Women sometimes die from legal abortions. The documentary “Life after Abortion,” directed by Brian Barkley, featured personal testimonies about two deaths from legal abortion.
One woman told the story of her daughter Laura, who died in the hospital after a botched legal abortion. The mother’s nightmare began when she got a call from her daughter’s phone number:
The caller ID said it was Laura calling. We were always so happy to hear from her. She was such a joy. When I answered the phone, though, I didn’t hear Laura’s voice. I heard screaming and crying. I could make out four words: “Laura”, “not breathing,” “emergency room” and “abortion.”
A friend had called the mother to tell her Laura was in the hospital. Laura’s parents had not known about the abortion.
The mother immediately called the hospital and was connected to the doctor who had treated Laura. The mother became even more afraid when the doctor started detailing all the steps hospital workers had taken to try and help Laura when she arrived at the hospital. Then the doctor said, “She’s gone.”
Laura’s mother says these two words “hit me like thunder.” She says, “The oxygen was sucked out of my room when he said those words.”
She recalled seeing her daughter’s body:
We got there at 2 o’clock in the morning. Laura was brought down to the morgue. I have not led a sheltered life, but nothing prepared me for this. To see my beautiful daughter wheeled out on a gurney in a body bag. He unzipped the body bag and inside was laying my beautiful daughter with all the tubes still attached to her.
Another testimony came from a nurse named Dawn. She recounted the following story:
I’m a nurse, and I work in the intensive care unit. And a few years back, a young girl came to our hospital with her boyfriend. She had just had an abortion two days prior. And she was bleeding very badly with a fever. She was taken to surgery immediately and ended up with a hysterectomy. She also was brought into our intensive care unit after her surgery and eventually, she passed away.
As the parents came to the hospital, I watched a father lay across his daughter’s bed, weeping that he would never hear her voice or talk to his daughter again.
A letter from Judy Lewis Gerberding at the Department of Health & Human Services sent to Mr. Walter M Weber admits this undercounting. The letter says that:
CDC recognizes that despite efforts to count all maternal deaths (including those abortion-related) in the United States, some remain uncounted. The death itself is reported but accurate information on the cause may not be provided. CDC estimates that maternal deaths in general [including deaths due to abortion] are underreported by 30 to 150%. The nature of the surveillance systems makes it difficult to obtain complete data… These systems are voluntary (CDC does not provide remuneration for data) and rely primarily on death certificate data which may or may not provide information that indicates that death was… abortion-related.
According to this letter, there may be 30 to 150% more deaths from legal abortion than are recorded in the CDC’s official statistics. This is a damning admission, straight from the Department of Health & Human Services.
Gerberding goes on to say that the CDC also looks for media reports of abortion deaths in addition to reading death certificates. The mainstream media, however, has never been very interested in showing the dangers of legal abortion. For example, there was little coverage of Kermit Gosnell — who killed two women through legal abortion — until outcry from pro-lifers.
The letter was quoted in the Brief of Amici Curiae of Congressman Ron Paul and Association of American Physicians and Surgeons in the Supreme Court case Gonzalez vs. Carhart. Although the letter was written in 2006, abortion statistics are not gathered any differently today, and it is likely these deaths are still undercounted.
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