Missouri House Approves Ban on Use of Webcam Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 20, 2012   |   3:39PM   |   Washington, DC

The Missouri state House on Thursday approved a pro-life bill to prohibit the controversial use of webcam abortions. Pam Fichter, the president of Missouri Right to Life, commented on passage of the bill.

We applaud the Missouri House of Representatives for passing HB 1274.  This bill offers protection for women seeking abortion by ensuring that complete information about the dangers of RU 486 and similar drugs are given to them and by requiring that they receive a complete physical 24 hours prior to being given the abortion drug.  This protective action will help ensure that the woman does not have a medical condition that will be exacerbated by the use of the RU 486 drug and create a life-threatening situation for her.

The bill would also ban so-called tele-med/video conference abortions in which the contact between the clinic and the woman takes place by tele-conference and the drug is administered locally to the woman without a proper physical examination.

This protective and common sense measure is for the protection of women seeking abortion. Why would anyone be opposed to women being fully informed about what RU 486 does to her body? Why would anyone be opposed to a woman being guaranteed a needed physical exam before an abortion?

Also receiving final approval in the House today was HB 1534, a bill that declares that the Missouri General Assembly finds that the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exceeds the powers granted to Congress and makes it a misdemeanor for any officer of the state to enact Obamacare. Missouri Right to Life supported HB 1534 because we oppose the federal funding for abortion and rationing of healthcare contained in the PPACA.

The news comes as pro-life advocates are celebrating in another state. Because of a new pro-life law in Wisconsin that prohibits selling the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug via webcam and without an in-person consultation with a physician, Planned Parenthood will stop selling mifepristone.

The webcam abortion practice started with the Planned Parenthood of the Heartland affiliate using it in Iowa, a rural state where the abortion business has a difficult time getting an abortion practitioner to each of its clinics. As a result, it set up a process by which the abortion practitioner only visits with the woman considering using the mifepristone abortion pill via a videoconference, as opposed to an in-person visit the FDA suggests.

With the drug having killed dozens of women worldwide and injured more than 2,200 alone in the United States, according to April 2011 FDA figures, pro-life groups have been concerned about Planned Parenthood putting women’s health at risk.



Last year, Wisconsin Right to Life informed LifeNews that Planned Parenthood has begun using the extremely dangerous RU 486 web-cam abortion technique in Minnesota. According to Planned Parenthood Minnesota spokesperson Connie Lewis, the organization began doing webcam abortions at their Rochester facility — making it the first time the abortion business has expanded doing abortions beyond the twin cities area.

RU 486 and its companion drug are administered between the fifth and ninth weeks of pregnancy, after pregnancy has been confirmed and the process typically involves three trips to a doctor. About half of the women abort while at the doctor’s office, with another 26 percent having an abortion within the next 20 hours at any location at home or in public. The remainder either have an abortion in the coming weeks or none at all if the drug fails to work — making it so a surgical abortion is required.

Through April, the FDA reports 2,207 adverse events related to the use of RU 486, including 14 deaths, 612 hospitalizations, 58 ectopic pregnancies, 339 blood transfusions, and 256 cases of infections in the United States alone. A European drug manufacturer has publicly stated that 28 women have died worldwide after using RU 486/mifepristone.