New RU-486 data points to telemed abortion complication cover-up

Des Moines, IA/October 6, 2010/Operation Rescue --

New data released in the U.S. and Australia concerning complications to the abortion pill, RU 486, also known as Mifepristone or Mifeprex appears to point to a cover-up of the true complication rate to telemed abortions done by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland (PPH).

On September 30, 2010, the Centers for Disease Control revealed in the New England Journal of Medicine that there have been 2 more deaths from the abortion pill, 1 in 2008 and one just last year, bringing the U.S. death toll to 10 since the FDA approved the drug in 2000.

In addition, The Australian reported on October 2, 2010, that complications to usage of the RU486 abortion pill in that country is causing concern.

"It should raise serious questions about the ethicacy and appropriateness of this method of termination," said Australian Senator Guy Barnett of Tasmania.

Australia's reported complications are disturbing. Between December of last year, when restrictions on the abortion pill was relaxed, and July of 2010, there have been a reported 3,000 medical abortions reported in three provinces, a number that can be generally compared to PP of the Heartland's figure of 1,900 medical abortions done through their remote-controlled push-button abortion pill distribution scheme, known as telemed abortions.

In Australia, the drugs completely failed in 14 cases, and in another 110 cases reported such "adverse effects" as retention of the placenta, retention of aborted baby remains, conditions that require emergency surgery.

This represents a 4.1% complication rate requiring surgical abortion or emergency surgery - and this is with the benefit of the oversight of licensed physicians, a figure that is concerning to Australians, but is reflective of the reported complication rates elsewhere in the world.

Meanwhile, PPH has incredibly reported no complications in their nearly 2,000 remote controlled telemed abortions where a licensed physician only speaks with the patient for a few minutes over an Internet video connection, then never sees the patient again. The pills are distributed when the abortionist pushes a button in his or her office, opening a drawer containing the pills at the office where the patient is located.

"The numbers simply do not add up. Either Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is engaging in an intentional cover-up of telemed abortion complications or it is an indication that they provide essentially no follow-up for patients once they load them on abortion pills and send them out the door. Either scenario would be gross misconduct on PPH's part that further endangers the lives of women," said Operation Rescue spokesperson Cheryl Sullenger.

In fact, a confidential informant with first-hand knowledge of the inner working of PPH has come forward to tell Operation Rescue that the telemed abortion scheme shows a "revolting lack of concern" for the lives and health of women. The informant insists that the scheme was developed with a high profit margin in mind, not the best interests of women. According to the informant, who has spoken to OR on the condition of anonymity out of fear of reprisals, PPH has traditionally attempted to distance the organization from any abortion complications, having a "Hear-no-evil, See-no-evil" attitude.

"Planned Parenthood doesn't deal with complications," said the informant. "They send the women to the ER."

"From the new data, we can see that the abortion pill is more dangerous than thought, with an additional two deaths having been reported in the past two years. We can also see that a zero percent complication rate is statistically impossible. Why would Planned Parenthood of the Heartland engage in a cover-up about the true dangers of their push-button abortions? Perhaps it is to conceal their negligent lack of follow-up care and protect their profit potential," said Sullenger.

"This is an unethical and outrageous exploitation of women. Their dishonesty on this matter presents an immediate danger to the public."

The Iowa Board of Medicine is currently investigating complaints filed by Operation Rescue and others against abortionists involved in the push-button pill scheme. Pro-life groups assert that the telemed abortion process is illegal since Iowa law mandates that abortions can only be done by licensed physicians, which are never present at any time during the remote abortion pill process.

Even an editorial published by the Des Moines Register on September 5, 2010, essentially admitted that telemed abortions are illegal in Iowa and called for a change in the laws to allow them.

"Instead of changing the law, how about enforcing it," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "It is shocking that the Des Moines Register would advocate for endangering women by decriminalizing the unlicensed practice of medicine. It shows that for these people, abortion politics and profit come before the health and safety of women."

The IBM has made it clear, however, that they lack the oversight to stop the procedure and can only discipline licensed physicians if the standard of care has been violated.

However, the IBM can produce public policy guidelines concerning the use - or misuse - of telemedicine in Iowa. An Ad Hoc committee has been appointed to look into the use of telemedicine, including PPH's push-button abortions. A public hearing to discuss public policy guidelines has been scheduled for October 22, 2010.

Operation Rescue and other pro-life groups plan to be in attendance.

"We must hold the Board accountable to the law and demand an end to this illegal and dangerous practice of distributing abortion pills over the Internet without the presence or oversight of a licensed physician," said Sullenger. "Planned Parenthood has already admitted that they want to expand their telemed abortion system into every state, and that would represent an unprecedented danger to women and their babies. For the sake of vulnerable women, we must stop this dangerous remote controlled abortion scam here and now."

Operation Rescue is seeking women who have suffered complications to telemed abortions in Iowa. Click here to learn more or to tell your story to us.


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