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Imagine a world where the state forces doctors to use outdated methods, putting patients at increased risk. There’s a name for such a place–Ohio. Or Texas. Or North Dakota.

All of those states have laws that force doctors to use strict FDA guidelines when administering the “abortion pill” drugs for a medical abortion. A quick look at the states doing this will tell you that it’s not about keeping women safe–it’s about making medical abortion more of a hassle to obtain. And they don’t care if women suffer as a result.

As an excellent New York Times op-ed explains, the FDA guidelines are severely out of date, which is not unusual. As new data becomes available, dosages and procedures are tweaked and improved. Doctors simply prescribe the medicines “off label,” or differing from the FDA guidelines. Over 20% of prescriptions in the US are off-label. What is unusual is a state passing a law that forces doctors to ignore medical advances and do things the old, more difficult, and more dangerous way. Thanks, Ohio!  

“Abortion pill” medical abortions are an awesome step forward for women. There are serious problems in fewer than 1 in 300 cases. Only 5% of women getting a medical abortion even need any kind of treatment follow-up. But after Ohio passed their retro-medical law, that 5% became 14%. The problems created by the law made the percentage of medication abortions plummet from 22% to 5% in one study. For Ohio anti-abortion nuts, that’s Mission Accomplished.
Fortunately, the FDA has since updated their guidelines, but Ohio will still lag behind with any new improvements until they ditch their bogus law. Tell Ohio to quit forcing doctors to practice medieval medicine.