MCCL reported on Aug. 30 that Planned Parenthood had begun performing RU486 chemical abortions at its Rochester (Minnesota) clinic. It was the first time that Planned Parenthood in Minnesota -- the leading performer and promoter of abortion in our state -- had expanded its abortion operation beyond its St. Paul abortion center.
We then learned and reported in the Sept.-Oct. issue of MCCL News that these RU486 abortions in Rochester are being done via webcam. This is a very troubling development.
So-called "webcam" or "telemedicine" abortions were pioneered by Planned Parenthood in Iowa. Rather than meeting the abortionist in person, a pregnant woman converses with him long-distance via webcam before receiving the abortion drugs. (RU486 abortions are a two drug process: the first is mifepristone, or RU486, which kills the developing human being in utero; the second is a prostaglandin that expels the dead child.)
The webcam method allows Planned Parenthood to bring RU486 abortions to more women, especially in rural areas, who no longer have to travel to meet with a doctor in person. Women at the Rochester clinic talk with an abortionist who is located at Planned Parenthood's St. Paul center. The predictable result is more abortions performed and more revenue for Planned Parenthood.
Explains Dr. Randall K. O'Bannon of National Right to Life:
Webcam abortions generate buzz and open up a whole new customer base in locations where Planned Parenthood can't afford to post an abortionist. It gives some of their smaller offices a chance to bring in a very profitable product without having to make a lot of changes or buy a whole lot of new equipment.Webcam abortions also pose serious dangers to women. RU486 itself is a particularly dangerous abortion method for pregnant women: Fourteen women are known to have died from RU486 in the United States since 2000, according to the FDA, and thousands of women have suffered complications. Moreover, the webcam technique means that women can receive RU486 in areas in which there may be no doctors (or no doctors familiar with the RU486 abortion process) available in the event of such complications.
It is true, of course, that many legitimate medical procedures are offered via telemedicine, as a means of helping more people, especially in emergency situations; but abortion is not a legitimate medical procedure. It is an elective procedure that kills young members of the human family and risks the health of women. Webcam abortion expands destruction, not health care.
Planned Parenthood's webcam abortion operation in our state must be opposed because it will increase the number of unborn human beings who are unjustly killed, and because it needlessly endangers pregnant women, who deserve care and support, not chemical abortion with little medical supervision.