submitted by Anna-Marie Visser, Director of Communication/Education, Right to Life of Michigan
On December 16, 2021, the FDA permanently approved the prescribing of RU-486, the abortion pill, over telemedicine appointments. In February of 2021, the FDA temporarily approved the use of the abortion pill through telemedicine due to the COVID pandemic shutdowns. This approval eliminates the REMS requirement that in-person examinations and ultrasounds must be conducted before prescribing the pill to women.
The abortion pill, also known a medical abortion, has been a danger to women since the moment it was created. In-person examinations and ultrasound are conducted to rule out an ectopic pregnancy or rh negative. It is important that the pregnancy be dated properly to make sure that it is 10 weeks or earlier. Once the woman has taken mifepristone in office and then misoprostol at her home, a follow-up appointment is necessary to make sure that the abortion was complete. Within 24-hours, the woman experiences heavy bleeding, stomach cramping, and emotional trauma from having an abortion.
The U.S. does not require states to report their yearly abortion statistics to the CDC. California, New Hampshire, and Maryland refuse to report any data on abortion to the CDC and the rest of the states that do report, are not held to accuracy when publishing their numbers. According to the 2019 CDC report, 24 deaths resulted from medical abortions with 4,000 complications. Complications typically include incomplete abortions, infection from ectopic pregnancy, and excessive bleeding.
A 2009 study from “Obstetrics and Gynecology” found that the complication rate for medical abortions was 20% while complications for surgical abortions was 5.6%. Medical abortions that are incomplete are then followed up with a surgical abortion.
The CDC 2019 reported that 629,898 abortions took place in the U.S. Within Michigan, 29,669 abortions took place in 2020 and of those, 15,333 were completed by the abortion pill which is only going to increase as it becomes more accessible and less restricted.
Telemedicine appointments were created for patients that lived in rural areas or who didn’t feel comfortable being in-person during COVID. The woman is advised to go to the emergency room to treat the complications. This is an incentive for abortion facilities because they will not have to pay for the prep or clean-up of the abortion.
The bottom line is that the abortion pill, a deadly and dangerous drug, will be shipped all throughout the country through the mailing system.