During a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing regarding “women’s reproductive health” in November, testimony was given both in favor of and against abortion. One woman who testified is an abortionist whose claims just didn’t add up.
As the chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood of St. Louis/Reproductive Health Services Planned Parenthood, Dr. Colleen McNicholas is at the helm of one of the most dangerous abortion facilities in the country — and the only one in the state of Missouri. And there were multiple problems with what she told the congressional committee.
State Officials Are Doing Their Job
In her opening statement, McNicholas claimed that if Planned Parenthood of St. Louis is shut down — because of its long list of health code violations and botched abortions which have injured dozens of women — it will be because “state officials abuse their power and disregard patients’ lives to pursue a political agenda.” This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The abortion facility has been operating without a license, not because of a “political agenda” but because they have a habit of failing women. Last month the facility had to call an ambulance for the 75th time after another patient there was injured. Women have had to go through multiple abortion attempts at this facility because abortionists there have a track record of botching abortions. This facility has had so many health and safety violations that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services did not renew its license. However, a judge sealed a Statement of Deficiencies against the facility at the request of Planned Parenthood in order to hide the incriminating evidence that this center failed to properly care for patients.
McNicholas, of course, failed to mention any of this in her testimony.
McNicholas also wrongly accused state officials of illegally keeping a spreadsheet of her patients’ menstrual cycles. This was later proven inaccurate during further testimony.
Abortion is Never Necessary to Save a Woman’s Life
During her testimony, McNicholas shared the story of an anonymous patient whom she said died because she could not access an abortion.
“A patient from out of state visited my clinic for a consultation after understanding that her current medical condition would worsen with pregnancy,” said McNicholas. “She returned to her out of state home, having to wait the mandated amount of time between those visits before she can receive that care. When she didn’t return and we called to follow up, we were later told she passed away from complications of her pre-pregnancy medical condition. This is the very definition of why abortion is health care and is needed and is necessary when people need it where they live.”
McNicholas is assuming that the patient wanted to return to Planned Parenthood for an abortion, but that isn’t necessarily the case. The truth is some women don’t return for their abortions after the first visit to an abortion center because they decide against abortion after having second thoughts. This is the real reason why Planned Parenthood is against waiting periods for abortions: it gives women time to reconsider. If this woman didn’t return, it may have been because she changed her mind.
The tragedy here is not that she didn’t get an abortion and Planned Parenthood didn’t get paid, but that the woman died. McNicholas gives no information on how far along she was when she died or if she was receiving any specialized medical care from doctors during her pregnancy. She also doesn’t say whether or not the woman’s baby survived. Some mothers voluntarily risk their lives to save the life of their preborn children. McNicholas doesn’t seem to consider that.
Nor does McNicholas state that in a true life-threatening emergency, a woman would be treated at a hospital for her condition, not at an outpatient abortion facility — and she wouldn’t have to wait to do so.
The truth is that abortion is never necessary to save a woman whose life is at risk because of a pregnancy. While it may be necessary is to end the pregnancy, intentional killing is unnecessary. A pregnancy can be ended with an emergency C-section to remove the child and attempt to save both lives. This is not an abortion. This is the termination of a pregnancy without intentional killing. Abortion is not necessary.
Babies Can and Do Survive Abortions
When McNicholas was asked about the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, she denied the existence of abortion survivors, claiming the Act would “shame” women. But McNicholas is in severe denial, as even the Centers for Disease Control has statistics on the number of children who survive abortions.
“There are several harms,” to the Act, claimed McNicholas. “The first is which using that language and perpetuating the notion that that is actually a real thing is harmful in and of itself. And it only serves two purposes. The first is to shame people […] who need life-saving care in the second and third trimester of pregnancy. It also creates an environment in which abortion providers like myself and my colleagues are targeted and harassed.”
But according to the CDC, 143 babies are known to have survived abortions between 2003 and 2014. The CDC also notes that this number is a low estimate because only a few states actually report abortion survivor statistics.
In 2016, a 911 call from an abortion facility revealed that a baby had been born alive during an abortion. Abortion survivors, who have documented proof of the nature of their births, have even testified before Congress. For McNicholas to deny that these human beings exist shows how little value she holds for the lives of human beings targeted for abortion.
Abortionists who allow abortion survivors to die or who kill babies born alive after botched abortions are committing a crime. For McNicholas to complain that she would face harassment because of the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act makes little sense. And no, people praying on sidewalks outside an abortion facility and offering alternatives to women does not constitute harassing an abortion provider.
McNicholas went on to say that because practicing medicine is complicated, she couldn’t fully explain to the congressional committee why she believes the Act is dangerous to women.
There is an Age of Viability for Preborn Children
McNicholas testified that she aborts children up until the point of viability but also claimed she “doesn’t know” how many weeks that is. She refused to answer whether or not she would abort a viable fetus if the law didn’t prevent it. She said there are “many reasons” women choose abortion and that “every reason that they have is valid.”
What this means is that McNicholas would abort a late-term, healthy baby because the mother decided she no longer wanted that baby. To deny that there is an age of viability that doctors use to determine whether they will provide medical care to a premature infant shows that McNicholas is willing to lie in order to protect abortion. Viability is typically set at around 22 weeks. Babies born as young as 21 weeks can survive and thrive, but McNicholas didn’t admit to that.
Planned Parenthood Sold Fetal Tissue
McNicholas also claimed during the hearing that “Planned Parenthood has never sold fetal tissue and currently doesn’t and never has.”
Anyone who has watched the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood staff members discussing fetal tissue sales knows that this is a spurious claim, with one Planned Parenthood staff member even stating she wanted the “compensation” for those body parts to get her “a Lamborghini.” But you don’t have to watch the videos to realize this. Planned Parenthood is involved in lawsuits against the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), who filmed Planned Parenthood employees discussing the trafficking of aborted baby body parts. Those lawsuits don’t include defamation, meaning that Planned Parenthood isn’t claiming that any information (including fetal tissue sales) that CMP exposed with their videos is false. In fact, Planned Parenthood attorneys even admitted that what Planned Parenthood employees said in the undercover videos was real.
McNicholas spent her entire time before the committee excluding the truth or outright lying. She denied science, she denied the existence of abortion survivors, she misrepresented why her abortion facility lost its license, and she acted as if preborn children must be killed to save their mothers’ lives. It’s all smoke and mirrors to protect the abortion industry.
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