Planned Parenthood is using the 15th anniversary of an FDA decision approving “medication abortion” (pills like RU-486) to advocate for increased access to the controversial drugs at the nation’s largest abortion provider.
According to a press release from Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“Women in the United States have been safely and legally using mifepristone and misoprostol for medication abortion for over a decade. Today marks the 15th anniversary of the FDA decision to approve medication abortion for use in the U.S. Studies continue to show that medication abortion is safe and effective.
“Today we know, just as we did 15 years ago, that mifepristone is a safe and effective method of obtaining an abortion,” said Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, Chief Medical Officer for Planned Parenthood. “Not only has it allowed women the option of a more private method of ending a pregnancy in a setting in which she feels most comfortable, it has also been crucial in expanding access.”
Since it was approved by the FDA on September 28, 2000, the use of medication abortion has grown steadily. Today, one in three women chooses this method in order to end an early pregnancy. Medication abortion generally can be used up to 63 days — 9 weeks — after the first day of a woman’s last period. In some locations, medication abortion is available up to 10 weeks.”
>>>How does the “abortion medication” process work?
“It is taken in three steps,” the Planned Parenthood release said. “First, a health care provider will give the patient a dose of mifepristone, taken in the form of a pill. Within two days of taking mifepristone, the patient will take a second medication — misoprostol, also in the form of a pill. Lastly, a health care provider checks that the abortion is complete with an ultrasound or blood test.”
Planned Parenthood says they are pioneers in the medication abortion field.
“As pioneers in expanding access to medication abortion, we have seen firsthand the tremendous difference this method has made for women in rural and remote communities, and in health centers where we would otherwise not be able to provide abortion,” said McDonald-Mosley. “In fact, in 27% of Planned Parenthood health centers, medication abortion is the only abortion method offered.
They also blasted attempts to regulate them.
“Unfortunately, opponents to legal abortion have passed laws to severely limit access to medication abortion. Planned Parenthood health centers see women every day who have been forced to delay care and travel hundreds of miles or even out-of-state to access abortion services. These restrictions have done nothing to make abortion safer — all they have done is make access to abortion more costly and less available to some of the women who need it most.”
Planned Parenthood officials believe access to abortion medications should be increased.
“By expanding training and education about medication abortion — as well as the ability to provide this method — to a broader range of providers, such as family practice and internal medicine doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and certified nurse midwives, the availability of abortion could be greatly expanded into more communities,” the company said in a press release.
Others have disagreed with Planned Parenthood’s advocacy of the “abortion medications.” According to an article from the New York Times shortly after the FDA’s approval:
“Last Wednesday, a California teenager died at a hospital in Pleasanton, just days after taking prescription pills to abort her early pregnancy. The circumstances surrounding her death are unclear, and an autopsy is under way.
But battle lines are already being drawn, with opponents of abortion saying the death of the woman, Holly Patterson, 18, shows why the abortion pills are too dangerous to remain on the market, while abortion providers say it shows no such thing.”
>>Planned Parenthood bills itself as “a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.”