Legalizing Abortion Hasn’t Ended The Back Alley

Legalizing Abortion Hasn’t Ended The Back Alley

Women end up in emergency departments after botched abortions, but the abortion lobby wants to end records of those events rather than increase medical standards.
Chris Freund
By

When Tina walked into the Planned Parenthood abortion center in Richmond, Virginia, that warm July 2014 day, it’s impossible to know what thoughts were going through her mind. Was she scared? Was her decision to have an abortion an easy one, or extraordinarily difficult? Did she have someone with her to give her support, or was she there through the subtle coercion of the child’s father?

Whatever the case, she perhaps believed the soft pastel brochures and warm assurances from Planned Parenthood that she’d receive the finest women’s health care available. Maybe a friend sold her on Planned Parenthood as the best option. Perhaps she was a regular customer. Or maybe it was just conveniently located in her neighborhood, or close to her job.

When she walked out of that Planned Parenthood facility, maybe she believed her pregnancy had been “terminated.”

Two months later, as Tina sat in the outpatient emergency department of a local hospital, she may have regretted her decision to trust Planned Parenthood. When the medical staff at that hospital told her she’d have to undergo a second-trimester abortion when she thought the Richmond Planned Parenthood had “taken care” things in July, perhaps she realized that the soft pastels and warm rhetoric had all been a lie.

While the name Tina is fictitious, the story above is real, and based on a patient file from the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood’s Richmond, Virginia, abortion center on Hamilton Street, included in an inspection report from a Virginia Department of Health official. According to the official’s report, obtained by The Family Foundation of Virginia through a Freedom of Information Act request, this is what happened.

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Based on this report, one could conclude that the Richmond abortion center not only failed to perform the first-trimester abortion and potentially lied on the patient documentation, but also failed to properly read an ultrasound done during a follow-up appointment, not noticing that the unborn child was still there.

Perhaps there is another viable explanation, but the timeline would certainly indicate that the Richmond Planned Parenthood likely botched the abortion and the follow-up care, resulting in the patient ending up in an emergency room and hospital.

Officials Refuse to Investigate

Well, you say, this is just one case. That Planned Parenthood abortion center does hundreds of abortions per year. Mistakes happen. Or, as one political appointee of Gov. Terry McAuliffe to the Virginia Board of Health, the group empowered to oversee abortion center regulations, put it, maybe you “just don’t want to hear” about that one patient.

The truth is, women could end up in emergency departments after botched abortions and no one else would ever know.

But this is just one case we know about. We also only know because Virginia’s abortion center health and safety standards require abortion facilities to report to the state any time a malpractice file is claimed, which happened in this case. Unfortunately, because of the secrecy that surrounds so many abortions, where women don’t want friends or family to know, few malpractice claims are actually filed. So women harmed stay silent, and the abortion doctors continue on unrestricted.

How many other patient files at Planned Parenthood or Virginia’s other abortion centers contain similar stories is anyone’s guess, except of course for Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry. They know.

The truth is, women could end up in emergency departments after botched abortions and no one else would ever know. Women can end up in emergency departments or at a doc-in-a-box or even at their primary care physician with an infection due to unsterile abortion center environments and no one would ever know. This is the case because there is absolutely no law or regulation in Virginia that requires medical personnel to report most injuries or complications sustained during abortions.

Shoot the Messenger

I say “most” because the very abortion health and safety standards Virginia’s pro-Planned Parenthood governor has targeted for watering down require abortion centers to report to the Department of Health’s Office of Licensure and Certification any “serious injury” that results from an abortion. “Serious injury” is not defined.

The Richmond Planned Parenthood did not deem a failed abortion that resulted in an emergency room visit, surgery, and hospital stay as a ‘serious injury.’

In this specific case, according to the Office of Licensure and Certification, the Richmond Planned Parenthood did not deem a failed abortion that resulted in an emergency room visit, surgery, and hospital stay as a “serious injury” because it was not reported as of September 30, 2014.

The health and safety standards do not require the medical personnel at the emergency room where the woman ends up to report anything to anyone. Consequently, few if any complications to abortion are recorded anywhere.

Remarkably, in an act of unfettered arrogance, McAuliffe recently held a ceremony at that same Richmond Planned Parenthood facility, where he vetoed legislation that would have protected Virginia taxpayers from subsidizing the abortion industry by blocking non-Medicaid funding. My guess is that “Tina” wasn’t invited to participate.

The $1 billion abortion industry, with the help of its PR machine and the mainstream media, has sold itself to be the epitome of women’s health care. Video scandal or not, most Americans are either too disinterested or too naive to believe otherwise. Unfortunately, it’s a myth the Tinas of the world have to live with for the rest of their lives.

Chris Freund is the vice president of policy and communications at The Family Foundation of Virginia.

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