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About those safe abortions

ORTL director, Gayle Atteberry

We are familiar with the saying “abortion needs to be safe, legal and rare.” Roe v. Wade legalized abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, but at over 1,200,000 abortions a year, we know they are anything but rare. Abortion is one of the most common surgical procedures in America.

We are also learning that abortion is anything but safe. While Americans are lulled into complacency by abortion’s euphemism, “choice”, women are dying and suffering life-debilitating injuries because of botched abortions.

People wrongly assume an abortion clinic is operated in the same way as other types of surgical clinics.  Abortion clinics in Oregon, as in most states, have no state oversight and are not held to basic health or safety standards. Abortion clinics, which perform 90% of all abortions, are unique in this, as all other free-standing medical clinics are held to standards which ensure the health and well-being of patients. Even tattoo parlors and veterinary clinics must follow state-imposed health standards. The gruesome reality is that abortion clinics throughout the US have been, following injuries or deaths, shut down for filthy and other outrageous conditions. Many states, including Oregon, have attempted to pass laws which require abortion clinics to abide by the same health and safety standards as all other surgery centers do. The abortion lobby fights these bills and, in all but a handful of states, has been successful in defeating them.

Another wrong presumption is that an abortionist is as professional and caring as your family doctor. Unlike traditional doctors who diagnosis and provide treatment, abortionists spend their entire professional life just killing babies. Abortionists are not popular in the medical profession. The saying “abortion should be between a woman and her doctor” is meaningless. With few exceptions, women having an abortion rarely see the abortionist except for the very few minutes he is in the room to abort her child. Most likely she would not be able to identify him if she ever saw him again. Many abortionists have lost their license in one state, only to move and set up shop in another state. Occasionally, abortionists are just masquerading as doctors. The fact they have no medical license is only discovered during an investigation following a reported abortion-related death or injury.

With all the afore-mentioned, it should be no surprise that the file folder in my desk labeled “death and injury from abortion” is almost two inches thick. The Center for Disease Control’s latest report showed 12 deaths from abortion in 2008, the latest year data is available. This is double the deaths reported the previous year, although I am not convinced that all deaths from abortion are reported as such.

In the last three to four years, picketing and prayer vigils have increased outside of abortion clinics and these groups are on hand to witness ambulances that are called to the clinics. These emergency vehicle sightings reverberate through the pro-life community and are making abortion clinics more accountable for their deadly activities.

There is every indication that the 2008 CDC numbers are not an anomaly, but perhaps just the tip of the iceberg. Since January 2011, there have been 10 ambulances called to Planned Parenthood clinics alone. The latest incidence, the day before Thanksgiving, was at a St. Louis Planned Parenthood clinic, in which an ambulance rushed a patient to a nearby hospital. In Chicago, the parents of Tonya Reeves are suing a Planned Parenthood clinic over the death of their daughter during an abortion performed at their clinic.

Ambulance calls from other abortion clinics are even more numerous than from Planned Parenthood. Calls from abortion clinics in June in the Bronx; in August in Dayton, Ohio; and in November in Cleveland are just a few to mention. Because of privacy concerns, it is not known if these women lived, died, have life-long disabilities or walked away in good health.

The sad fact is that not only is abortion deadly for all of the unborn babies, but in more cases than the abortion lobby will ever admit, for the mother also.