Pennsylvania Senate Votes to Ban Dangerous Telemed Abortions, Expand Real Health Care

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 21, 2020   |   6:52PM   |   Harrisburg, PA

The Pennsylvania Senate took action to protect lives Tuesday by banning dangerous telemed abortions just days after Planned Parenthood announced plans to expand them across the country.

The pro-life legislation, Senate Bill 857, passed 29-21 with bipartisan support and now heads to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk. It protects lives by expanding telemedicine health services in the Commonwealth, allowing certain medical care to be provided online via webcam rather than in person. The bill also restricts telemed abortions in line with Food and Drug Administration safety guidelines.

Michael Geer, president of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, praised lawmakers for taking action to expand real medical care “without sacrificing safety or the highest standards of care.”

Right now, Planned Parenthood is working to expand the killing of unborn babies in abortions in Pennsylvania and other states. Just days ago, it announced plans to provide telemed services, including abortions, throughout the U.S. by the end of April.

Telemed abortions, or webcam abortions, involve women taking abortion-inducing drugs without ever seeing a doctor in person. Instead, they “meet” remotely over a webcam before the drugs are dispensed from a remote-control drawer or by a staff member.

These are dangerous for mothers as well as their unborn babies. In-person exams are important for dating the pregnancy; the abortion drugs do not work well later in pregnancy and potentially could lead to more complications. Exams also can detect ectopic pregnancies, which can be deadly on their own but especially so if the woman takes the abortion drugs.

Currently, 18 states ban telemed abortions. Pennsylvania would become the 19th if Wolf signs the bill. However, he is a pro-abortion Democrat with close ties to the abortion industry, and he may veto the legislation.

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State pro-life leaders urged Wolf to listen to Pennsylvanians, not the pro-abortion lobby, and expand true health care throughout the state.

Maria Gallagher, legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, praised House and Senate lawmakers for including important safeguards in the bill.

“This bill protects the health and safety of women, thanks to an important amendment inserted by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives,” Gallagher told LifeNews. “That amendment bans the telemedicine distribution of a number of dangerous drugs, including the abortion pill RU-486. The Pennsylvania Senate is to be applauded for ensuring that that key safeguard remains in the bill. We urge the governor to sign this bill, especially for the well-being of women throughout the Commonwealth.”

For decades, abortion activists have claimed an abortion should be a decision between a woman and her doctor. But now they are trying to take doctors out of the equation – and putting more lives at risk.

The abortion drug mifepristone is not safe for the mother or her unborn child. It has been linked to at least 24 women’s deaths and 4,000 serious complications. Risks of mifepristone and misoprostol, the most common abortion drugs taken together to abort and then expel an unborn baby from the womb, include excessive bleeding, severe abdominal pain, infection, hemorrhage and death.

A 2009 study “Immediate Complications After Medical Compared With Surgical Termination of Pregnancy,” in Obstetrics and Gynecology found a complication rate of approximately 20% for the abortion drugs compared to 5.6% for surgical abortions. Hemorrhages and incomplete abortions were among the most common complications.

Randall O’Bannon, Ph.D., director of education and research for the National Right to Life Committee, recently explained other problems with webcam abortions: “It would … mean a woman undergoing a painful, bloody, potentially dangerous abortion by herself at a time when emergency medical help is stretched thin and perhaps unavailable. Women undergoing chemical abortions have bled to death or died from infections. Others have died when undetected ectopic pregnancies ruptured.”

ACTION ALERT: Contact Gov. Tom Wolf.