Editor's note: An Iowa House subcommittee held a hearing Feb. 13 on HSB 672 which would require informed consent prior to a chemical abortion. Theresa Welch, executive director for InnerVisions HealthCare in Des Moines, and a long-time registered nurse, testified before the subcommittee. This report was published by The Iowa Standard and is reprinted here with permission.
(The Iowa Standard) Theresa Welch of InnerVisions HealthCare was the lone medical professional at the subcommittee. Welch has been a registered nurse for 26 years. She said InnerVisions HealthCare is a free, local clinic that serves women with unplanned pregnancies and STDs.
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“We are radically committed to helping inform women of all of their options, including medical risks and side effects of their decision to have an abortion,” Welch said. “I am fiercely pro-woman and feel women deserve the right to be empowered to make a fully informed decision on sexual reproductive options before making a particular choice.”
Welch said it is medically and ethically responsible to notify pregnant patients of both the procedures and risks associated with medication abortion before using abortion-inducing drugs.
Recent research indicates success in reversing abortion medication.
“Are patients who have initiated the abortion procedure aware that the possibility of this reversal exists,” Welch asked. “If not, they should be as it is their right to be medically informed and we in the medical community have a duty to share that information.”
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That research indicates the reversal medication has a higher rate of effectiveness to reverse the effects of an abortion-inducing drug within the first 24-48 hours after the patient takes the first pill.
“The medical community often forgets whom we’re serving,” Welch said. “We don’t just treat or heal patients with identification numbers, we heal actual people. Decisions have consequences. This issue touches at the heart of what it means to be human and humans sometimes change their minds. Let’s give women the choice to change their mind. I would rather error on the side of overinforming than on the side of underinforming.”
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Editor's note: Heartbeat International, which manages Pregnancy Help News, also manages the Abortion Pill Rescue Network. Iowa's House Study Bill 672 requires abortion providers to post information and inform women seeking a chemical abortion (a.k.a. medical abortion) of the risks associated with abortion-inducing drugs, that it may be possible to reverse a chemical abortion, and to provide information on where to learn more about reversing a chemical abortion. The subcommittee moved the bill forward after the hearing. Other pending bills in Iowa include SF 2215, which would expand upon the existing requirement for an ultrasound to be performed before and abortion. HSB 678 would require licensing of abortion facilities. SJR 21, HSB 577, the Protect Life Amendment, proposes an amendment stating that the Iowa Constitution does not "recognize, grant, or secure a right to abortion or to require the public funding of abortion.”