I’m afraid the question I’ve asked in my title can’t be answered. Not yet anyway. One day, as more women speak out, as more clinics are investigated, and unfortunately, as more women die, the answer may become clear.
This week in Texas, a House committee considered whether or not abortionists should be required to have hospital admitting privileges. Some have argued that there’s no need for abortionists to have admitting privileges at the nearest hospital because, if a woman’s suffering an emergency, she’ll be admitted to the hospital no matter what.
True. That’s not the problem. The problem is that if the abortionist – who just performed an abortion and who knows what else – doesn’t have admitting privileges, he’s not allowed to work on his patients at the hospital. Instead of the person with the most knowledge of what just happened to the woman being able to work on her in an adequate emergency setting, the doctors at the hospitals are all too often forced to engage in guesswork.
Exactly what procedure was performed? How long ago? Was it completed? How long has this woman been in this condition? What measures have already been attempted? And sometimes, the guesswork takes too long, and it’s too late for the woman. She dies – at least in part because her abortionist didn’t have admitting privileges and was unavailable for her emergency.
In the context of this debate in Texas, a woman named Joanna Silver spoke to the House committee about her harrowing experience:
Silver said she traveled from Amarillo to Lubbock to receive the procedure [abortion], which the nurse told her would be twice as painful and take twice as long to heal because her bladder was full.
‘My eyes fixed on the sonogram and I watched as my baby died and I heard the flush as it was disposed of down a toilet,’ Silver said. ‘They told me to re-dress and strongly discouraged that I do not seek medical attention.’
Silver said she experienced intense pain and severe bleeding lasting for several months because she was afraid of going to a hospital.
‘Where was my standard of care?’ she asked.
There’s also the pending case of Ayanna Byer in Colorado. She is claiming that Planned Parenthood subjected her to a forced, botched abortion. What’s more, the Planned Parenthood clinic that saw Byer entirely failed to give her adequate medical care after her abortion. The abortionist didn’t even finish the procedure, yet he never sent her to a hospital:
Seven minutes later, due to Ms. Byer crying from pain, the procedure finally stopped. She received an apology and a prescription for a painkiller and antibiotics and was sent on her way. Planned Parenthood never followed up with her.
About two days later, Ms. Byer went to the hospital due to pain and bleeding, where it was found that part of the aborted baby was still inside her, resulting in an infection. She had to have emergency surgery.
Dr. Foley, who preformed Ms. Byer’s emergency surgery, accused Planned Parenthood of abandoning their patent…
Earlier this year, when Jennifer and Madison Morbelli both died from a late-term abortion performed by LeRoy Carhart, documents were released that demonstrated the shoddy medical care given by Carhart’s Maryland abortion clinic. One set of instructions specifically told women:
If you feel that something is wrong and you need to be seen do not go to the ER, call and we will meet you at the clinic.
Another later set of instructions tells women to call the clinic’s own emergency line first, before going to a hospital. The clinic gives these instructions even in the case of serious complications that could easily require immediate attention. Patients are to go to the ER only if they can’t reach the clinic.
While it hasn’t been reported which version of instructions Jennifer Morbelli received, it has been reported that despite apparent promises, there was no one on call at the clinic’s emergency line to care for Morbelli in time. She died at the hospital.
Joanna Silver, Ayanna Byer, and Jennifer Morbelli are only three women. Each of their stories has come out very recently, and each is tragic in its own way. The question is not whether abortion clinics are sending women away without adequate medical care.
The question is how many women are they doing this to?