Affiliated Medical Services announced today that it has suspended chemical abortions at its Wisconsin location due to a new state law requiring a doctor to be physically present when a client is given an abortion-inducing drug like RU-486.
Planned Parenthood outlets made a similar announcement on April 24.
Act 217 became law last month. It stops the use of “web cam abortions,” where an abortionist in one location uses the Internet to oversee a chemical abortion at another site.
It does not prohibit the use of RU-486.
The abortion sellers’ announcements are an acknowledgement of the challenge in finding doctors willing to perform abortions, according to life advocates.
“Older doctors who did abortions are retiring and fewer new doctors will do (abortions),” said Carol Tobias, National Right to Life president. “When they find a doctor that will do abortions, they will use him as much as possible.”
An example, Tobias said, is Planned Parenthood using video conferencing where an abortionist in Iowa talks to a woman in Arkansas. It is also the reason behind a failed California bid this month to allow non-doctors to perform abortions.
Pro-life experts estimate RU-486 is used in about 1,100 of the 4,000 abortions performed yearly by Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin.
Supporters of the new law cite at least 14 deaths and hundreds of injuries in the United States in connection with the use of RU-486. They say not having a doctor present makes an already dangerous procedure more risky.
According to a New England Journal of Medicine article, RU-486 must be followed up two days later with another drug. While RU-486 blocks the hormone essential for nourishing the preborn child through the wall of the mother’s womb, the second drug induces contractions in order to expel the now-dead baby. The procedure is done up to the seventh week of pregnancy. One or two follow-up appointments with a doctor are recommended.
The law also affords women addition protection by requiring a private one-on-one talk between the doctor and patient to ensure the patient isn’t be coerced into the abortion.
Abortion activists have labeled aspects of the law as “vague” — nearly identical to their approach before filing a lawsuit after the state enacted a partial-birth abortion ban in the 1990s.
“The charges that the law’s language is unclear is not from a lack of clarity from our side, but from the abortion providers attempting to muddy the water,” said Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action.
Wisconsin is the seventh state to require a doctor to be present when an abortion drug is given. The others are Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read Act 217.
Learn about RU-486: The Abortion Pill.
Learn more about Wisconsin Family Action.
Learn more about National Right to Life.