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Medical Abortions Four Times as Risky as Surgical, Reports the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons

December 18, 2019 GMT

TUCSON, Ariz., Dec. 18, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Abortion providers are encouraging women to choose the medical abortion option, but studies consistently show that the rate of complications is four times higher than for a surgical procedure, writes San Antonio obstetrician Ingrid Skop, M.D., in the winter issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

Currently, about 39 percent of abortions in the U.S. are drug-induced, writes Dr. Skop, using a combination of mifepristone (Mifeprex or RU486) and misoprostol (Cytotec). Serious complications include ruptured ectopic pregnancies, hemorrhage, infection, and retained pregnancy tissue, which require surgery in as many as one in 20 women.

Everyone would probably agree that if an abortion is done, the safety of the woman undergoing the procedure should be a high priority, Dr. Skop writes. However, “vocal abortion advocates are aggressively using the court systems and pro-choice media sources to advocate for removal of safety restrictions on abortions.” Moreover, she adds, “They have also begun to advocate for illegal use of mifepristone and misoprostol when restrictions are in place, despite the demonstrated increase in adverse events that occur when these medications are used without close medical supervision.”

Abortion-rights advocates claim that abortions are extremely safe, but Dr. Skop points out that research is heavily biased. We do not even have accurate statistics on the number of abortions that occur, she states, and only 28 states require providers to report complications. Nonetheless, telemedicine abortions, mail-order pills, and performance by nonphysicians are proposed.

“Abortion provision is subject to different standards from other medical interventions,” Dr Skop writes.

“Physicians who seek to advocate for their female patients’ best interests should become aware that medical abortion results in complications far more often than its proponents acknowledge,” she concludes.

The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is published by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943.

Contact: Ingrid Skop, M.D., ingrid@aaplog.org, or Jane M. Orient, M.D., (520) 323-3110, janeorientmd@gmail.com