In her book, “Unplanned,” Abby Johnson, former director of a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Texas, tells of finding herself pregnant in the midst of a break-up with her first husband. She was 8 weeks along, so she opted for what is called a “chemical abortion.”
She took the first pill, Mifeprex (or RU-486) when she was in the clinic. According to her description, that pill is designed to separate the lining of the uterus, making it so the baby can no longer survive. The clinic gave Abby an antibiotic and sent her home with another drug, misoprostol, to be taken 24 to 48 hours later in order to “clean out the uterus.” (Some clinics have the woman return for this second medication rather than sending it home with them.)
The baby is supposed to be expelled in the first 6 to 8 hours, and the rest of the uterine lining without the next 2 days. In Abby’s case, excruciating cramping went on for days and days. She ran a fever and was bleeding heavily, too sick to get out of bed. She had been told if such circumstances occurred that she should go into the emergency room or back to Planned Parenthood. Her shame kept her from doing either one; instead she suffered in silence.
Later in the book, Abby discovers that, at 8 weeks, she was really further along than was safe with a chemical abortion. Planned Parenthood offers them up until 9 weeks, but the risk factors rise dramatically after 7. Even at that, women are still known to bleed to death at any stage.
At the time of her abortion, Abby was a mature young woman. She had been married and was on the brink of starting her career. She was not a teenager attempting to hide her pregnancy from her parents and bleeding in secret in the bathroom. And yet, she was too overwhelmed with shame to get the proper medical care she needed.
In Iowa, Planned Parenthood allows girls and women of all ages to receive the medication for a chemical abortion without a medical doctor on the facility. Instead, the consultation is done via a webcam. No physical exam is done by a physician. I’m not even positive what proof needs to be provided that the pregnancy falls within the required time period. However, the doctor gives his approval from however far away he is and the pills are handed over by a nurse or clinic worker. (A key fact to note is that there will also not be a doctor at the clinic if she returns with problems.)
When Abby Johnson went home with her abortion pills, she had been through the whole consultation with the doctor but still had no idea what to expect. How would the baby look when it passed? Would it just fall into the toilet? I remember those very same fears when I had a miscarriage many years ago. We couldn’t find a heartbeat at the doctor’s office and he sent me home to wait for any pain or bleeding to begin. The uncertainty was terrifying, and I wasn’t alone or filled the shame of seeking an abortion.
We’ve heard that Planned Parenthood has been telling the women in Iowa that if they have problems to go to the nearest Emergency Room and tell the doctor that they are miscarrying. If this is true (and I could not substantiate it for sure) this is the height of irresponsibility. The emergency medical team needs to know about drugs that might be in this girl’s system. If her life is at risk, the facts may mean the difference between life and death!
Planned Parenthood presently has plans to open new offices in Fremont, Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, Norfolk and North Platte. It is suspected that each will be distributing chemical abortions via webcam, just like in Iowa. I am not a medical expert, but I find the ramifications of this very frightening. Even when I discount the increased number of dead children, the thought of giving a powerful drug into the hands of young women, many of whom are irresponsible, is scary. Perhaps our parental notification law will keep some parents informed, but that is little comfort.
In response to this, State Senator Tony Fulton has introduced a Stop Web Cam Abortions Bill (LB 521) to make this type of procedure illegal in Nebraska. Even though Senator Dave Bloomfield made this his priority bill, it has been stalled in committee. Committee Chairman Brad Ashford needs to be contacted and encouraged to bring it up for discussion and a vote. The women of our state (along with their unborn children) need to be protected!
Keeping it true! Barb