Michigan Legislature Passes Ban on Dangerous Webcam Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Dec 13, 2018   |   12:15PM   |   Washington, DC

A Michigan bill to protect women from dangerous webcam abortions passed the state legislature early Thursday.

The state House voted 62-47 in favor of the bill, and it now heads to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk for his signature, the Detroit Free Press reports. It passed the state Senate several weeks ago.

The bill would permanently ban webcam abortions in the state. It would protect women by requiring that the abortionist be physically present and conduct an examination of the patient before dispensing the abortion drugs in person.

Webcam, or telemed, abortions are dangerous because the woman does not receive a physical examination from the abortion doctor or even see him/her face to face. Instead, she chats with the abortionist through a computer before a remote-controlled drawer or nurse dispenses the abortion drugs. After drugs are dispensed, the patient almost certainly never sees the doctor again. Instead, she returns home and waits to pass her aborted baby’s body.

Michigan passed a temporary ban on webcam abortions in 2012, but it was due to expire in 2019. If Snyder signs the bill, the ban will become permanent.

Right to Life of Michigan celebrated the vote Thursday as a victory for unborn babies and mothers.

“The abortion industry claims abortion should be legal because it’s a medical procedure between the woman and ‘her doctor.’ The abortion industry already doesn’t take that relationship seriously,” the pro-life group said.

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Planned Parenthood, which opposes the bill, held a protest in the state Capitol rotunda as the House debated the bill. Protesters shouted: “When our rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back.”

Pro-abortion politicians claimed banning webcam abortions would hurt women’s access to abortion and, therefore, their safety.

“What I think is a safety issue is making sure every woman has access to the safe, legal, medically necessary medicine she needs when she needs it,” said state Rep. Christine Greig, arguing against the bill.

But RTL Michigan said money, not women’s rights or safety, appears to be the real reason for the abortion industry’s opposition:

“The law poses a burden on the abortion industry, particularly Planned Parenthood. They already utilize the abortion pill as a cost-saving measure over a surgical abortion. There are not many abortionists, due to the unattractive nature of the profession’s involvement in taking human life. Many abortionists are ‘circuit-riders’ who work at multiple abortion facilities, requiring these abortionists to drive long distances to see patients.”

The abortion drugs can have serious complications. At least 22 women have died after taking the drugs. Complications include heavy bleeding, infection and incomplete abortions that require surgery.

Research suggests webcam abortions also are more dangerous than surgical abortions. An analysis of a University of California San Francisco study found that women who had webcam abortions had four times higher risk of complications.

Despite these risks, Planned Parenthood announced intentions earlier this year to open at least 10 new webcam abortion locations across the country. It currently performs webcam abortions at 24 locations in America.

“Planned Parenthood ran a profit of nearly $100 million dollars according to their latest annual report, but their idea of increasing access to ‘healthcare’ for women is cutting corners and making an even bigger mockery of the doctor-patient relationship for abortion procedures,” RTL Michigan responded.

Action: Contact Gov. Rick Snyder.