Study Finds that Telemed Abortions are Safe and Effective
A new study has found that the method of abortion through telemedicine is just as effective and safe for patients as the face-to-face method. Telemedicine allows physicians to remotely counsel each patient and to supervise administration of the drug mifepristone as the nurse dispenses the medication.
The study is among the first reports on telemedicine and was conducted by Dr. Daniel Grossman at University of California-San Francisco at Planned Parenthood clinics throughout Iowa. The study found that 94% of the women who chose telemedicine report being "very satisfied" with the procedure. Researchers found that women who received counseling through telemedicine had no more complications than those with office visits.
In a country in which 88% of counties have no abortion provider, telemedicine abortions have become an increasingly popular method, affording the option of abortion in many areas in which that choice would otherwise not be available.
Five states have banned telemedicine abortions - Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska, Tennessee, and North Dakota, though yesterday in North Dakota, a state with only one abortion clinic, a judge put a temporary restraining order on the statewide ban. Representative Steve King (R-IA) is attempting to ban the procedure in Iowa, attaching it to an agricultural bill that passed the Iowa House last month.
Media Resources: MSNBC 7/21/11; Feministing 7/21/11; The Gazette 7/21/11
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .