New Missouri Department of Health director: Abortion complications have gone unreported for years

The new director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Board certified obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Randall W. Williams, noted in a May 31 statement that abortion complications have not been properly reported “under previous administrations.” Williams says his office “took steps to ensure future compliance with the law” to “rigorously enforce this law in the future.” The press release from Williams states:

Since 1979, Missouri law has required providers of abortion services and those who treat abortion complications to report every complication they diagnose or treat after an abortion to the Department of Health and Senior Services within 45 days.

It has recently come to my attention that this law was not complied with under previous administrations.

This is unacceptable….

As a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist who practiced for 30 years, I recognize that every procedure including abortion has recognized risks and potential complications. By the standard of care, these risks should be discussed with the patient prior to the procedure. And when the law requires complications to be reported, each and every complication should be reported.

According to pro-life group Operation Rescue, “the Department of Health and Senior Services under Dr. Williams’ predecessor, Gail Vasterling, allowed the St. Louis Planned Parenthood to continue operating despite eight years of failed safety inspections that revealed 39 classes of violations involving 210 incidents – 53% (111) of which were related to failure to provide a safe and sanitary environment.”

The failure to report abortion complications protects the abortion industry — not women — from repercussions. Women who are not given information about the risks of abortion or of the frequency of injuries, including those from specific abortion providers (like Missouri’s most dangerous abortion facility, Planned Parenthood of St. Louis), are less equipped to make properly informed decisions about abortion.

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