Indiana won a victory for mothers and babies in court this week when the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals allowed a ban on dangerous telemedicine abortions to remain in effect.
The ruling granted a stay pending appeal, allowing major provisions of the pro-life law to remain in effect while Indiana appeals federal Judge Sarah Evans Barker’s ruling that blocked the law.
Portions of the law that will remain in effect include a physician-only requirement for chemical, or drug-induced, abortions; hospital/surgical center requirements for second-trimester abortions; an in-person counseling requirement form for women considering abortion; an in-person physical exam requirement; and a ban on using telemedicine for abortions.
One of the many problems with a telemedicine abortion is that the woman likely never sees a doctor in person before receiving drugs to abort her unborn baby. Typically, it involves meeting with an abortionist over a webcam before the woman receives the drugs from a remote-controlled drawer or abortion facility staff. Some groups also are selling abortion drugs online through the mail after the Biden administration stopped enforcing FDA safety requirements on the drug in April.
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Indiana Right to Life celebrated the ruling as a victory for women’s health.
“This is a welcome ruling recognizing that Indiana is on solid legal ground in defending its laws,” said Indiana Right to Life president and CEO Mike Fichter. “It is revealing that in every issue at stake, abortion businesses seek to block provisions originally enacted to protect women’s health.”
The abortion chain Whole Woman’s Health Alliance is suing to overturn the law. However, the Seventh Circuit justices said its arguments against the law are not likely to prevail.
“State laws requiring abortions to be performed by physicians have been challenged before, and in Mazurek v. Armstrong (1997) …, the Supreme Court held that they are constitutional,” the court wrote.
The purpose of the Indiana law is to protect mothers as well as unborn babies by ensuring that abortion facilities meet basic health and safety standards.
The abortion drug mifepristone, used up to 10 weeks of pregnancy, is not safe for mothers or babies. The risks can be even more dire if the mother does not see a doctor or have an ultrasound prior to taking the drug. In the U.S., mifepristone has been responsible for millions of babies’ deaths and linked to at least two dozen women’s deaths and thousands of serious complications.
A 2009 study “Immediate Complications After Medical Compared With Surgical Termination of Pregnancy,” in Obstetrics and Gynecology found a complication rate of approximately 20 percent for the abortion drugs compared to 5.6 percent for surgical abortions. Hemorrhages and incomplete abortions were among the most common complications.
Another study, published in “Issues in Law & Medicine” in January, found “glaring deficiencies” in reports documenting complications from the abortion drug in the U.S. The most common complications included a failed abortion, an incomplete abortion (meaning part of the unborn baby or placenta remained in the womb), infection and a missed ectopic pregnancy, according to the research.