Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pro-choice researchers find that telemedicine abortions are somehow magically more effective

MSNBC has coverage of the research.
The women received ultrasound at the clinic to determine the gestational age of the fetus before speaking with a physician either in person or virtually. Medical termination was successful in 99 percent of the telemedicine patients as compared to 97 percent of those who had face-to-face counseling. There was no significant difference when it came to complications between the two groups of women.

Telemedicine patients were more likely to report satisfaction with their care than those receiving face-to-face counseling
Notably, follow-up data was obtained from only 449 of the original 578 patients. Who knows how many of the missing 129 patients (more than 1/5 of the original patients) had complications or were unsatisfied with their experience.

The MSNBC article also identifies Ibis, the pro-choice organization the study's lead author works for, as "non-profit research organization."


  1. for starters, the original 578 and 449 followups are both examples of sample sets. it's how statistical research works. it's very rare that you get a whole population. (i want to assume you understand that fact.)

    the abstract also makes it clear that the finding are based on the followup sample.

    i get that you have issues with abortions. but i don't know that demonstrating your lack of understanding of basic statistics doesn't make a strong case against it. it just hurts your credibility.

    we can safely assume that the missing 1/5 of the original set would have had similar results. just as we can safely assume that those not included in this study at all would probably have similar results.

  2. Sophi,
    I recognize that it's nearly impossible to get the whole population on follow-up research. However, missing 1/5 of sample seems fairly large especially since the follow-up wasn't that long after the abortion.

    It leads me to wonder why that 1/5 didn't return follow-up questions (for example, are women who had a bad experience with telemed abortion more or less likely to respond to a follow-up?)

    How can you assert (without any evidence) that "we can safely assume that the missing 1/5 of the original set would have had similar results."

    That's ridiculous. You can't assume that at all.