Healthcare has looked a little different in the post-covid era. With many patients fearful about coming into an office, telemedicine services grew by 4,000% in April of 2020. That’s an enormous increase in a service that, prior to the pandemic, only accounted for about 4% of the population.
While telemedicine can be helpful for some patients who need care but cannot travel to an in-person clinic, it does have its drawbacks. Many services simply cannot be performed over the phone or video call. Most doctors realize this, but some practitioners prefer to minimize direct patient contact.
On April 13, 2021, Janet Woodcock, President Biden’s acting Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, issued a letter saying that it is now permissible for physicians by telemedicine (or mail order) to prescribe the abortion pill without a physical exam or ultrasound.
Why is this a problem? Well, a pregnancy test may tell a woman that she is pregnant, but it does not tell a woman where that pregnancy is located. The number one cause of pregnancy-related death in the first trimester is still a ruptured ectopic or tubal pregnancy.
Without an ultrasound, how would a pregnant woman know she was suffering an ectopic pregnancy? This makes things confusing because if she takes the abortion pill, she’s told she’ll have bleeding, cramping, or pain. But with an ectopic or tubal pregnancy, a woman’s symptoms are also described as bleeding, cramping, and pain.
When a woman is denied a physical exam or ultrasound to determine where the pregnancy is, her life is threatened. With no patient examination, the accuracy of the diagnosis is in question. This is not good health care. This is not good medicine.
We get it; these policy makers are not doctors. But it doesn’t take a medical degree to know that good healthcare aims to preserve the life of a patient, not end it. And we can all pretty much agree that our 4th-grade science fair project taught us enough about ‘facts’ and ‘hypotheses’ to know that doctors should be absolutely sure about a condition before treating it. Seems like basic science, right?!
The bottom line is – there shouldn’t be any guessing games when it comes to women’s health. A clear examination and ultrasound are essential healthcare for a pregnant woman. Anyone who acts otherwise doesn’t have your health in their best interests. After all, abortion is not healthcare, and neither is the Abortion Pill.
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