More informed and dangerous calls for greater access to medical abortions in remote areas should alarm not just the medical community, but the general public, particularly when such calls come from women's health organisations that should be better informed. The guidelines for medical abortion specifically stating that women require access to immediate emergency medical care while taking the drugs due to the risk of serious complications. Medical abortion also requires a minimum of 2 visits to the abortion provider, thereby further disadvantaging those in remote areas who would still need to travel twice.
Ms Pulford is quoted lamenting the unfairness of Victorian women having to take 'days and days off work' in order to travel to Melbourne for a medical abortion, demonstrating her complete lack of understanding of the medical abortion process. Unlike surgical abortion, which women can make a single appointment for, attend on the day, and often return to work the next day, medical abortion means that a woman will bleed, often very heavily for an average of 16 days. Other side effects include:
- 70% of women will experience nausea
- 45% vomiting
- 30% diarrhoea
... along with a multitude of other potential adverse effects including severe bleeding, fever, infection, dizziness .. and the list goes on. One Australian woman has already lost her life as a result of medical abortion complications, and there are now 14 deaths reported worldwide.
The potential for an increased risk of adverse psychological suffering is also greater than with surgical abortion given the woman's more active participation in the process and the possibility of seeing her expelled foetus.
Regardless of one's ideological position on abortion, few could reasonably defend medical abortion as a preferred option for women in remote areas, unless they have a complete disregard for the health and well-being of women.