search
Sections List
American Journal News

Republican senators are trying to ban one of the safest kinds of abortion

They admit it’s about their politics, not women’s safety.

By Lisa Needham - March 13, 2020
Share
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)

A group of conservative senators is leading an effort to ban medication abortions performed via telemedicine nationwide, even as numerous studies have shown they are very safe and in some cases the only option for care.

When telemedicine is used for abortion care, a patient who chooses a medication abortion is connected to a clinician remotely via video. That clinician reviews the patient’s records, is available to answer questions, and authorizes the medication to be given to the patient. 

A proposed bill, led by Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, would require health care providers to be “physically present” for any medication abortion. Failure to do so can result in a fine and imprisonment. 

Cassidy describes banning this procedure as somehow helping to “care for mothers” but didn’t clarify how blocking abortion access does this.

Joining Cassidy in this effort is Louisiana’s other Republican senator, John Kennedy, who declared that medication abortions “put women at astonishing risk,” adding that using telemedicine will “put up even more barriers between women and critical medical care.” 

But Kennedy is not telling the truth when he says that medication abortions conducted via telemedicine put people at risk. In fact, the use of telemedicine for medication abortions is remarkably low risk

Over a seven-year span when Planned Parenthood used telemedicine to perform over 8,000 medication abortions in Iowa, 99% of patients had a successful abortion and just 1% of patients had any adverse events, such as going to the emergency room. 

Telemedicine also helps solve the problem of “abortion deserts” — locations where people must travel more than 100 miles to obtain an abortion. A recent study found there are 27 of these deserts in the United States. 

Besides ensuring better access to care for rural people, telemedicine also results in people being able to obtain abortions as soon as they want one. One study showed that telemedicine in Iowa allowed more people to obtain abortions before 12 weeks.

“From a public-health perspective, [telemedicine] does improve access to early abortion [and] decreases later abortion, and that would result in improved health outcomes,” Daniel Grossman, a doctor and reproductive health researcher who supports broad implementation of telemedicine, told the Atlantic.

Efforts to ban telemedicine exist at the state level as well. The Ohio Senate just passed a measure that would bar the procedure, despite the fact that medical abortions have been safely provided in the state via telemedicine for the last two years. 

Lauren Blauvelt-Copelin, the vice president of government affairs and public advocacy of Planned Parenthood in Ohio, argues that banning the use of telemedicine for abortions is designed to get rid of abortion access, not to increase safety for pregnant people. 

“The goal of Senate Bill 260 is not better health care for Ohioans or patient safety, its sole purpose is to push access to safe, legal abortion further out of reach and against the will of the majority of Ohioans.” Blauvelt-Copelin, said.

Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), another sponsor of the federal bill to ban telemedicine abortion, appeared to admit the bill is not about the safety of the mother but about throwing up barriers to people seeking an abortion. 

“Killing an unborn child is wrong, and encouraging women to undergo that procedure without knowing the impact is egregious,” Cramer said in a statement supporting the telemedicine ban.

In states where it is legal, telemedicine provides a safe way for people to obtain an abortion early in pregnancy, regardless of where they live.

Taking that away doesn’t help anyone, but serves only to push abortions out of reach for many. 

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

 


AJ News
Get the latest news here first.

Tai News

Newsletter
Read More
Abortion care and transgender health care are ‘parallel struggles’ in 2024 legislation

Abortion care and transgender health care are ‘parallel struggles’ in 2024 legislation

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - February 16, 2024
Texas conservatives test how far they can extend abortion and gender-transition restrictions beyond state lines

Texas conservatives test how far they can extend abortion and gender-transition restrictions beyond state lines

By Eleanor Klibanoff, Texas Tribune and William Melhado, Texas Tribune - February 09, 2024
Republicans block attempt to add rape, incest exemptions to Missouri’s abortion ban

Republicans block attempt to add rape, incest exemptions to Missouri’s abortion ban

By Anna Spoerre, Missouri Independent and Rudi Keller, Missouri Independent - February 08, 2024
Other states’ ballot successes provide model for Arkansas abortion initiative

Other states’ ballot successes provide model for Arkansas abortion initiative

By Antoinette Grajeda, Arkansas Advocate - February 02, 2024
After enacting strict abortion bans, Oklahoma GOP lawmakers seek more restrictions

After enacting strict abortion bans, Oklahoma GOP lawmakers seek more restrictions

By Carmen Forman, Oklahoma Voice - February 02, 2024
Assembly lawmakers pass 14-week abortion ban Evers has vowed to veto

Assembly lawmakers pass 14-week abortion ban Evers has vowed to veto

By Baylor Spears, Wisconsin Examiner - January 26, 2024
AJ News
Latest
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

By Jesse Valentine - February 23, 2024
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

By Jesse Valentine - February 22, 2024
More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

By Megan Henry, Ohio Capital Journal - February 22, 2024
Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

By Kyle Dunphey, Utah News Dispatch - February 21, 2024
Key takeaways from Monday’s U.S. Senate Ohio Republican primary debate

Key takeaways from Monday’s U.S. Senate Ohio Republican primary debate

By Nick Evans, Ohio Capital Journal - February 20, 2024
Human, financial costs of gun violence are growing dramatically, health care group says

Human, financial costs of gun violence are growing dramatically, health care group says

By Marty Schladen, Ohio Capital Journal - February 20, 2024