Planned Parenthood officials hold press call on Mifepristone case

VIDEO: Planned Parenthood officials hold press call on Mifepristone case
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 10:36 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2023 at 10:46 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) -Planned Parenthood officials held a press call this afternoon after the recent development with abortion drugs.

Their hopes are not high.

Even with no ruling yet, Planned Parenthood says they are already seeing the panic of patients who live in states where it is currently legal and travelers from Texas seeking care.

While Planned Parenthood is expecting the judge to rule in favor of banning mifepristone, Planned Parenthood physicians are adamant about providing quality care no matter how difficult.

“People are confused, scared, and hesitant to seek care or help in there time of need. The reality is banning abortion never stops the need for abortion. As a physician it is my ethical duty to ensure care is safe, patient centered, and accessible. A ttacks like this on a critical and safe medication make my job and that of other compassionate health care providers much more difficult,” says Dr. Bhavik Kumar, Medical Director of Primary and Trans Care, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast.

Planned Parenthood says what starts in Texas doesn’t typically stay in Texas and while there are other options for safe abortions, they expect those to be banned in the future as well.

According to Kumar, while the main use of mifepristone is in abortion care, there are other uses for the drug.

“Use in miscarriage management or early pregnancy loss; mifepristone and other doses can also be used for certain endocrinological disorders and then it has use in second trimester abortions as well. We are learning about mifepristone the longer we have it and there is more potential for this medication as well,” says Kumar.

Kumar goes onto say the threat of losing access to this medication would be devastating to many woman that depend on it for a wide range of uses.

Hope Choice Pregnancy Centers and Mentoring Programs wished to withhold comments until the final ruling is in place.

Members of Trinity Fellowship Church attended today’s hearing to pray.

They say they’re asking for God to grant the judge and hearing participants wisdom and are asking for God’s “kingdom to come and his will to be done” in this situation.

On the flip side, Planned Parenthood is preparing for the Judge’s decision to not be in it’s favor.

“Abortion bans in Texas and all across the country have put people’s lives at risk,” says Wendy Davis, Senior Advisor, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes.

Since Planned Parenthood is expecting the Judge to rule in favor of banning mifepristone, Doctor Kumar says physicians are already preparing.

“I think that’s what we do as health care providers, is think about our patients, think about how we’re going to talk to them and what is allowed. What conversations can we have with our patients, what care can we provide. So this is something that folks are preparing for,” says Kumar.

Kumar says abortion access states are seeing a huge surge in patients from states that no longer allow abortions.

“As a physician, I really, really really am fearful of people not seeking care when they need it, and this is all leading towards that. We’re already seeing the chilling effect and it’s only getting worse,” says Kumar.

Trinity Fellowship Church in Amarillo provided a statement on what its perspective is on the pro-life point of view in this situation.

“It is our understanding that more than 50% of abortions performed today are chemically or pharmaceutically induced. The overturning of Roe v. Wade and Dobbs v. Jackson put the responsibility to regulate abortions back to the states, and Texas has clearly established itself as a pro-life state. The changing of FDA regulations on pharmaceutically-induced abortions is troubling. Both because it could be seen as an attempt to override state regulations and because the increased risk to women who may not receive sufficient medical oversight prior to receiving these drugs,” says Pastor Jimmy Witcher, Senior Pastor of Trinity Fellowship Church.

“When we ban abortion, whether it’s mifepristone and or completely banning it, it doesn’t stop the need for it. Texans are still accessing this medication., just not in the state, and they depending on what the decision is and how its worded and written, it will certainly have the potential to impact many people around the country,” says Kumar.

Even if mifepristone is banned, Planned Parenthood says there are other options for women like misoprostol or the procedure.

“Patients should have the full range of options before them and providers shouldn’t have to really consider these questions. I know that the providers will do everything they can to continue providing the best care that they can to patients,” says Carrie Flaxman, Senior Director, Public Policy Litigation and Law, Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Pastor Witcher says he believes there is a moral answer to this conversation.

“Life is precious and our responsibility is to protect it! Throughout our region, we have numerous resources for women who find themselves in a crisis pregnancy. I would encourage anyone in this situation to call Hope Choice at 806.350.7584 or to call Trinity Fellowship Church at 806-355-8955 and let us help you,” says Witcher.