According to a recent report by Reuters, abortion in America has reached a new turning point: Nearly half—43 percent—of abortions at Planned Parenthood clinics are now medication-induced rather than surgical procedures. It’s a sharp increase since 2010, when Planned Parenthood ended 34 percent of pregnancies chemically. At some point, chemical abortions could exceed surgical ones nationally. They already do in Michigan, at 55 percent, and Iowa at a whopping 64 percent.
What precipitated this spike? In March 2016, the Food and Drug Administration caved to pressure from drug companies, changing prescription guidelines so that the abortion drug Mifeprex—use of which the FDA hadn’t permitted after seven weeks of pregnancy—could now be administered up to 10 weeks. The FDA loosened restrictions further by cutting the number of required medical visits and even allowing non-physicians to dispense the abortion pill.
“Of the more than 2.75 million U.S. women who have used abortion pills since they were approved in 2000, at least 1 million got them at Planned Parenthood,” Reuters reports. The number is likely to increase as a result of the new guidelines. This, “despite concerns about the drug’s medical risks, including blood, psychiatric, immune, respiratory, cardiac, reproductive, and more disorders, as well as a handful of deaths,” warns Live Action.
Add to the increase the fact that contraceptives such as the morning-after pill—also known as Plan B—and others act as abortifacients by inhibiting implantation of a newly conceived embryo in the womb. Countless abortions are therefore going unreported as it becomes easy for a woman to have an early abortion without going to a clinic or hospital.
Women on Web is a digital community where women from most parts of the world can order abortifacients Mifepristone and Misoprostol online. Reuters reports that Gynuity Health Projects, a private technical institute working in conjunction with clinics in New York and several other states, sends abortion pills by mail to pre-screened women.
Early this year, many pro-life advocates celebrated declining abortion rates in the U.S. But it is very possible that the decline is not as steep as has been reported. Not only because of the abortifacient nature of some contraception methods, and that women are now ordering their abortion pills online without ever going to a hospital, but also because several state health departments, including the most populous, California, do not even provide abortion data.