July 2022 President’s Update
While the long-awaited reversal of Roe is the most visible change impacting what we do, there is another, less publicized national change almost as significant. One of the silent tragedies of the arrival of COVID-19 is that under the banner of “essential health care,” the FDA began allowing the abortion pill to be administered to women through mail order following a video-based telehealth appointment.
This change created a new, disturbing industry of mail order abortion providers. Organizations like HeyJane and Carafem have emerged and are now our top competitors for online advertising. Carafem, which is opening a call center in Monument in the months ahead, claims on its website that they are “expanding access to safe, legal” at-home abortion care by video.
Until two years ago, in-person care was our national standard for women considering abortion in order to protect their health. What suddenly made at-home abortions safe? The answer is … nothing. Without an ultrasound, a woman cannot definitively know how far along she is in her pregnancy. While abortion pills by design are unsafe for the child a woman is carrying, if the two-pill abortion process in undertaken after 10 weeks, it puts that woman at greater risk for complications.
Further, without an ultrasound, it is impossible to diagnose if a pregnancy is occurring outside the womb – an ectopic or tubal pregnancy – which occurs 1-2% of the time. This puts a pregnant woman’s health at risk since the abortion pill is ineffective for ending an ectopic pregnancy. This means the embryo will continue to grow and could cause the woman’s fallopian tube to rupture, which can lead to life-threatening internal bleeding.
Finally, without in-person care, a woman doing an at-home abortion won’t be given the opportunity to test if she has an STD. This could cause future fertility issues or other complications in the wake of her so-called “safe, at-home abortion.” The bottom line: no one who truly cares about a woman’s health would say telehealth abortions are safe or wise.
What are we doing about it at Life Network? Here are four things your support is making possible.
1. Increasing online advertising. Mail order abortion is sadly now big business, and these profiteers are spending thousands of dollars a month here locally trying to market to women online who are considering or being pressured into abortion. We too have increased our monthly advertising investment so that women seeking desperate options in the face of an unexpected pregnancy will know the risks and implications of ALL their options.
2. Enhancing our in-person care. Just two years ago, in-person care was required by law for women seeking abortions. Now that it’s not, we are stepping in to protect the health of local women considering abortion. We now offer “pre-abortion screenings,” where abortion-minded women can receive a free ultrasound, STD testing, and consultation from one of our registered nurses. These appointments also give a woman the opportunity to further consider the implications of all the options available to her, including parenting or making an adoption plan.
In the first five of these screenings we provided, three of these women tested positive for an STD – further underscoring the need for this care. Most encouraging of all, many of these women decided against abortion after reviewing all their options and the resources available with your support.
3. Supporting more out-of-state women. In our new, post-Roe world, Colorado is increasingly becoming an “abortion tourism” state. The investments you make possible in online search ads and our newly redesigned, search engine optimized website, make our services easier to find through online searches.
This means when women search terms related to Colorado crisis pregnancy care, we are routinely getting unprecedented opportunities to serve women by phone and in-person from nearby states like Texas, Oklahoma and Wyoming. If they haven’t made out-of-state abortion arrangements yet, we get the chance to direct them to their local pregnancy center. And if they’re here, we encourage them to come see us first – and many have in recent months.
4. Contacting state and national lawmakers. The simple fact is telehealth abortions are not safe for women and cut out health care that was considered vital prior to COVID. We’ve let our area lawmakers know that the short cut practice of telehealth abortions amounts to nothing more than reckless profiteering, and it must end.
In June, at least 53% of the clients we served in our three pregnancy centers were vulnerable to, or even determined to, have an abortion when they first reached out to us. We are seeing more women considering abortion than ever. These appointments are extremely challenging and draining for our dedicated staff and volunteers.
Would you continue to hold our team in your prayers? I can’t say it enough … your faithful prayer covering makes such a difference. To receive our monthly prayer email, you can sign up for that here.
Thank you for your prayers and support.
Changing lives together,