Florida’s law restricting most abortions to the first 15 weeks of pregnancy took effect on July 1. It reflects what the majority of American believe – namely, that abortion past the first trimester should be limited. Most Americans oppose abortion past the first 12 weeks of pregnancy; an Associated Press poll showed that 65% of Americans feel second-trimester abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, and 80% believe third-trimester abortions should be illegal in all or most cases. Another poll put the number of Americans opposing abortion past the first trimester at 84%.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel, however, responded to the implementation of Florida’s law by publishing an article on July 2 bemoaning that Floridian “women who want to end a pregnancy in their second trimester and don’t have the resources to travel may turn to [abortion pills] long past the time they are considered safe.”
The article quotes Dr. Daniel Sacks, a West Palm Beach OB-GYN, stating: “There are a lot of risks in taking the pills when you are far along. Women could run into all kinds of complications from a pregnancy that fails to abort completely. … The pills could work or they could lead to hemorrhaging or infection or even death.”
There have indeed been cases where women have taken the abortion pill late in pregnancy, with tragic outcomes. The abortion pill is only approved for use by the FDA in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.
Yet even as it raises the alarm about the potential dangers of abortion pill use late in pregnancy, the article complains about Florida’s law requiring an in-person visit with a doctor in order to obtain the pills. Until recently, this was a nation-wide requirement, designed to prevent women who have contraindications – such as ectopic pregnancy and advanced gestational age – from taking the abortion pill and facing potentially life-threatening complications.
The article also provides subtle free advertising for Aid Access, an organization which prescribes abortion pills via telehealth appointments and mails them out of India – contravening many states’ regulations on abortion pill prescription and distribution practices, including Florida’s.
So the South Florida Sun Sentinel is worried about women taking the abortion pill at advanced gestational ages, but they are opposed to laws which are designed to prevent that from happening, and promote organizations which increase the potential incidence of the very thing they are wringing their hands over.
If the Sun Sentinel really cares about women, it should support laws designed to protect them, and condemn organizations which put them at risk.