A recent NY Times article bemoans the Supreme Court decision to strike down Roe v. Wade. The article which is quoted in excerpts below applauded the use of telemedicine, specifically abortion by mail. The author also complains of the difficulty finding sources and admits that, in places with abortion bans, such sources are technically operating illegally.
Abortions are reduced overall with the new restrictions in many states. Women are traveling across state lines to try and obtain abortions. The author notes that the costs make it impossible for many women to obtain the abortion they desire; thus, they are having children they do not want. Or they are turning to telemedicine.
NYTimes: Just two years ago, about 250,000 people had abortions in the U.S. states where the procedure is now banned or severely restricted, or probably soon will be. Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, allowing those prohibitions to take effect, where have women in these states turned?
They’re increasingly using telemedicine to get abortion pills. Because of access to the pills, a gray zone for providing abortions has emerged in the months since the court’s decision. The method is safe and effective, though in states with bans, the delivery mechanism is not legal.
The implications of the increased use of telemedicine is frightening. Women are illegally obtaining abortion pills from unregulated sources, sometimes overseas. No doctor ever sees them to determine if the baby is in the womb, or dangerously, in a fallopian tube. There is no oversight regarding the baby’s age, or when the woman actually ingests the pill.
We recently met a woman who had taken the abortion pill she received by mail two weeks after it was sent to her. By that time, she was actually outside the recommended time to take the pill. Fortunately, abortion pill reversal negated the effect and the baby was fine.
Sources of telemedicine
NYTimes: Only one telemedicine service, Aid Access, openly provides pills in states with abortion bans. In the months preceding a leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s decision, Aid Access received an average of about 83 requests a day from people seeking abortion pills in 30 states, new research found. In 27 of those states, abortion is now banned, likely to be banned or allowed only during the first six weeks of pregnancy. For comparison’s sake, the study also included three states where the procedure is still widely available.
The founder of Aid Access is a Dutch Physician, Dr. Rebecca Gompers. She uses her Austrian medical license in order to write prescriptions across state lines. This is in defiance of state abortion laws, and thus illegal. Yet she continues to do it, and will likely face legal challenges over the coming years in the post-Roe America. Some states like Massachusetts passed a law to shield abortion providers who offer telemedicine abortions to people in states with abortion bans.
In the months following the court decision, Aid Access saw the requests for telemedicine increase from about 83 a day to 218 a day (almost triple). The bulk of the requests came from states that had enacted total abortion bans.
Should this be allowed?
Abortion opponents believe that state laws should bind out of state providers from such activity. States should help enforce each others’ laws, a basic premise of our federalist system; however, abortion supporters insist they should be able to refuse to support laws of other states when it comes to abortion.
The NYT article describes the use of telemedicine as cheap and practical. It describes the physical effect as that of miscarrying. It describes abortion by mail as just as safe and effective in the first trimester “as going to a clinic.”
God knows ALL of the new obstacles we face. He is still the victor in this battle of good vs. evil.
Safety is a key issue
Recently, a group of doctors have joined forces in speaking out against the supposed safety of abortion pills, dispensed legally or not. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys represent four health care organizations and four doctors in the first lawsuit to challenge FDA’s authorization of chemical abortion drugs and the removal of safeguards. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Pediatricians, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations, and doctors Shaun Jester, Regina Frost-Clark, Tyler Johnson and George Delgado.
Further, in 2021, the FDA announced that it would allow abortionists to send chemical abortion drugs through the mail — in direct violation of longstanding federal law. As the lawsuit points out, this decision puts girls and women at additional risk from chemical abortion drugs since mail-order, at-home abortions skip necessary medical examinations to ensure that girls and women do not have conditions that could lead to fatal outcomes (source: ADFlegal.org).
Implications for sidewalk outreach
Obviously, sidewalk outreach will be ineffective in reaching women who rely on telemedicine; therefore, the Church will become even more important in trumpeting the message of the sanctity of human life, as well as the terrible sin of abortion. Outreach must expand to places where young women are likely to gather and hear a pro-abortion message. This includes high schools, colleges and any teens and young adults’ gatherings.
Sidewalk outreach is, of course, absolutely necessary in being a visible presence and witness of biblical truth regarding the unborn child. We should continue to offer help to vulnerable women through the local church. Women in second- and third-term abortions will still flock to clinics for surgical abortions. Our presence continues to be the last voice of hope for those precious image bearers of God.
We must be careful to guard our hearts from discouragement and bitterness. God knows ALL of the new obstacles we face. He is still the victor in this battle of good vs. evil.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” 1 Peter 1:3 NKJV