In recent years, the number of chemical abortions (the abortion pill) have increased significantly in the United States, as the abortion pill is being pushed by the abortion industry as an easy, private, do-it-yourself method of abortion. But the abortion pill, though marketed as safe and effective, is actually quite dangerous — four times more dangerous for women than surgical abortions.
“[W]e do know from good research that chemical abortions tend to be a lot less safe than surgical abortions,” Dr. Michael New told Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins during her Explicitly Pro-Life podcast. “There was a very good study that came out that looked at women on Medicaid in California. And they have comprehensive data on these women who have abortions and what kind of complications they have. And the complication rate for chemical abortions was, I think, four times greater than the complication rate for surgical abortions.”
The 2015 study Dr. New referenced is titled, “Incidence of Emergency Room Department Visits and Complications After Abortion.” It examined the abortion complication rate of women in California who underwent abortions from 2009-2010 which were paid for through Medicaid, including the women who were diagnosed or treated at emergency rooms rather than the abortion facilities.
Researchers in the study found that among all abortions reviewed, the complication rate was 5.2% for women who took the abortion pill compared to 1.3% for first-trimester surgical abortions. When reviewing abortions that resulted in “major complications,” the study found that more severe complications occurred for the abortion pill at a rate of .31% compared to .16% for first-trimester surgical abortions. This goes against everything the abortion industry claims about the safety of the abortion pill.
Dr. New stated that because of the method in which the study was conducted using records of doctor and hospital visits, it shows “pretty conclusively that these chemical abortions do pose some pretty serious health risks.”
Despite this, the abortion industry is pushing to allow the abortion pill to be taken by women at home and alone. REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy) is a drug safety protocol that the FDA can place on specific drugs that carry a risk of serious complications, and it has placed that protocol on the abortion pill.
Currently, the FDA states women must take the first dose of the two-dose abortion pill at the abortion facility where their pregnancy can be dated and checked to ensure it is not ectopic. Women further than 10 weeks pregnant and those with ectopic pregnancies or other conditions should not take the abortion pill because they are at an increased risk of complications. Those complications include incomplete abortion, failed abortion, blood clots in the uterus, hemorrhaging, infection, and death. At least 24 known women have died from the abortion pill, and due to the fact that about half of all states don’t report abortion complications, that number is likely higher.
Yet the abortion industry has been working overtime to convince the courts and FDA that abortion businesses should be allowed to sell the abortion pill to women without ever examining them. And their attempts are working. On July 13, 2020, a federal judge suspended the REMS safety guidelines for the abortion pill for the duration of the pandemic—putting women’s lives and health at risk.
“Given that chemical abortions are already riskier than early surgical abortions,” Dr. New explained in an Op-Ed for National Review along with Dr. Donna Harrison of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “it stands to reason that performing medical abortions without physician supervision only increases those risks.”
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