by Kristen Nupson, WRTL Legislative/PAC Director
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY SOCIETY OF ST. SEBASTIAN, January 7, 2021
The abortion industry claims that protecting women’s health is their top priority, but their recent development and focused expansion of the chemical abortion process proves otherwise.
Chemical abortions, also known as medication abortions or RU-486, are comprised of a two-pill protocol. The first drug, mifepristone, blocks nutrients from getting to the baby, stopping her growth and development. The second drug, misoprostol, causes severe contractions that lead to the expulsion of the deceased baby.
Because the procedure is marketed as “natural,” “private,” and “safe,” it is not surprising that chemical abortions have increased exponentially over the last two decades. Since the FDA approved Mifeprex in 2000, chemical abortions have risen dramatically. According to the Guttmacher Institute, “medication abortions increased from 5% of all abortions in 2001 to 39% in 2017.” Although statistics have not officially been released for the last three years, there is enough evidence to support that chemical abortions have continued on this growth trajectory.
Certainly, the largest benefactor, and therefore advocate, of this increase in chemical abortions is the abortion giant Planned Parenthood. Chemical abortions do not require the same overhead costs as surgical abortion; they are a low-cost, high-profit procedure. Abortion pills are cheaper now than they were ten years ago but Planned Parenthood does not pass along those savings to the women in need they are claiming to help.
Planned Parenthood’s expansion plan for chemical abortions has been evident nationwide, but events in Wisconsin serve as a microcosm of their agenda.
In early 2018, Planned Parenthood opened a facility in Sheboygan specifically to perform chemical abortions. The results of this are reflected in the state’s Induced Abortion Report. Between 2017 and 2018, while the number of surgical abortions decreased, there was a 539 increase in chemical abortions.
A key problem the abortion industry faces is a shortage of doctors willing to perform abortion procedures. In Wisconsin, there are only 12 physicians who perform abortions for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. However, current state law excludes other, less-qualified health care providers such as nurses or physician assistants to perform an abortion, whether surgical or chemical.
The abortion industry is no stranger to using the judiciary to get favorable outcomes. They are executing this strategy again in Wisconsin in order to expand chemical abortion services statewide.
In November 2018, Josh Kaul was elected the attorney general of Wisconsin. He was endorsed by Planned Parenthood and a recipient of a campaign donation. Less than two weeks after he was officially sworn in, Planned Parenthood sued the state of Wisconsin, challenging three major pro-life laws, including the physician-only requirement. Currently, due to the physician-only legislation, Planned Parenthood only has four abortion-providing clinics in the state. During the recent trial, Planned Parenthood executives stated that if the laws are successfully overturned, they will open all 24 of their facilities to provide chemical abortions because they will be able to activate their nurses to distribute abortion pills.
COVID has added a new dimension to the expansion strategy in Wisconsin. While all elective surgeries were canceled or postponed during the peak of the pandemic, Planned Parenthood clinics were not barred from offering elective abortions to women. Although current state law requires the distribution of abortion pills to be in-person, abortion advocates want to undo that protection so women can “safely” have abortions at home via telemedicine. Over a dozen states allow telemedicine abortion, and advocates like Planned Parenthood are eager to see Wisconsin on that list.
Planned Parenthood carefully curates its messaging to cultural shifts and current events, so it is no surprise they have exploited a global pandemic in order to profit more. In the past, they have used phrases like, “safe, legal, and rare.” They have claimed that abortion is only 4% of what they do (this stat was quickly debunked). Currently, however, they are embracing their title as the largest abortion provider in the United States. In fact, current Planned Parenthood president and chief executive Alexis McGill Johnson candidly shared abortion is “a critically important part of what we do. So, I think when we say, “It’s a small part of what we do,” what we’re doing is actually stigmatizing it…I don’t like to marginalize it in that way.”
Pro-life advocates cannot allow chemical abortions, and the cultural embrace of them, to blindside the movement. Vigilance and education are required to fight against this new lethal trend that has four times the complication rate as surgical abortion procedures. Legislation that requires abortion-seeking women to be informed on the procedure should be passed; lawmakers should be educated on the ripple effects of telemedicine expansion; and pro-life advocates should reach into communities to change hearts and minds to favor life.