Statement on 5th Circuit Allowing Drug-Induced Abortions in Some Texas Abortion Facilities

Written by Amy O'Donnell, Director of Communications

Austin, TX -- Yesterday evening the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order allowing the performance of drug-induced abortions in the 15 abortion facilities that sued Governor Greg Abbott over his Executive Order GA 09 calling for all medical providers, not just abortion providers, to delay non-emergency surgeries and medical procedures until April 22. The Court's order does not apply to the 10 abortion facilities who are not plaintiffs, meaning those facilities must continue to follow the Executive Order.


The following statement can be attributed to Texas Alliance for Life's Executive Director Joe Pojman, Ph.D.:

We are disappointed by the Court's latest action. The most recent order fails to recognize the danger abortion providers pose to the public by refusing to comply with Governor Abbott's executive order in the same way other providers of non-immediately medically necessary surgeries and procedures have done.

Drug-induced abortions, abortions that use the RU-486 abortion pill, have as much as a 20% complication rate according to the best data available. Many complications require admittance into a hospital emergency department, which should be kept open for patients fighting COVID-19.

Even under the best of circumstances, doctors will personally examine the woman or girl at least twice with a transvaginal ultrasound, requiring personal protective equipment badly needed to find the coronavirus. The first ultrasound occurs prior to when the abortion begins and the second occurs during the follow-up visit no later than 14 days after the administration of the first drug.

We note that the best data available indicate a 20% complication rate associated with medication abortion, more than three times greater than complications associated with surgical abortion, which is 5.6%. Six percent of medication abortions result in a surgical abortion, requiring even more PPE.


The 2009 peer-reviewed study, "Immediate Complications After Medical Compared With Surgical Termination of Pregnancy," involving more than 42,000 patients was published in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The study found: "The overall incidence of adverse events was fourfold higher in the medical compared with surgical abortion cohort (20.0% compared with 5.6%, P<.001). Hemorrhage (15.6% compared with 2.1%, P<.001) and incomplete abortion (6.7% compared with 1.6%, P<.001) were more common after medical abortion. The rate of surgical (re)evacuation was 5.9% after medical abortion and 1.8% after surgical abortion (P<.001)."

 
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