decreased, abortions provided by virtual clinic telehealth providers increased from an average of 4,025 abortions per month in the two months before the Dobbs decision (5% of all abortions), to an average of 7,461 abortions per month in the nine months following the Dobbs decision (9% of all abortions). This change represents an increase of 85% in the number of abortions provided from virtual-only services, comparing post to pre-Dobbs…”

Prescribing the abortion pill to a woman without examining her increases the risks of the already-dangerous abortion pill regimen. The abortion pill has been found to be four times more dangerous for women than first-trimester surgical abortion. Multiple research studies have also found that about six percent of women who take the abortion pill require an ER or urgent care visit due to complications.

Women have been sharing their traumatic stories of taking the abortion pill at home, including horrific pain and bleeding and seeing their baby’s body.

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