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COLUMBUS, September 1, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A new study, written in part by a Planned Parenthood employee, has said that an Ohio law demanding more rigorous standards when dispensing abortion-inducing drugs actually harmed women’s health. But pro-life leaders tell LifeSiteNews the study is intrinsically flawed and biased.

In a new study published in PLOS Medicine, researchers examined the effects of an Ohio state law that required abortionists to perform medical abortions according to FDA standards adopted in 2000, rather than an illegal but less expensive method the abortion industry had substituted for them.

When the FDA approved RU-486 in 2000 after enacting “accelerated approval regulations,” its guidelines required doctors to administer 600 mg of mifepristone, followed by 400 mcg of misoprostol.

The mifepristone causes the newly implanted child to detach from the mother's uterine wall, and the misoprostole stimulates contractions that expel the baby from her womb without surgical intervention.

Abortionists instead prescribed a lower dose of the more costly mifepristone and increased the amounts of the cheaper misoprostol.

In 2011, the state required abortionists to follow then-legally binding FDA standards. (The FDA changed its standards to accommodate the abortion industry’s illegal medical abortion practices this year.)

The researchers say that twice as many women reported nausea following the FDA’s original guidelines. Doctors were three times more likely to follow up with an additional medical intervention.

“The average patient charge increased from $426 in 2010 to $551 in 2014,” the study finds.

It also lists among the law’s negative effects that “there was an 80% decline in medication abortion in Ohio between 2010 and 2014.”

Pro-life advocates say that one of the study’s authors – Julia E. Kohn – is employed by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and three of the remaining four authors are affiliated with Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) at the University of California at San Francisco. ANSIRH, which is heavily funded by pro-abortion billionaire Warren Buffett, has been criticized in the past for its shoddy reports and biased conclusions.

“A new study by abortion industry advocates released today should be met with the same skepticism we would give to tobacco industry findings that their products are ‘safe,’” said Americans United for Life Acting President and Senior Counsel Clarke Forsythe.

Dr. Michael J. New, visiting associate professor of economics at Ave Maria University, told LifeSiteNews that the study has several structural flaws.

“In fact the leading intervention is an additional dose of misoprostol. The [original FDA] regulations reduced the recommended dosage of misoprostol. As such, this might have been a strategy by the abortion facility to raise the dosage to a level they found appropriate – or more cynically make additional money by prescribing a higher dosage.”

The report dismisses that concern by saying, “Even if these explanations were true, the resulting conclusion would still be that something about implementation of the law and/or the FDA-approved protocol was associated with higher rates of intervention.”

The older guidelines, Dr. New added, “required more in-person visits to the abortion facility. Specifically they required an extra visit to ingest the misoprostol. More visits makes it more likely the abortion facility would hear about health problems and schedule a medical intervention.”

“The older regime required a later follow up visit after the misoprostol and the mifepristone, 14 days after the mifepristone. Under the [illegal] regime the timing was 5-14 days after the mifepristone,” he told LifeSiteNews. “A longer time period makes it more likely for the abortion facility will learn about a subsequent medical complication. With a shorter timeframe a medical complication may go unreported or may be handled by another health care provider.”

Most women do not go to Planned Parenthood for medical care or procedures other than abortion or contraception.

The FDA reported that by 2011, RU-486 had been responsble for 2,207 severe complications in the U.S. such as hemorrhaging, blood loss severe enough to require a transfusion, infections, and death.

“Knowing that chemical abortions are dangerous and an increasing segment of the abortion industry’s sales, it’s vital that states continue to look at ways to protect women from predatory practice,” Forsythe said.