The risks of a “vending-machine attitude” toward gynecological care Reply

By Tom Quiner

Maggie Dewitte is Executive Director for Iowans for L.I.F.E. She stood up before the Iowa Board of Medicine last Friday and read a statement prepared by Dr. Donna J. Harrison on the dangers of telabortions. Dr. Harrison is President of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (

Here are the takeaway points from Dr. Harrison’s statement:

• Telabortions are a threat to women’s health.

• Telemed dispensing can’t properly evalute uterine and other physical abnormalities that may create a life-threatening complication to the patient.

• The “abortion pill” (RU-486) is not FDA approved for use in pregnancies beyond 49 day’s gestation due to dramatically increased risk of complications. Without an ultrasound, gestational age estimates were more than two weeks off in half of the women according to studies Dr. Harrison quotes. Telabortions do not provide women with ultrasounds or any kind of exam before dispensing the pills.

Here are Dr. Harrison’s complete remarks:

“Telemed dispensing of abortion drugs are not only a gross disservice to women seeking abortion,  but are also a real threat to women’s health, as it is not possible to either accurately assess  the stage of the pregnancy,  nor accurately screen for pregnancy abnormalities such as ectopic pregnancy, which is an absolute contraindication to the use of mifepristone.  Nor can telemed dispensing allow for evaluation of uterine, or other physical abnormalities that may present a life or health threatening complication for the woman.

The purpose of a physician or practitioner visit is to screen for contraindications to abortion.  Many of these contraindications will not be apparent from history, which is why a physical examination is critically important to adequate pre-abortion counseling.  Since mifepristone is not FDA approved for pregnancies over 49 day’s gestation, it is imperative that the gestational age of the pregnancy be accurately assessed prior to dispensing mifepristone.   Administration of mifepristone beyond the 49 day cut off exposes the woman to dramatically increased risks of hemorrhage, infection and failed procedures necessitating a subsequent surgical abortion.   Spitz, et al, one of the principle investigators in the U.S. clinical trial leading to FDA approval, investigated the ability of patient history to predict gestational age, and found that over half of the women had dates more than two weeks in error when compared to the simultaneous ultrasound required prior to mifepristone administration in the clinical trial.   Thus, depending on history alone, which is what happens with telemed abortion dispensing, will result in the use of mifepristone in women who are beyond the FDA approval limitation, and into the gestational age where failures and complications exponentially increase.

Ectopic pregnancy, which is present in approximately 3 out of every 100 pregnancies, is an absolute contraindication to mifepristone use.  It is not possible to do adequate screening for ectopic pregnancies via a telemed dispensing system. Further the side effects of prolonged bleeding and pain, which accompany the normal mifepristone abortion, are identical to the bleeding and pain experienced with ectopic pregnancies.  Masking ectopic pregnancy symptoms led to the death of one of the 8 women who died in the first two years after mifepristone approval.

The FDA, in its approval of RU-486/mifepristone for abortion, recognized that for the safety of patients, significant controls on dispensing must be in place, and required two in person visits as a condition for approval of this drug.  RU-486/mifepristone causes increased hemorrhages, infections and failed abortions as compared to surgical abortions, as has recently been documented in several recent publications in the medical literature.  And the incidence of hemorrhage, infection and failed abortion increases dramatically as gestational age increases. The CDC estimates that the risk of death from a mifepristone abortion due to clostridium sordellii infection alone is 10times the risk of death from a surgical abortion at a comparable gestational age.

The impetus for telemed abortions does not come from improving patient care, but rather from increasing profits.   The burden of proof of improved patient care via this system is on the proponents, who have not shown decreased complications or improved outcome.   And there is no logical reason to expect improved outcome from a vending-machine attitude toward gynecological care.  This is an abuse of women.   On behalf of the women of Iowa, we ask the Iowa Board of Medicine to deny endorsement of this abusive practice.”




Iowa Board of Medicine considers telemed abortions 3

By Tom Quiner

Iowa Board of Medicine considers telemed abortions

I just got back from the Iowa Board of Medicine who heard various speakers express their concern about telemedicine abortions.

If the Board decides that telemed abortions are unsafe, they could halt this practice in its tracks before it spreads nationwide through other Planned Parenthood clinics.

One speaker, Charles Burke, produced 1960 pages of data detailing the health risks of the abortion pill (RU-486) used in telemed abortions. He mentioned 19 deaths and 17 life-threatening situations caused by the abortion pill. He related additional health traumas caused by the abortion pill.

Tre Critelli, a Des Moines trial lawyer, described the telemed abortion issue as one that is complex and politically-charged. For example, who does the patient sue when something goes wrong? The doctor who wasn’t even there? He suggested the Board “punt” on the issue and leave it up to the state legislature to decide. He said we should put a stop to this procedure for the sake of patients and doctors.

Tre Critelli, attorney, addresses the Iowa Board of Medicine

Other leaders from the pro life community spoke, including Steven Tasz, Maggie Dewitte, and Jenifer Bowen. I was impressed with the logic and intellectual acuity of each of these speakers. They presented compelling arguments against the practice of telemed abortions, including:

• The procedure is risky, a doctor should be present when something goes wrong.

• It is probably illegal, since Iowa law says a doctor needs to be present.

• Telemed medicine is a legitimate idea in many situations as long as it supports human dignity. Telemed abortion clearly doesn’t.

• Abortion is under-regulated, especially in Iowa. An abortion clinic in Louisiana was recently closed for failure to provide adequate pre-abortion examinations to their patients. Pre-abortion exams are critical to reduce health risks to women. Does Iowa want to lower the bar with this procedure that doesn’t even have a doctor onsite?

The solution is to simply enforce laws already on the books that require a doctor to be physically present. That raises the question: why are we having this discussion on telemed abortions? Is Planned Parenthood that influential with the Attorney General?

The latest victim of political correctness 2

By Tom Quiner

Juan Williams has been fired by National Public Radio for being politically incorrect.

Wikipedia defines political correctness as …

“a term which denotes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, disability, and age-related contexts.”

A simpler definition is “liberal thought-control.” Mr. Williams, himself a liberal, was fired for expressing a thought with which 99% of America agrees:

“I mean, look, Bill [O’Reilly], I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they’re identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

Mr. Williams commented on the remarks made by the Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad:

“He said the war with Muslims, America’s war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don’t think there’s any way to get away from these facts.”

NPR alleges that Mr. William’s comment is bigoted. It is?

Do you remember a remark Jesse Jackson made back in the 80s, something to the effect that if he saw a young black man walking up behind him on a darkened street, he’d be worried. Mr Jackson spoke the obvious. Young black men commit a disproportionate percentage of crimes in this county. Commentators appreciated his honesty. But Mr. Jackson himself is African-American. That made it acceptable to the thought-police.

I frequently disagree with Mr. Williams. But he got a bum deal on this one.

Why do you think the mainstream media is losing viewers, readers, and listeners? Because their audience doesn’t trust them because they know they’re getting a filtered message, one filtered by political correctness.



Who suffers most from hate crimes in the USA: Muslims or Jews? 4

By Tom Quiner

Chart by Randall Hoven, the American Thinker

It was just a one paragraph blurb in yesterday’s Des Moines Register: four men in New York City were convicted of plotting to blow up synagogues in New York.

I read the paragraph searching for a key piece of information. Can you guess what it was? What would you like to know about these anti-semitic terrorist wannabes?

The answer is motivation. The answer couldn’t be found in the Register’s five sentence coverage. In search of why four men wanted to blow up synagogues (note the plural), I went to the New York Times for additional insights.

The Times’ reporter on this story, Kareem Fahim, focused on the Defense’s claim that the four men were entrapped by the FBI in a sting. It wasn’t until the 10th paragraph that Mr. Fahim revealed that the charged (and now convicted men) were arrested after the FBI infiltrated a mosque. The word Muslim was not used in the news report.

Is this word relevant?

In light of 9/11, the answer is yes.

In light of the Christmas day “shoe” bomber, the answer is yes.

In light of the Fort Hood massacre, the answer is yes.

In light of the attempted Time Square bombing, the answer is yes.

Muslim terrorists want to kill Americans. These terrorists obviously do not represent all Muslims. They may only represent a small percentage.

But political correctness seems to block this critical piece of news reporting. The USA Today said on September 13, 2001:

“Arab-Americans and Muslims fear backlash” after the 2001 9/11 attacks in the US.”

The London Guardian said in July 8th, 2005 after Islamic terrorists killed 56:

“Muslim leaders fear backlash.”

After Islamic terrorists killed 195 in India in 2008, the Muslim Public Affairs Council said:

“The Muslim Public Affairs Council today sent a letter to the Bush administration and the Obama transition team expressing concern about a potential backlash that could be triggered in the wake of terrorist attacks in Mumbai.”

After Nidal Hasan murdered 13 women and men at Fort Hood and wounded another 30, but before his motivations were know, Islam Online said:

“As fears of a backlash are going high among US Muslims, President Barack Obama urged Americans Saturday, November 7, not to jump into conclusions over a deadly attack on a military base in Texas, stressing the diversity of the US army.”

You can understand the concern Muslims have that a backlash might occur in light of the number of innocent people Muslim terrorists kill each year in American and around the world. This leads to an interesting question: which group do you think is the victim of more hate crimes in the United States each year? Muslims or Jews?

The FBI tracks hate crimes. The chart above gives the answer. Jews are victims of ten times as many hate crimes as Muslims. Interestingly, this is not newsworthy to the Mainstream Media (MSM). What is newsworthy is the fear of reprisals against Muslims.

Why are anti-semitic hate crimes of such little interest to the MSM?