Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon plans to offer medication-induced abortions at its clinics in Ashland and Eugene beginning sometime in March.

Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon plans to offer medication-induced abortions at its clinics in Ashland and Eugene beginning sometime in March.

Cynthia Pappas, Planned Parenthood's executive director, said the organization's board of directors decided to offer the service to provide women with an option for terminating a pregnancy in the comfort and privacy of home. Medication-induced abortions use drugs to expel a fetus. The federal Food and Drug Administration approved their use in 2000.

An exact date for offering the service has not been determined, Pappas said.

She noted that local doctors who perform surgical abortions are nearing retirement age, and Planned Parenthood wanted to make sure women would have adequate access to the full range of reproductive health care, including terminating a pregnancy.

She said state records indicate 528 women in Jackson County chose to terminate a pregnancy in 2007, the most recent year for which data is available. She said Planned Parenthood does not keep follow-up data on clients who are referred to physicians for possible abortions, so it's impossible to say how many procedures were initiated through Planned Parenthood or other sources.

— Bill Kettler

Details in Wednesday's Mail Tribune