Since Texas’s omnibus bill, HB2, took full effect on November 1 after a hailstorm of controversy and lawsuits, Texas abortionists are finding that new standards make them unqualified to perform abortions in the state.
Abortionist Lester Minto cannot legally commit abortions in Texas because, since HB2 took effect, he is no longer in compliance with a provision in the law that requires him to have admitting privileges within a 30-mile radius of his facility.
As Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America pointed out at a Houston press conference shortly before the ruling, admitting privileges are not impossible for a physician in good standing to obtain. In fact, the normal requirements include a history free from serious malpractice and proper board certifications. And, per HB2, those admitting privileges must be obtained within a 30-mile radius of the abortion facility.
This raises the question, though – considering there is a hospital 1.4 miles away from Harlingen Reproductive Services (Minto’s clinic), why wasn’t he looking out for the well-being of his patients from long ago by already possessing admitting privileges in case of complications after his procedures?
The abortionist told Slate that the provisions of HB2 have not closed down his practice, even though he is ineligible to perform abortions. Because he cannot perform abortions legally, he said that he advocates sending women across the border into Mexico to purchase misoprostol, a drug used to treat ulcers, with an off-label use of causing abortion when consumed in a certain dosage by pregnant women. The drug is so dangerous to pregnancy that in the U.S., a woman of childbearing age cannot have the drug prescribed to her unless she has had a negative pregnancy test and is using birth control in conjunction with taking misoprostol, to ensure that she does not become pregnant while on the drug. Even the wildly pro-abortion Salon.com has condemned the use of misoprostol due to its adverse effects on women. In the U.S., misoprostol is in the FDA’s “pregnancy category X,” meaning that it can seriously harm pre-born children and cause life-threatening conditions for the mother:
Misoprostol can cause miscarriage or spontaneous abortion (sometimes incomplete which could lead to dangerous bleeding and require hospitalization and surgery), premature birth, or birth defects. Misoprostol has also been reported to cause uterine rupture (tearing) when given after the eighth week of pregnancy, which can result in severe bleeding, hysterectomy, and/or maternal or fetal death.
In Mexico, however, where pharmacists can sell drugs without a prescription, misoprostol is commonly used for its abortifacient qualities. And pharmacists often do administer it – at an incredible mark-up – without proper dosing knowledge. If advised to take the wrong amount, or if given after the seventh week of pregnancy (which is just a couple of weeks after most women learn they are pregnant), the drug can have disastrous effects. However, these facts do not prevent Minto from recommending that his Texas patients go across the border to obtain the drug there as long as he is ineligible to perform their abortions surgically. As he told Slate:
If [his abortion patients] have a passport and enough money, they go over the border to Mexico and go to a pharmacy and buy misoprostol at a pharmacy. It is an ulcer drug, but it works as an abortifacient. It is not as effective mifepristone, which is the on-label medicine used in the U.S. But in these ladies’ situations, misoprostol can be a good choice. It is proper medicine in a blister pack from a proper pharmacy. Someone might even know how to dose it. But it can be an expensive choice. In the U.S., misoprostol costs 10 to 12 cents a pill. I have had ladies charged $80 a pill at Mexican pharmacies. Also passports are expensive and can take too long to get if you don’t have one already. Misoprostol only works up to about seven weeks after your last menstrual period… But these goddamn politicians … Women are forced to crawl around like goddamn criminals. So I am here to help them.
This is not looking out for the “women’s reproductive health” that abortion advocates tout so frequently; this is looking out for abortion rights at any cost, even when the cost is women’s health itself.