Medical Malpractice Mandated by Arizona Anti-Abortion Law

A new Arizona law demands that physicians lie to a woman in the process of a medical abortion by telling her there is a hormonal injection that will predictably and safely reverse the first of two steps she has taken to induce such an abortion.

The protocols for safe and effective medical abortions have been derived over the past 15 years by both the FDA and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. These evidence-based protocols have resulted in safe, effective procedures for millions of women in America and Europe.

But the politics of abortion have produced a scenario that would be unimaginable in any other medical circumstances. Under this new law, the government intrudes on the doctor-patient relationship with a government mandated script that a physician must follow or be at legal risk of loss of license or incarceration.

 Why is this law medically unacceptable? Approved and standardized protocols include the use of two medications given in ONE office visit:

 1) Mifeprex, Ru486, is swallowed under observation. Its purpose is to interfere with the ongoing growth of the pregnancy.

 2) Misoprostol is dispensed (prepared in sealed standard dose form by pharmacist). Its purpose is to initiate uterine contractions, which expel all of the pregnancy products. A follow-up sonogram is done two weeks later to document no further pregnancy in the uterus.

BUT, if the woman is forced to return to the medical office for the second medication (misoprostol) and then falsely given the option of attempting to reverse the effects of the mifeprex, she may be at risk for multiple severe complications:

  • Hemorrhage from retained pregnancy products
  • Sepsis and death from retained pregnancy products
  • Late-term miscarriage with hemorrhage and/or sepsis
  • Premature birth of fetus with deformities

This particular medical malpractice mandate is just one more potentially risky and unscientific intrusion into the doctor- patient relationship for women. The misinformation this law requires doctors to give women (similar to other  imaginary “facts” such as the view that to “abortions cause breast cancer” and birth control pills and IUD’s cause abortions), literally jeopardizes their lives.

We must be alert, and we must warn our friends and colleagues in Arizona and in other states that will try to imitate Arizona. We cannot let these laws stand. State intrusion into the doctor patient relationship is never OK in America.

Karen J. Pataky, Vice President
Public Policy and Political Action

Comments are closed.