Dear Editor: Thirty-one Republicans serving in the state Legislature released a letter on April 2 asking state health officials to close abortion clinics under the guise of bolstering safety and preserving medical resources in order to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. This unwarranted move would make accessing abortion even harder for Wisconsinites who already face unnecessary restrictions.
Instead of trying to restrict access to essential and time-sensitive healthcare, legislators should relax telemedicine and self-managed abortion restrictions to ensure that Wisconsinites are able to exercise reproductive freedom from the comfort and safety of their own homes.
After more than 15 years of use in the United States, research has shown that medication abortions are a safe and effective way to end a pregnancy. Medication abortion relies on two drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol. Misoprostol is safe and effective in terminating approximately 85% of pregnancies within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and complications are rare. Additionally, telemedicine allows people to access abortion pills without in-person interaction with a clinical provider. Allowing Wisconsin residents to perform their own medication abortions at home with the use of telemedicine would help many people access essential abortion care during this pandemic.
When someone decides to end a pregnancy, they should be able to access the type of care that will best meets their needs and situation. Instead of pandering to anti-abortion special interest groups, political leaders in Madison should work to relax telemedicine and self-managed abortion restrictions.
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