A new report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows that although abortions decreased overall in 2020 (the most recent year for which data is available), use of the abortion pill is increasing dramatically.
The report, which covers 47 states, Washington, D.C., and New York City, found a total of 620,327 abortions in 2020, a decrease of 2% from the previous year. But early medical abortions, which use medicine instead of surgical procedures to end the baby’s life, increased by 22% between 2019 and 2020 and now account for half of all abortions. “Early” denotes abortions completed before 9 weeks’ gestation.
The CDC also noted that 2017 saw a historic low in the overall number of abortions, with the rate increasing again in 2018 and 2019 before declining again in 2020.
Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has deemed medical abortions safe enough that the two-pill regimen of mifepristone and misoprostol may be sent through the mail instead of being dispensed in person, a number of obstetricians and gynecologists have reported that the pills often cause serious complications.
“I’ve performed at least a dozen surgeries on women who experienced complications when the abortion pills failed,” said Dr. Ingrid Skop, a practicing OB/GYN who serves as director of medical affairs at Charlotte Lozier Institute. “I’ve cared for several women who took mifepristone and misoprostol and required blood transfusions or treatment for severe infections, and I’ve counseled women who experienced significant emotional distress after viewing the body of their easily identifiable child in the toilet.”
Skop applauded the law firm Alliance Defending Freedom for challenging in U.S. District Court the FDA’s approval of the drugs on behalf of the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Pediatricians, the Christian Medical and Dental Associations and four individual physicians and their patients.
Above: A patient holds the abortion pill she is about to take at Houston Women's Reproductive Services in Texas. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/Alamy Stock Photo