To the editor:
The health of women in Minnesota is being threatened. Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life website (mccl.org) informs us that Planned Parenthood sites in Rochester and the new center in Minneapolis began performing webcam abortions on Minnesota women last year. This procedure involves "seeing" a doctor (abortionist) over a webcam in a booth with no requirement that the doctor even be available in the same town much less present in the same building or face-to-face. The remote abortionist decides that the patient deserves the abortion drug RU-486 and triggers the release of a drawer in front of the patient. This drawer contains the abortion drug RU-486 mifepristone and misoprostol a drug to complete the job two days later.
This technique has no requirement to screen for physical or mental health risks that would make this procedure even more hazardous, no physical exam that would identify women for whom this procedure could be fatal, and no ongoing follow up of any of the complications from these drugs. This combination has already caused the death of 14 women in the United States from bleeding and infection and physically wounded 612 women in the US possibly impairing their fertility.
A study in the British Journal of Psychiatry analyzed 22 studies of abortion and mental health and it revealed that there is an 81 percent increased risk for mental health problems among women who choose abortion The study also found that 10 percent of all women's mental health services are for abortion related issues. The highest association in the study was a 151 percent increased risk of suicide among women who chose abortion.
Everyone who sincerely cares about the health of women needs to resist this destruction of health and life of women in Minnesota. This technique involves no professional pharmacist to protect the safety of the dispensing, no review of her health history, no review of her family history, no opportunity to counsel her about the vast array of life affirming options available to women in crisis pregnancies, no opportunity for her parents to appeal to a young woman's reason regarding a life changing decision such as the one to end the life of her child. This is unacceptable and deadly. Please encourage our senators and representatives to enact laws to ban webcam abortions in Minnesota.
James J. Joyce, MD