Study: Dangerous Abortion Drug Hasn’t Expanded Number of Abortion Outlets

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 26, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Study: Dangerous Abortion Drug Hasn’t Expanded Number of Abortion Outlets

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 26
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — The dangerous abortion drug RU 486 was supposed to greatly expand the number of places where abortions are done. But, a new study by the pro-abortion Allan Guttmacher Institute finds that hasn’t happened as doctors outside abortion facilities have not decided to distribute the pills.

When the abortion drug was approved in the waning days of the Clinton administration, abortion advocates hoped it would make abortion universally accessible.

They wanted abortions more readily available than merely in Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses located predominantly in larger cities and other metropolitan areas.

Their hope was to make it harder for pro-life advocates to provide women going to the centers with abortion alternatives and to drive up the abortion numbers by bringing abortions to suburban and rural parts of the country.

The AGI study indicates that hasn’t happened and, essentially, only doctors who were already doing abortions picked up the option to give out abortion drug.

"Most mifepristone abortions were performed at or near facilities that also provided surgical abortion," it indicates. "Only five mifepristone-only providers of 10 or more abortions were located farther than 50 miles from any surgical provider of 400 or more abortions.

Various explanations exist as to why the abortion drug hasn’t expanded abortion locations.

In many cases, pro-life doctors and physicians who may not be pro-life but don’t want to do abortions were not suddenly persuaded to become abortion practitioners merely because they could end the lives of unborn children in a new manner.

Other physicians may have been turned off by the immediate problems women encountered with the RU 486 abortion drug.

The abortion ill has already resulted in the deaths of more than 13 women worldwide, with several deaths taking place in the United States in the first several years following the release of the drug.

The Food and Drug Administration also determined that women were experiencing significant complications.

According to FDA reports as of December 2006, there have now been eight known deaths associated with mifepristone in the U.S., nine life-threatening incidents, 116 blood transfusions, and 232 hospitalizations. In total, more than 1,100 women have had medical problems after using the drug as of that date.

Abortion advocates have other theories about why the abortion drug hasn’t greatly expanded the number of places where abortions can be obtained. They cite rising medical malpractice costs when a physician decides to begin doing abortions, whether they are medical or surgical in nature.

They also suggest that doctors don’t want to get training in how to do surgical abortions, which is a requirement to be able to disseminate the mifepristone abortion drug.

Meanwhile, they say doctors still face the stigma of doing abortions even if they give women a dangerous drug to accomplish the task. With polls showing a majority of Americans taking a pro-life position, most physicians would run the risk of losing patients or facing public opposition by their decision.

Even though the number of places where women can get an abortion hasn’t significantly expanded due to the abortion drug, the percentage of women using it for an abortion versus a surgical abortion is on the rise.

In January 2008, Danco Laboratories announced that approximately 13 percent of all abortions in the United States involve mifepristone — a number that may seem low but it is double the number of women who used the abortion drug in 2001.

The report also showed that 57 percent of places that do abortions now have the abortion drug, compared with just 33 percent in 2001.

Danco said about 80 percent of facilities that only do abortions now have the Mifeprex abortion drug. It said the number of women using the abortion drug would increase as they opt for abortions earlier in pregnancy.

Ultimately, Danco indicated that 840,000 women in the United States have had abortions with its dangerous drug.

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