Last month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Biden administration permanently did away with commonsense safety regulations when it comes to requiring an in-person visit for the chemical abortion method. Instead, doctors can prescribe abortion-causing drugs to women without having to first examine them. Around the world, women are suffering from lack of regulations, including in India, where reports have detailed incomplete abortions.
Such a method involves a woman taking mifepristone, which cuts off nutrients from the unborn child. After 24-48 hours, the woman then misoprostol to cause contractions to expel the dead child. Women undergo this method at home without medical supervision.
Thanks to the FDA loosening regulations, women can acquire these pills online through the mail without a doctor confirming that they are even pregnant, are pregnant within the approved of timeframe, or are experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. Such a nonviable pregnancy develops outside of the uterus and is not treated through this method. If left untreated, it can kill a woman. Removing it is not an abortion.
Writing for Live Action News, Nancy Flanders highlighted how reports from India are warning about what happens to women there who self-manage their chemical abortions.
As U.S. FDA loosens abortion pill regulations, India warns of self-managed abortion dangers https://t.co/Jqv7aajVMo— Carole Novielli (@CaroleNovielli) January 5, 2022
Flanders referenced a report by Hirra Azmat with The Kashmir Monitor from December 1, "Haemorrhage to bleeding: How rampant use of abortion pills is becoming a health hazard in Kashmir."
Azmat's reporting referenced two women who had experienced complications. She also cited medical experts, writing:
Dr. Rumisa Mir, Medical officer at Sub-district hospital Char-Sharif said an abortion done without the guidance of a doctor is unsafe.
There is risk involved in every case.
“Unsafe abortion is the third leading cause of maternal mortality. Every month we receive at least 10 married females at the OPDs with the complications developed due to unsafe abortion.”
Doctors said the easy availability of abortion pills is one of the reasons, which is leading to incomplete abortions or excessive bleeding.
She said that because of the easy availability of abortion pills, women take them without any supervision. “Many come to us with heavy bleeding and there’s a chance of haemorrhage, which could turn fatal,” she said.
This method carries with it four times the complications of surgical abortions. Side effects and risks associated with this method include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, fever/chills, and headaches. The bleeding may last for weeks after the abortion.
Some studies have found 10 percent of women face incomplete abortions at 9 weeks gestation. This can lead to death from infection if the remaining fetal parts or tissue are not properly removed.
A doctor examining a woman beforehand may help prevent some complications, though, if for instance it is caught beforehand that the woman is not within the right timeframe or is experiencing an ectopic pregnancy.
The FDA first approved the method in 2000 for up to seven weeks of pregnancy, and in 2016 expanded that to 10 weeks. A study from scholars with the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) released in November, as I highlighted, found that emergency room visits following this method went up by 507 percent from 2002-2015. Most of these ER visits, over 60 percent, were miscoded as spontaneous miscarriages.
While the Biden Administration claimed to have reviewed studies, there is a lack of transparency.
As Patrick Hauf reported for The Washington Free Beacon last month, "FDA Used Incomplete Data To Justify Deregulation of Chemical Abortion Pills, Studies Show," which entailed failure to properly look to the accurate number of medical emergencies following this method.
These shady providers are also not unique to countries outside of the United States.
As Micaiah Bilger highlighted for LifeNews.com, Robin Tucker, a nurse practitioner and midwife, prescribes abortion pills to women for $150 without first examining them or counseling them about their options. Rather she reviews online medical forms. According to Tucker, the calls from women seeking abortion pills usually only last 10-15 minutes.
Tucker's comments about her methods and her glorification of the abortion procedure came in an interview with Ms. Magazine.
While Tucker has a 24-hour answering service, women may have to wait precious hours to hear back. "After hours, I have a 24-hour answering service where they forward me a message if someone calls. But I tell people, if you get in touch with us, it can be a few hours before someone gets back to you just because I’m a one-person shop," she said. She also referenced the Miscarriage and Abortion Hotline, but they are not in operation between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m.
In addition to not examining these women, Tucker acknowledges she makes assumptions about them:
I assume that if I’m on the phone with someone, and they want abortion pills, it’s not my role to question and ask if they are sure. I feel like that’s disrespectful. I’m not an options counselor. If people have questions about what they should do, then I’ll definitely help them answer them. But I’m not going to initiate a conversation about how sure they are.
When it comes to follow-up appointments, Tucker said she offers a follow-up telehealth appointment, but that most women don't seek one. "I offer a free follow-up telehealth visit. People can make it from the same screen where they schedule their phone consult. I tell them I recommend a follow-up visit, but most people don’t schedule one. I also do follow-up surveys with my patients," she shared.
Bilger also highlighted how Ms. Magazine did not push back on Tucker's practices, but rather complimented her by asking "how does it feel by being able to help people?" When asked to share any final thoughts, Tucker pushed the pro-abortion mantra that abortion is healthcare.
"I think abortion care is an incredibly important part of reproductive health care. You can’t really separate abortion care from reproductive health care. It’s linked inextricably. In an ideal world, people would be able to see their regular reproductive health care provider for abortion pills. I think it really goes along with my mission of providing reproductive health care in general," Tucker said to close the interview.
The abortion movement, aided and abetted by a particularly pro-abortion Biden administration is seeking to make a dangerous method even more dangerous to women, however. As I also highlighted last month, advocates such as Dr. Daniel Grossman have even called for falsifying medical records to make the method appear safer than it actually is.