FIRST ON FOX: The number of abortions increased in more than 20 states alongside a rise in its chemical or pill form, according to a new report.

The pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) posted data Friday showing that 21 states saw increases in abortions while 17 saw declines from 2018 numbers. Overall, the 39 states with available data underwent a collective increase of 2.3%.

The biggest drops occurred in Missouri (-49.5%) and West Virginia (-21.5%), which CLI said could have been the result of recently enacted pro-life measures. Meanwhile, substantial increases were observed in Delaware (21.3%), Idaho (20.4%), Iowa (25.2%) and Kentucky (14.4%).

CLI’s data appeared to be the most recent, large-scale report for abortions in the United States. Last year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported a slight uptick in abortions from 2017 to 2018. The number of abortions fell by 19% from 2016 to 2017, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

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Friday’s data follows the Justice Department’s decision to sue Texas over a restrictive abortion law that many have described as sidestepping Supreme Court precedent on the issue. It’s one of many state measures that, if permitted, could shutter clinics and increase demand for medication abortions.

Among 33 states that reported data on chemical abortions, CLI found that their use increased by 11.8% from 2018. That represented a shift from 41% of total abortions in 2018 to 44% in 2019.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to announce this fall whether it will make permanent a temporary decision to remove restrictions on telemedicine abortions – a point of contention that arose as COVID-19 imposed limits on medical visits.

Janet Woodcock, the acting FDA commissioner, said earlier this year that existing literature didn’t appear to show increases in serious safety concerns (ectopic pregnancy, hemorrhage and surgical interventions) as a result of modifying the in-person requirement during COVID-19.

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The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) similarly praised the decision as a way to protect patients and medical professionals from contracting COVID-19 during in-person visits. It also maintained that studies had shown the drug to be “a safe, effective medication.”

By contrast, the Trump administration defended the restrictions, telling Vice it served to “ensure that the benefits of the drug outweigh its risks.”

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Pro-life advocates have worried that deregulating access to abortion pills could be detrimental to women’s health. 

The Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) previously told Fox News that in-person visits are critical to detecting ectopic pregnancies, which can be life threatening; ensuring accurate estimations of gestational age; and for determining whether women need the medication Rhogam, which is used to prevent complications in future pregnancies.

“It is impossible for a physician who is states away to safely, compassionately and fully care for a woman and ensure she has appropriate follow up,” said AAPLOG President Dr. Christina Francis. “Abandoning our patients to the closest clinic or emergency room is not good medicine.”

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https://www.foxnews.com/politics/abortions-increased-21-states-2019

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