Report: 56% of abortions in Virginia done through medication as opposed to surgery

Planned Parenthood says that nationally, that number is even higher.
Published: Apr. 22, 2023 at 5:41 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia Department of Health says 56% of nearly 17,000 induced terminations of pregnancy were done through medication as opposed to surgery. Planned Parenthood says that nationally, that number is even higher.

“More than 60% of the abortions in the United States happen through medication,” Planned Parenthood South Atlantic Communications Director Molly Rivera said.

Rivera says that the reason medication is more common is that it is more comfortable and provides less risk.

“That’s because a lot of people choose this option because it’s non-invasive. It is safe and effective early in pregnancy,” Rivera said.

She says using medication is also more cost effective than surgery.

“Historically what that has involved is the patient takes two medications. They are called mifepristone and misoprostol,” Rivera said. “They might sound familiar to folks. They are also used in miscarriage management. They’re also used during labor and for other pregnancy care.”

The rise in the use of medication for abortions was jump started by the FDA’s approval of the two medications around 20 years ago.

“Over time, as more and more people as millions of people have used mifepristone to safely end their pregnancies, the FDA has made it easier for providers to provide this medication and for patients to get it,” Rivera said.

In Virginia, legislators have also made it easier to access abortion care.

“Depending on a person’s pharmacy, they might even be able to have those medications delivered directly to their doorstep. So that means that folks in Virginia might not even have to leave home in order to get this care,” Rivera said.

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