Until the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill banning the use of federal funds for “telemedicine” medical abortions, as an amendment to the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2012, HR 2112, I had never heard of that procedure. The Act also states that, “none of the funds made available by this Act may be used for mifepristone, commonly known as RU-486, for any purpose.” I am sure this will outrage the Pro-Choice crowd.
Before people make a final decision, please read some basic facts.
TELEMEDICINE ABORTION(1) A telemed abortion is conducted by a woman ingesting the pill RU-486 that is prescribed via a teleconferencing system like “Skype” in an abortion clinic. It has been determined that the patient is pregnant, but no medical doctor sees her or physically examines her.
(2) The patient interacts with the doctor over an internet connection. Over the telephone, the doctor explains the procedure to the patient. He gives her information about the pill he will prescribe to her, RU-486. The pill is an abortifacient available for use during the first two months of pregnancy.
(3) After a brief discussion, the doctor verbally prescribes the drug to the patient.
(4) The patient clicks a button on a computer screen that opens a box containing the drug.
(5) The drug is administered by a nurse or aide who may or may not be licensed.
(6) The telephone doctor never meets the patient or sees her for follow up.
That does not sound too horrible, until one reads the correct procedure for administering RU-486 on the site of The National Abortion Federation , the professional association for abortion providers in North America. This is, obviously, a pro-choice group, so the description of the procedure should be accepted by the pro-abortion crowd as not being biased.
(1) At a Doctor’s office or clinic:
(a) A medical history of the patient is obtained and a clinical exam and lab tests are performed.
(b) Counseling is given and informed consent is obtained.
(c) If the patient is eligible for a medical abortion, the woman swallows the mifepristone pill(s).
(2) At the office/clinic or at home (depending on the treatment regimen)
This step takes place within about 2 days of step one.
(a) Unless abortion has occurred and has been confirmed by the clinician, the woman takes an additional drug, misoprostol.
(3) At the office or clinic:
(a) This step takes place about 2 weeks after step two.
(b) The clinician evaluates the patient to confirm that the abortion was ‘successful’. It is absolutely essential for women to return to the office/clinic to confirm that the abortion is complete.
(c) If the pregnancy has not been successfully terminated, a traditional suction abortion must be provided.
(d) If the abortion was unsuccessful, the clinician will discuss possible treatment options with the patient. These options may include waiting and re-evaluating for traditional abortion within days.
It appears that telemedicine abortion does not follow correct medical procedure because it leaves out some of the steps necessary in follow up.
A number of states (Kansas, Oklahoma and Arizona) have already banned the procedure out-right because it is so dangerous. In May of this year, the Nebraska legislature passed a bill that would make it a felony for abortionists to perform medical abortions via webcam.
RU-486 is a very powerful drug. So whether one is pro-life or pro-choice, everyone should agree that the drug should not be administered unless the patient is under careful medical supervision.
So before all the women’s rights groups start calling their Congressmen to complain, know the independent facts! Telemed abortions are dangerous to the life of the mother. They are certainly fatal to the life of the baby.