Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Planned Parenthood comes up with a smart way to help women seeking abortions

  • 88 percent of all U.S. counties have no identifiable abortion provider. In non-metropolitan areas, the figure rises to 97 percent. (via) This means that nearly one in four women obtaining an abortion travel more than 50 miles to reach a provider, and 8 percent travel more than 100 miles. (via)
  • Today, about 95% of women who need abortions have them in clinics or in private doctors' offices where costs can be kept low without increasing health risks. "According to the American Hospital Association, there were 5,801 hospitals in the United States in 2001. However, a 2001-2002 study by the Guttmacher Institute identified only 603 hospitals that provided abortions in 2001." (via)
  • A survey in 1998 revealed that first-trimester abortion techniques are a routine part of training in only 46% of America's ob-gyn residency programs and many offer training in abortion care only as an elective. (via)
  • And the myriad of laws designed to prevent women from getting abortions at all (waiting periods, forced ultrasounds, forced counseling, etc.)
What Planned Parenthood is doing in Iowa makes perfect sense:
Iowa is the only state in the country where Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is administering RU-486 pills using a remote camera and special pill dispenser to patients at rural clinics. ...

The new telemedicine technique allows a doctor to talk to and dispense the pills to a patient in a remote office location using a camera and microphone connected to the Internet, which allows for two-way communication. Officials said the patient is counseled by on-site staff before connecting to talk to the doctor who is at a different location.
The legality of abortion starts to become meaningless when access to abortion is blocked. This concept by PP isn't going to help every woman have access (most medical literature says RU-486 can only be used in the first eight weeks of a pregnancy), but it will help some. And that is a Good Thing.


Shannon Drury said...

Thanks for this post--I'll definitely share it. I agree that a choice is not a choice unless there is access and affordability. This looks like a good first step.

Rosie said...

Thanks Shannon!


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