After implementing a new law regarding abortion, when seeking for medical abortion in Ohio, women are experiencing a greater rate of complications, new study shows.
All doctors offering medication to end a pregnancy must follow a set of rules established by the federal Food and Drug Administration. It sounded like a harmless safety regulation.
However, according to a new study, the effects of this new law raised the number of complications encountered by women who try to get an abortion.
In 2004, the medication abortion law was passed by Ohio along with other similar ones nationwide which were influenced by the anti-abortion activists. The FDA rules were introduced in 2000, with particular dosages of misoprostol and mifepristone. However, within a few years, physicians understood that lowering the dose of mifepristone and using a greater dose of misoprostol delivered better results for their patients.
Soon after it was issued, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the World Health Organization, and the National Abortion Federation found deficiencies with the FDA’s protocol and begun suggesting revisions as early as 2003.
Experts at the University of San Francisco’s Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health decided that patients are now experiencing a dramatic rise in side effects in comparison to the time before the law.
Ironically, the law was passed with the purpose of protecting women. Instead, Ushma Upadhyay, the lead author of the study mentioned that the women’s health was endangered because of this law.
To see the impact that the law had on patients, researchers analyzed the medical records of 2,783 women at one of four clinics in Ohio between 2010 and 2014 who had medication abortions. After the law was implemented, women were three times more suitable to need further interventions than they were before.
Before 2011, doctors had to administer extra care in 4.9% of cases. It typically meant using suction to extract the fetus from the uterus or applying an additional dose of misoprostol. According to the new study, after the law was passed, measures like these were needed in 14.3% of the situations.
Moreover, the frequency of side effects almost doubled after the law entered into force. 8.4% of women encountered problems like vomiting or nausea when physicians were empowered to use their own judgment. After doctors were obliged to follow the FDA’s regimen, 15.6% of women had the before-mentioned problems.
Texas, Arizona, and North Dakota have abortion laws comparable to Ohio’s. In Oklahoma and Arkansas, the passed similar laws were blocked by a court order.
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