Wisconsin Planned Parenthood halts medication abortions as bans enacted in more states
Madison, Wisconsin, April 23, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Planned Parenthood announced last week that it would stop dispensing abortion pills at all of its Wisconsin locations after Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill into law banning the dangerous drugs without the presence of a licensed physician. This law virtually bans the practice of telemed, or webcam abortions.
Medication abortions account for about 25% of all abortions in Wisconsin. Barbara Lyons of Wisconsin Right to Life applauded the suspension of the medical abortions, saying that it will likely “result in another decline in Wisconsin abortions which is great news for mothers and babies.”
“This new law will certainly save lives and we thank the Wisconsin Legislature and Gov. Walker for acting to protect women from predatory webcam abortion practices that attempt to increase abortion profits by cutting corners on women’s health and safety,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation.
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Planned Parenthood denounced the new law, calling it “ambiguous and difficult to interpret.”
In a statement, Teri Huyck, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, said, “The added risks of felony penalties for physicians who provide medication abortion are unnecessary and intended to threaten a physician’s ability to provide women with medication abortion.”
Operation Rescue first uncovered the experimental abortion pill distribution scheme that was being conducted by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland in Iowa, and reported on it in March, 2010, then exposed plans by Planned Parenthood Federation of America to expand the scheme into every one of their clinics nationwide.
Since then several states have worked to prevent the expansion of the dangerous abortion process. Wisconsin joins Arizona, Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota in banning webcam abortions. North Dakota and Oklahoma have also passed webcam bans that are currently in the process of litigation.
Elsewhere, a ban on webcam abortions passed its final hurdle in the Minnesota Legislature last Wednesday, and now heads to the desk of Gov. Mark Dayton, a pro-abortion Democrat. It is unknown whether he intends to sign the bill or exercise his veto.
The following day, another webcam abortion ban overwhelmingly passed the Missouri House with a vote of 109-24. It now moves on to the Senate.
Webcam bans have also been introduced during the current legislative session in Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Tennessee, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion organization that tracks abortion trends. In addition, Rep. Steve King of Iowa is seeking federal legislation to stop webcam abortions.
During the webcam abortion process, the abortionist conducts a brief interview with a potential abortion patient in another location over an Internet video conferencing connection. The abortionist then pushes a button on his or her computer screen that releases a “cash drawer” containing the abortion drugs.
The woman self-administers some of the drugs immediately and is then released to take the rest of the drugs at home. The patient is never examined by a licensed physician, and in the case of an emergency, there is no accessibility to the prescribing abortionist. Operation Rescue charges that the process violates FDA safety protocols on numerous points.
The abortion pill, known as RU486, Mifepristone, or Mifeprex, is responsible for at least 16 patient deaths and thousands of abortion complications. When the pills fail, a surgical abortion can be necessary to save the woman’s life from infection caused by retained fetal tissue.
“There can be no doubt that halting the misuse of abortion drugs will save the lives of women and their babies. Because of this we are working to halt the practice of telemed abortions nationwide,” said Newman.