The exclusive lede from Reuters:
American women are ending pregnancies with medication almost as often as with surgery, marking a turning point for abortion in the United States, data reviewed by Reuters shows.
It has apparently been something of a long time coming. Pharmaceutical terminations won approval sixteen years ago; the report from Jilian Mincer explains, “the method was expected to quickly overtake the surgical option”. Political opposition to abortion slowed the transition:
Although many limitations remain, innovative dispensing efforts in some states, restricted access to surgical abortions in others and greater awareness boosted medication abortions to 43 percent of pregnancy terminations at Planned Parenthood clinics, the nation’s single largest provider, in 2014, up from 35 percent in 2010, according to previously unreported figures from the nonprofit.
The national rate is likely even higher now because of new federal prescribing guidelines that took effect in March. In three states most impacted by that change―Ohio, Texas and North Dakota―demand for medication abortions tripled in the last several months to as much as 30 percent of all procedures in some clinics, according to data gathered by Reuters from clinics, state health departments and Planned Parenthood affiliates.
Among states with few or no restrictions, medication abortions comprise a greater share, up to 55 percent in Michigan and 64 percent in Iowa.
What, really, can we add? It seems somewhat inappropriate to glibly note that Americans do catch up to the rest of the world, now and then, despite our best efforts to the other.
Mincer, Jilian. “Exclusive: Abortion by prescription now rivals surgery for U.S. women”. Reuters. 31 October 2016.