By Peyton Majors
Christian Action League
October 21, 2022
Planned Parenthood this week filed a legal motion asking a state court to allow nurses and other non-physicians to prescribe the abortion pill, a drug that pro-life groups say causes not only the death of the unborn child but also endangers the women who take it.
The motion by Planned Parenthood South Atlantic argues that an “influx of out-of-state patients” into North Carolina post-Roe has “exacerbated the long wait times experienced by North Carolinians” who are seeking abortion — thus “forcing” women in North Carolina to wait longer for a so-called medication abortion. This, in turn, pushes them “past the gestational age limit for a medication abortion,” the motion says.
The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.
Under North Carolina law, only physicians can prescribe the abortion pill. Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics are asking the court to permit nurses and physician assistants — a category that is called “advanced practice clinicians” (APCs) — to prescribe the pill.
North Carolina is one of 29 states with laws on the books permitting only licensed physicians to prescribe the abortion pill, according to the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute.
“The prohibition of qualified advanced practice clinicians providing medication abortion is completely arbitrary, medically unnecessary, and profoundly limits access to abortion in North Carolina,” said Anne Logan Bass, a nurse practitioner at Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. “… We are asking the court to help alleviate this health crisis by removing an unnecessary barrier to care so that more North Carolinians can access a full range of reproductive health services, including time-sensitive abortion care, in their own state.”
The abortion pill actually includes two drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone blocks the hormone progesterone, causing the lining of the uterus to break down in order to kill the unborn baby. Misoprostol sparks contractions and the delivery of the dead baby. The two drugs can be taken only early in the pregnancy, up to 48 hours apart.
Although Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice groups claim the abortion pill is safe, pro-life groups such as the Charlotte Lozier Insitute say the pill endangers both the baby and the woman. The rate of abortion pill-related emergency room visits has increased more than 500 percent over the past decade and a half, according to the Institute, which says the pill puts the woman “at significantly greater risk for complications.”
“Chemical abortions had higher ER visit rates than surgical abortions,” the Institute says.
Dr. Bill Pincus, president of North Carolina Right to Life, also underscored the danger to women.
“That an APC can prescribe a mother seeking an abortion, a pill, doesn’t mean that the APC has the knowledge to discuss with that patient her existential destiny, risks associated with ectopic pregnancy, studies on prematurity and knowledge of progesterone for pill reversal,” Pincus said.
Dr. Mark H. Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, criticized the legal reasoning behind the lawsuit, which claims the restriction violates the North Carolina Constitution. The suit asserts that the “right to privacy and dignity recognized in the North Carolina Constitution” encompasses a “right to abortion because whether or not to carry and give birth to a child is a private medical decision that should not be dictated by the government.”
“Planned Parenthood’s case is primarily based on the tired argument of pro-choice advocates: A woman has a constitutional right to an abortion because she has a constitutional right to privacy,” Creech said. “However, the United States Constitution nor the Constitution of the state of North Carolina contains this so-called right to privacy. Admittedly, in 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court erroneously declared such a right, pulling it from nowhere and imposing it onto the Constitution. Over time, the same error was imposed onto state constitutions. Fortunately, now the high court reversed itself and corrected the mistake, and many states are doing the same.”
America’s forefathers, Creech said, would “have been shocked to learn a person’s right to privacy trumped another person’s right to live.”
“How absurd!” Creech said. “Think of it. A man stands before the court accused of brutally beating his wife to death. His lawyers defending him, make the argument: ‘Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. This man is not guilty because what he has done was in the privacy of his own home and is no one else’s business. The question today is not whether he brutally beat his wife to death. The question is: Does the government or anyone else have the right to interfere with what he does within the confines and the privacy of his own home?’
Creech asked, “Can you see how bankrupt this argument is?”
“Consider how absurd Planned Parenthood’s argument is in this case: ‘Your honor. Many states are now saying you don’t have a right to privacy to take a life in your own home anymore, and there are too many people coming into this state, hoping they can do in North Carolina what they are no longer able to do in their state. It would be best if you issued a preliminary injunction that currently bans anyone except the husband from privately beating and killing his wife to allow others we believe can do a fine job at it. We’ve just got more wives who need to be killed than we can handle.’
“I think the illustration is sound,” Creech said. “What they are asking is unconscionable!”