In Australia, women will be able to obtain the RU-486 abortion pill and have it delivered to their door by making one phone call. In 2006, the pill was legalized in Australia, but The Guardian reports that doctors have had a hard time getting a license to distribute it. Australia’s medical “termination” provider, the Tabbot Foundation, has partnered with abortion activists, doctors, lawyers and psychologists to make the pill available over the phone.
The co-president of Reproductive Choice Australia, Jenny Ejlak, said the following about the pill: “It’s providing a similar kind of service if you went to a GP or a clinic who were providing medical termination. You don’t need to physically travel, so for women in parts of the country where there are no clinics and no GPs licensed to prescribe this medication we’re hopeful [it] will open up access.”
Apparently, the deadly concoction will only cost $250 and women will be offered counseling before and after their abortions. In the abortion “kit”, women will be instructed on how to take the drug, what they can do if complications arise and given information about a 24-hotline.
Ejlak explained, “My understanding is as long as doctors are able to communicate effectively with a patient that they are a suitable candidate, then it is fine. It’s very significant [for women], it’s a very different approach to what’s been available in the past, it will provide access in a lot of areas where there currently is no access. Medical termination is not suitable for everybody, there is a careful screening process. There will obviously be women for whom this is not suitable and they will need to go elsewhere.”
Susan Fahey from Women’s Legal Service in Tasmania said the “service” could be positive for women; however, she didn’t deny that she had concerns about over-the-phone abortions. She said, “If you start administering these kind of medications over the phone, which I completely support people accessing, but if you take the expertise and supervision of a medical practitioner away from what can be a fairly significant procedure, I’d be concerned there’d be women who it could have adverse affects for. Everyone should have access and access is a real big problem, but without checks and balances that access could be problematic.”
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According to ABC News, Australian Medical Association president Dr. Andrew Pesce said medical abortions are “mostly safe”, but health professionals will have to diligent about administering follow-up care. He said, “About 10 to 20 per cent of women who have a medical abortion using mifepristone will not completely miscarry and require a subsequent surgical procedure. The last thing I want to see is women who’ve taken this pill end up with pain and bleeding and end up in an ED department in a busy hospital on a Saturday night needing to take several hours to get through a busy system which isn’t part of an integrated care plan.”
Today marks 15-years since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced their approval of RU-486, which has taken the lives of approximately two million preborn Americans since 2000. Although some argue that medication abortion is completely safe for women, research and case studies have proven otherwise.
For example, in the United States, the FDA has documented 2,207 adverse events in the women who have had medical abortions, including 14 deaths, 612 hospitalizations, 339 cases where blood loss was so great the woman needed a transfusion, 256 infections and 58 ectopic pregnancies. Of the women who’ve died due to medication abortion, some suffered bacterial infections, hemorrhaging to death, ruptured ectopic pregnancy and massive heart attacks.
Pro-life physician, Dr. Mary Davenport, described how the two parts of the abortion pill cause the abortion and often hurt women in the process.
She said, “Medical [chemical] abortion is actually performed in early pregnancy with TWO pills, the first – RU-486 – mifepristone or Mifeprex, antagonizes the hormone progesterone, which is necessary for pregnancy. This cuts off the nutritional supply to the pregnancy, ending in the unborn baby’s death. One or two days later the woman takes a second pill, misoprostol or Cytotec, which causes uterine contractions and expels the pregnancy. Medical abortion is frequently a horrible experience for the women, lasting up to 2-4 weeks with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hemorrhage, and intense pain.”