Despite increased risk of ‘heavy bleeding,’ study promotes post-abortion phone follow-up
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, May 21, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Two researchers have suggested women who have had an abortion could skip an in-person office follow-up and instead confer by phone, although their research shows those who do so are less likely to keep their appointment, more likely to make unscheduled contacts, and more than four-times as likely to suffer heavy bleeding.
“Phone follow-up is feasible for medical abortion and can assess the need for further in-person follow-up,” Diana W. Samberg, MS, a doctoral candidate at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, told the annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
She and Dr. Beatrice A. Chen of the University of Pittsburgh conducted a survey of 118 post-abortive women at Magee-Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh from January 2010 through June 2011.
Their research found 13.7 percent of those who called the office after an abortion rather than being examined by a doctor suffered from “heavy bleeding” – bleeding heavy enough to require an office visit. Only three percent of those who visited in person had the same experience.
One of the women who followed up by phone had to come in for Dilation and Curettage (D&C), a process to remove portions of the placenta or fetus left inside the mother’s womb after an abortion.
A news report of the conference states “session moderator Caela Miller, MD, of the faculty of the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, suggested that infections might emerge when larger numbers of women undergoing medical abortions were surveyed.”
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Women who chose to respond by phone were twice as likely not to keep the appointment as those who said they would report in person. Samberg reported 18 percent of the phone group did not receive any follow-up, versus nine percent of those who promised to return to a clinic.
The phone group was also more likely to make unscheduled visits or calls and more than twice as likely to make two or more unscheduled phone calls or visits, possibly suggesting undetected problems or concerns.
The group opting for phone follow-up rather than an in-person visit were older, the majority had a previous abortion, most were employed, and were more likely to be white.
Despite the concerns, the presenters viewed this as a viable alternative for abortionists. The study followed a 2010 study finding 64 percent of women who chose a phone follow-up did not need to report to the office.
The phone visits would likely save the abortionists time via shorter visits, allowing them to perform more abortions.
Former abortionist Carol Everett explained why she chose her career. “I wanted to be a millionaire,” she said. “And the way for me to be a millionaire was to do 40,000 abortions a year.”