On March 30 Planned Parenthood got a big gift from the Obama Administration.
That’s the day the FDA rewrote the label on chemical abortion drugs. Now, the FDA regulations conform to what had long been the common off-label use of the drugs by chemical-abortion providers.
If that sounds like the tail wagging the dog, well, it is. The abortion industry is now setting standards for medical practice.
And if, as the year wears on, Planned Parenthood et al become concerned that a pro-life candidate might be headed toward the White House, they will no doubt get their government friends to make more executive-level changes that favor the abortion business.
But first, the March 30 action: Remember RU-486, the abortion-causing pill from France? The pro-life movement fought to keep it out of the United States, but in 2000 the FDA approved its use in a fairly strict regimen that included taking a second drug, misoprostol.
Today RU-486 is known as mifepristone—brand name Mifeprex. Mifepristone is a drug that blocks progesterone, a hormone necessary to sustain pregnancy. Taken in conjunction with misoprostol, which causes contractions to the uterus, it results in miscarriage.
The latest FDA action alters the chemical-abortion regimen the agency established back in 2000 in significant ways:
- It is now considered to be effective through 10 weeks of pregnancy, up from 7 weeks in 2000;
- The dosage of mifepristone, which was 600 milligrams in 2000, has been reduced to 200 milligrams;
- Women can now receive misoprostol—which is to be taken 24 to 48 hours after taking mifepristone—at their first doctor visit;
- In 2000, a woman had to be examined by a doctor 14 days after taking mifepristone. Today, no post-abortion examination is required, only an “assessment” between 7 and 14 days afterwards, just to make sure the “pregnancy has passed from the uterus.”
Why the changes? What do you think?
They can couch it in rhetoric about “current available scientific evidence and best practices” all they want, but the bottom line is: More customers for Planned Parenthood, which now gets an additional three weeks to enable a woman to kill her baby in her own home—with only one medical exam and one post-abortion “assessment” (a phone call?) required. Much easier, and cheaper (for Planned Parenthood at least) this way.
“Medication-induced abortions,” reported the New York Times on March 30,
made up as much of a quarter of all abortions in 2011 according to the most recent figures from the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks women’s reproductive health issues. Planned Parenthood said as many as half of eligible women in its clinics requested medication-induced abortions.
It’s the medically approved do-it-yourself abortion—for the independent woman. Its very convenience is part of its cruelty.
It allows a woman who is already going through the torment of an unwanted pregnancy to go through the agony of an abortion all by herself. With no need for someone to accompany her when she has an appointment with a chemical-abortion provider, she has no pretext to reach out to another human being as she destroys the life within her. And therefore little opportunity to hear the concern and support that others would be willing and eager to give her.
According to the FDA, between 2000 and the end of 2011 the number of women who had chemical abortions using mifepristone and misoprostol was 1.52 million.
What has their experience been like?
From the FDA’s own flyer “Questions and Answers on Mifeprex”:
Cramping and vaginal bleeding are expected effects of the treatment regimen. In some cases very heavy vaginal bleeding will need to be stopped by a surgical procedure . . .
Other common side effects of the treatment regimen include nausea, weakness, fever/chills, vomiting, headache, diarrhea, and dizziness . . .
The FDA has received reports of serious adverse events in women who took Mifeprex and followed the regimen.
From the FDA’s Medication Guide:
Be sure to contact your healthcare provider right away if you bleed enough to soak through two thick full-size sanitary pads per hour for two consecutive hours or if you are concerned about heavy bleeding. In about 1 out of 100 women, bleeding can be so heavy that it requires a surgical procedure (surgical aspiration or D&C).
(One out of a hundred for 1.52 million = 15,200 more procedures. More business for a full-service Planned Parenthood clinic. Perhaps the anticipation of more of this kind of business could help explain why PP is shifting its business model to mega centers?)
If you have abdominal pain or discomfort, or you are “feeling sick,” including weakness, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, with or without fever, more than 24 hours after taking misoprostol, you should contact your healthcare provider without delay. These symptoms may be a sign of a serious infection or another problem (including an ectopic pregnancy, a pregnancy outside the womb).
In the days after treatment, if you have a fever of 100.4F or higher that lasts for more than 4 hours, you should contact your healthcare provider right away. Fever may be a symptom of a serious infection or another problem.
If you are still pregnant [after Mifeprex with misoprostol treatment], your healthcare provider will talk with you about a surgical procedure to end your pregnancy. … The chance of birth defects if the pregnancy is not ended is unknown.
Mifepristone does not end a pregnancy outside the uterus, that is, an ectopic pregnancy. Unless there’s an ultrasound requirement to confirm pregnancy in the uterus, how would a woman know that she continues to be pregnant after going through all that? Yet the “reproductive freedom” lobby resists initiatives to require confirmation of pregnancy by ultrasound in the states where such measures are introduced.
What happens to women who will obtain the drugs on the internet and not bother to see a doctor? What happens to the girl who has von Willebrand’s Syndrome or another blood disorder but doesn’t know it . . . until she is bleeding to death in the privacy of her own home?
The FDA’s own adverse effects report, covering September 2000 until April 30, 2011, provides some unhappy answers: 2,207 cases of women suffering adverse events; 612 hospitalized; 14 deaths; 339 transfusions required; 256 infections; 58 ectopic pregnancies.
And those statistics are based only on cases in which a woman told someone she had taken the abortion drugs and that person reported it to medical authorities.
Not a pretty sight, the way modern reproductive medicine treats its victims.