As demand for abortion pills rises, proponents hide risks from women

Jhe growth in abortion pill use presents another challenge for states seeking to protect unborn children, and it is a danger to women misled by the abortion industry’s misleading marketing .

A Guttmacher Institute
report
found that the abortion pill, for the first time, accounted for more than half of abortions in the United States in 2020, with 54% of the 930,000 abortions performed being caused by the pill.

The use of abortion pills increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the FDA announced it would drop the requirement that abortion pills must be administered in an in-person clinic under medical supervision, allowing women to access them remotely through telehealth clinics and by mail.

Several abortion pill startups, such as Choice, Hey Jane and Just the Pill, have seen demand and funding increase over the past year, according to
CNN
. Hey Jane CEO Kiki Freedman said the company has doubled its clinical staff since Texas passed its Heartbeat Bill in September, and has seen “a nine-fold increase in new patients in telehealth per day” compared to last year.

“In a post-deer world, abortion care by mail will likely become the most viable form of access for most of the country,” Freedman said.

The abortion pill is actually made up of two drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, taken 24 to 48 hours apart. The first blocks progesterone, a hormone necessary for the life and growth of a baby, and the second causes cramps to expel the child from the uterus.

nineteen states
require
the physical presence of a physician when the drug is administered, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Legal battles over this requirement are already underway. For example, in Mississippi, mifepristone maker GenBioPro
for follow-up
Mississippi State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs on state restrictions requiring an in-person prescription. The federal judge handling the case said he’s currently ‘not sure’ if he should postpone it until the Supreme Court Dobbs decision is made.

Abortion providers advertise that the pill is safe and is recommended by a number of elite medical institutions, including the World Health Organization. But the potential side effects and consequences of this pill are not always shared. The FDA
reports
26 deaths since 2000 and over 4,000 adverse events, although other studies note that this number has been underreported.

A Charlotte Lozier Institute
study
used Medicaid data to analyze 17 years of chemical abortions, finding a 500% increase in abortion-related ER visits after chemical abortions between 2002 and 2015. Of the 423,000 confirmed abortions, 121,283 were followed by ER visits within 30 days, meaning about 35 out of 100 abortions resulted in a visit. Compared to surgical abortions, women who had a chemical abortion had a 22% higher risk of ending up in the emergency room for any reason.

Worse still, 60% of abortion-related visits after the abortion pill were miscoded as treatment for miscarriage. Another study by the Charlotte Lozier Institute published in
May
found that miscoding abortions as miscarriages puts women at risk for multiple hospitalizations.

This is the danger posed by mail-order medicines, especially since the proponents of abortion
encourage
their use to “evade restrictions on abortion” and
instruct
women in states where it is forbidden to order them. These proponents rely on a lack of transparency about the pill’s side effects and hope that the women they treat won’t bother to do the research themselves. Hey Jane, for example,
advertises
her product as “fast, safe and affordable” – a convenient alternative to going to the clinic. Its website also states that abortion “is one of the safest medical procedures available.”

The industry must be honest: abortion pills are not a simple and safe procedure. Not for women, and especially not for children.

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