The Arkansas legislature has, at last, been given the green light by the United States Supreme Court to place its abortion industry under a new restriction that will severely limit abortions within the state. The law, passed in 2015, but challenged by Planned Parenthood, states that “any physician who “gives, sells, dispenses, administers, or otherwise provides or prescribes the abortion-inducing drug shall have to have a contract with a physician who has admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
I’m loving this legislation because, while, in effect, it will make medication-induced abortions very rare in Arkansas, it’s hard for Planned Parenthood to make a case against the law, since no one can argue that the legislation doesn’t actually add a needed layer of medical safety to the procedures. It makes medication-induced abortions far more rare than they now are in the state, while sounding like its purpose is solely to make them safer. That creative legislation is hard to defeat. The real reason, of course, that it is hard to defeat is that abortions are not safe procedures. They are certainly not entirely safe for mothers. They are even less safe for babies since, at the end of the day, the mortality rate is one death per procedure.
(I did a minimal amount of research on the pill combo used in these procedures (mifepristone and misoprostol). From the Safe2Choose website which promotes and sells this “abortion pack”, a casual reading makes any thinking person (even if not morally opposed to the procedure) know that it is within the realm of reasonable precaution to have an admitting physician on call. This is directly from that site (https://safe2choose.org/abortion-pills/using-mifepristone-and-misoprostol) Below is the first part of a series of instructions to women who are self-inducing the abortion with these pills. Remember, this is from a site that sells abortion kits.
- You will need 1 pill of Mifepristone and 4 pills of Misoprostol. The Mifepristone pill should be 200 mg (or the equivalent to 200 mg) and each Misoprostol pill should be 200 mcg. If possible, it is good to have 8 Misoprostol pills total (4 extra) just in case you need them.
- If you have an intrauterine device (IUD) it’s best if you get it removed before using abortion pills.Having an IUD does not decrease the efficacy of the procedure, but it can increase the intensity of the pelvic pain.
- Use Misoprostol a day when you can rest and you do not have things to do. It is best to be in a place where you feel comfortable and safe.
- Have an emergency plan ready just in case. Although not many women experience a complication, it’s important to know what you would do in case of an emergency before using the pills.
- Know which clinic or hospital you would go to taking into consideration that they would be able to assist you at whatever hour you arrive (open 24 hrs). You should be able to arrive there in 1 hour or less or, if you have anemia, 30 minutes or less.
- Decide how you will get there and prepare money if you will need it. Keep in mind you will not be able to drive yourself as that would not be safe.
- Will you have someone there who can go with you?
- What will you say to medical staff? (We are going to explain this in great detail as you keep reading on, but if you used the pills in your mouth they will not have a way to detect you used
them. Nevertheless, if you live in a place where safe abortion is restricted, they could try and pressure you to say that you provoked an abortion.)
- If possible, it’s great to have someone you trust with you throughout the process to help with whatever it is you might need. The idea is that they support you to feel comfortable and relaxed, but also that they help you in the event of an emergency. Make sure to share with them this guide so they are also familiar with the process.
- We recommend you use comfortable clothing and prepare in advance some light meals for the day you do the procedure so you don’t have to worry about that during your process.
- There are no dietary restrictions and throughout the entire process you may eat as you please. Have water ready so you can drink throughout the process and remain hydrated.)
Planned Parenthood is actually calling this legislation a ban on medication abortion. Vice President Dawn Leguens said Arkansas is “shamefully responsible” for such a ban. It’s telling that Planned Parenthood already knows that requiring an admitting physician to sign on will effectively end the procedure in most areas of the state.
Arkansas lawyers should be proud of such groundbreaking legislation, which is, in their words just “common sense.” It merely requires providers to have a contract with a physician who can admit to a local hospital should something go awry in the process. It will effectively make medication induced abortions limited to one city in the entire state.
It takes legislators with spine to write, pass and patiently wait for the day when this law comes into effect. (Maybe they are tough Razorbacks!) I wish I could claim this achievement for Alabama. Perhaps we will follow suit. As of now, the following restrictions apply in Alabama: (https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/state-facts-about-abortion-alabama)
- A woman must receive state-directed counseling that includes information designed to discourage her from having an abortion, and then wait 48 hours before the procedure is provided.
- Health plans offered in the state’s health exchange under the Affordable Care Act can only cover abortion if the woman’s life is endangered, rape or incest.
- The use of telemedicine to administer medication abortion is prohibited.
- The parent of a minor must consent before an abortion is provided.
- Public funding is available for abortion only in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.
- A woman must undergo an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion; the provider must offer her the option to view the image.
Planned Parenthood, of course, plans another challenge to the state of Arkansas in court. Would you pray for this life-saving legislation?