Abortion proponents exploited the coronavirus epidemic, pushing an extreme agenda to further expand unrestricted abortions, regardless of increasing existing dangers to women. Despite misleading claims of prioritizing healthcare, the abortion industry actually endangers women's health. Planned Parenthood has actually decreased other services while increasing abortions, exposing the real priority is profit. Planned Parenthood even deliberately endangers women by over-dilating patients and overdosing dangerous drugs in order to deliver live babies to harvest organs, though altering the method of abortions to obtain fetal tissue violates federal law. Actual healthcare does not focus on profiting via endangering and killing patients.
Abortion causes 4.5 times increase in maternal death, as opposed to regions with pro-life laws which have lower maternal death rates. Approximately 30% of abortions cause complications, with 10% suffered immediately, and 1 in 5 of those complications are major or life-threatening. Abortion also risks infections, physical injuries, even infertility, and harm to mental health. About 65% of post-abortive women suffer PTSD, and abortion is correlated to a six times higher suicide rate. Women (and men) harmed by abortion suffer from depression, substance abuse and other long-term detrimental mental health consequences.
Abortion is the only medical procedure which is so dangerously unregulated, leaving patients uninformed, injuries under-reported, and lack of accountability for malpractice. Overwhelming bipartisan majorities support abortion restrictions and better health and safety regulations. Of the respondents, 75% support holding abortionists to the same standards as other physicians, 70% support holding abortion clinics to the same standards as hospitals, and 78% want abortionists to be equipped to immediately transfer patients directly to emergency rooms. However, such will of constituents is not reflected in current law, and those claiming to be for women's health actually fight against such safeguards.
Disturbingly, the recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court failed to uphold protections for women's health sought by the bill written and sponsored by Senator Katrina Jackson after hearing women suffered “hemorrhages, uterus punctures, torn cervixes, infections and incomplete abortions.” Louisiana’s abortion clinics “have an alarming and dangerous record of substandard healthcare” and were cited for countless health violations as well as covering up child abuse. The case sought to protect women by requiring hospital admitting privileges in cases of emergencies caused by abortions and to include testimonies of over 2,600 women who suffered severe physical health complications, including emergency hysterectomies and “extreme emotional turmoil” caused by abortions. The legal brief included documented evidence of abortion clinics’ “poor safety records, inadequate credentialing practices, and efforts to undermine health and safety regulations designed to protect women.” The clinics have a long history of “medical malpractice, disciplinary actions, violations of health and safety standards” and “covering up sexual abuse of young girls.”
Additionally, abortion clinics have a loophole to regulations which apply to all other outpatient surgery centers requiring continuity of care in cases of emergency complications, which is essential for patient safety. One woman testified that while she was hemorrhaging from a serious complication from her abortion, she was told to “get up and get out.” Instead of taking care of patients, abortionists evade responsibility and endanger women's health, leaving injured patients to obtain subsequent care on their own, without providing important information to emergency care physicians about procedure details, mistakes, injuries, and other factors essential to determine proper treatment, especially when time is of the essence with life-threatening complications.
Failing to uphold the same safety standards as other medical practices also endangers women even more during a health crisis with limited hospital capacity and increased risks of life-threatening infection. An abortion clinic in New York with a history of malpractice, including leaving trash with “bloody tissue, confidential patient information, medical waste, and drug paraphernalia” on the sidewalks, delayed ambulance response time when a woman had three seizures within thirty minutes due to abortion complications. Pro-life organization Operation Rescue obtained startling 911 records revealing the clinic could not provide basic information about the patient’s age or condition to first responders. The clinic was unaware of the patient’s high-risk medical history and ill-equipped to treat her. They should not have endangered her in the first place, nor any further by harming her during the abortion requiring hospitalization. The abortionist on staff has ties to other New York clinics with a history of injuring women.
In 2013, the same clinic admitted to Live Action’s undercover worker who was 23 weeks pregnant, which is far enough along for the baby to be viable outside the womb and feel excruciating pain during abortion, that the devices used in the abortion procedure are dangerous to women's health and lives and that live, fully grown babies are dismembered. In fact, recent studies show babies feel pain in the first trimester, as early as 12 weeks. The employee also specifically advised the woman not to go to the hospital, falsely claiming a hospital would not treat her, and told her to flush the baby if it delivered alive at home or put it in a bag and bring it to the clinic where they will kill it in a jar of toxic solution, thus admitting it stops the heartbeat and breathing, even laughing, “I don't know why you want to know all this. Just do it.”
Pro-life laws seeking to simply close loopholes to end dangerous exemptions for abortion clinics, with which all other medical practices and surgical outpatient facilities comply, protect women's health by making clinics safer and fully informing patients of procedures, risks, and options. Clinics with health and safety violations which harm women and lack accountability would need to either come into compliance or close. However, abortion advocates silence women who have been harmed, oppose requiring physicians to have hospital admitting privileges to access vital healthcare for women with emergency complications, which endangers women's health and burdens women with obtaining their own emergency healthcare, and ironically, falsely argue such protections cause “undue burden” to women's access to healthcare. Though in fact, safe and ethical clinics far outnumber abortion clinics (including Planned Parenthood) and provide more services.
Contrary to claims that abortion is “safe,” countless women are injured and hospitalized. Planned Parenthood delays 911 calls, and covers up injuries and even deaths. After Planned Parenthood’s clinic in Missouri was cited for numerous health violations, and continued operating without a license, Planned Parenthood surreptitiously built its mega clinic just over the state line in Illinois, which, shortly after opening, had already injured and hospitalized women.
“Feminist” legislators who support abortion actually oppose laws which protect women and children but appallingly applaud repealing health and safety regulations, including dangerous laws such as those passed in Illinois and New York, which undo licensing and inspection requirements for clinics, remove requirements that deaths be investigated by coroners, block access to documents and 911 call records, deliberately hiding harm caused by abortions, repeal requirements for anesthesia for pain-capable viable babies and healthcare for babies born alive, and hinder justice for women with preborn babies injured or killed by violence.
The abortion industry has only increased its dangers during the COVID-19 pandemic, shamelessly exploiting a deadly health crisis for more profit, while blatantly disregarding risks to women. Unlike other businesses who repurposed manufacturing, Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics did not donate vital personal protective equipment (PPE) or other supplies, and while countless businesses were forced to close, abortion clinics remained open despite shortages of PPE and without repurposing health services to help save patient lives.
A Planned Parenthood clinic in Florida was observed with higher than average appointments, failing to use PPE, and not social distancing. The clinic injured a woman during an abortion, who was transported to a hospital after two hours to receive treatment which the abortion facility is not equipped to provide. Clinic staff hindered Operation Rescue’s legal request to access 911 records to follow up on the woman’s health, and the apathetic abortionists evade liability, as it remained unclear if the woman even survived. While other business owners were even arrested for safely operating services such as curbside pick-up, abortion clinics were permitted to dangerously operate without safety precautions, continuing even after causing life-threatening injuries.
Abortion advocates loosen safety precautions at a time when more are needed. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Arkansas’ policy which included elective abortions among non-essential procedures the state limited during COVID-19 to prevent the spread of disease and conserve medical equipment. The ACLU is suing to block the state from requiring women to test negative for COVID-19 before obtaining abortions, as any other pre-surgical health monitoring would require for patient safety. Abortion clinics demand being exempt from safety regulations applied to all other healthcare providers, knowingly endanger women's health, and risk contributing to the spread of a deadly disease in order to continue profiting from abortions.
Abortionists exposed to the virus also continued to perform abortions, endangering and exposing pregnant women, who CDC confirmed have “increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness and other respiratory infections, likely due to bodily changes during pregnancy,” yet were not included in high-risk groups like patients with underlying medical conditions. Unlike responsible physicians providing women's prenatal care, who emphasized it is “really important for us going forward to counsel our pregnant patients about the importance of avoiding infection,” abortionists increased risks to women's health to profit from abortions. Even abortionists who had symptoms of the virus exposed unknown numbers of patients before quarantining. Instead of concern for women's health, abortion advocates expressed concern for abortionists to be able to continue performing abortions, flagrantly disregarding the U.S. Surgeon General's orders to halt elective procedures.
The abortion lobby filed numerous lawsuits to block abortion restrictions during the pandemic that protect women's health and safety. Abortionists falsely claimed, “We put our patient’s health and safety first, and we are committed to doing everything we can to protect them, our staff, and our community while providing access to essential health care.” In truth, however, abortion clinics are increasing health and safety risks to their patients, staff, and communities during the life-threatening crisis.
Additionally, abortion clinics wrongly demand they be considered “essential,” though abortion is never medically necessary and actually further increases health risks. Even the majority of late-term abortions are elective, and for pregnancies with medical risks, early delivery is safer for both mother and baby. In fact, 60% of premature babies born at 22 weeks survive if given healthcare, but sadly, 75% receive none, though arbitrary “viability” discriminates against lives without affluence or regional access to healthcare. By contrast, pro-life organizations provide support to parents and perinatal hospice to even terminal babies for safe healthcare with dignity for all lives.
Recently, two women in Maryland were injured so severely by late-term abortions, they suffered large holes in their uteruses and life-threatening blood loss. Body parts of their partially dismembered babies, who were of viable age and suffered excruciating pain, were in the women's abdominal cavities, risking sepsis. One of the women’s bowels had to be resected and she was discharged days later with an external colostomy bag; the other woman had a hysterectomy and blood transfusion to save her life. The trauma was so severe, not only to the women and their babies, but also to the attending hospital staff members, that the surgeon sent out an acknowledgment of the trauma the staff may have experienced. No abortionist is held accountable or on record as causing the injuries, so other women will not know if they are going to the same abortionists who caused such egregious harm to women and children.
Another abortionist in Maryland, whose license was revoked and clinics were shut down, still manages clinics harming and killing women and children, collaborates with an abortionist who is a sex offender, and like the infamous criminal abortionist Gosnell, kills viable late term babies, with grisly discoveries during clinic raids. One woman was misinformed about her gestational age and dangerously given outdated abortion drugs, causing premature birth of her baby boy who survived but had severe disabilities and health needs.
Another woman was left unconscious with no medical monitoring by trained staff, was found not breathing, and no one at the clinic, including the abortionist, “had a current CPR certification. The defibrillator was broken, and the crash cart went unused. It is not known how long [the patient] went without oxygen, because no one monitored her vitals or made sure she was breathing. [The woman] died from Severe Pulminary Edema, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, and Hypoxia Brain Injury.”
The abortionist involved in such horrific cases is still seen in clinics in Florida as well, violating medical licensing and safety laws, and endangering unsuspecting women and children.
Not only does postponing elective procedures protect women's health, but it also avoids overwhelming hospitals and helps protect others battling for life. Abortion facilities’ disregard for their own patients’ lives and the lives of others further illustrates the industry's lack of concern for vulnerable lives. Stunningly, if clinics had closed for just two weeks, more lives would have been saved than the virus killed.
Rather than save lives, the abortion industry is weaponizing the crisis and exploiting every angle of the pandemic for profit, even withholding critical aid, including food to children, to demand abortion funding, and utilizing cell lines established from aborted fetal cells in research for coronavirus vaccines. Alarmingly, some states have already begun seeking to prohibit Constitutional First Amendment exemptions from mandates, violating the conscience rights of those opposed to such unethical practices.
Despite nearly $2 billion in assets and over $1 billion in annual revenue, Planned Parenthood and affiliates stole as much as $150 million from Americans in need, applying for and receiving the funds from the taxpayer-funded Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), despite knowing they are not eligible, as it was passed by Congress intending to help small businesses and those suffering from the consequences of the pandemic. DaVinci Biosciences, an affiliate linked to fetal harvesting scandals, including a baby born alive who died soon after, inappropriately took $7.5 million from the PPP funds. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is investigating possible “severe penalties” for “incorrect or false eligibility certifications for the stimulus funds which could lead to criminal or civil sanctions if the SBA determines the borrowers knowingly made false statements.” Congressmen confirmed,
“There is no ambiguity in the legislation that organizations like Planned Parenthood, whose parent organization has close to half a billion dollars in assets, is not eligible, under eligibility rules established by the CARES Act and the SBA. Those funds must be returned immediately. Furthermore, the SBA should open an investigation into how these loans were made in clear violation of the applicable affiliation rules, and if Planned Parenthood, the banks, or staff knowingly violated the law, all appropriate legal options should be pursued. The money needs to be recovered and if anybody knowingly falsified applications, they need to be prosecuted.”
Another Planned Parenthood affiliate, BetterHealth, admitted the focus is not healthcare but “to leverage purchasing power for Planned Parenthood affiliate members for strategic business initiatives.” Planned Parenthood deceptively claimed they “play a core role in safety” as there is “no more critical time for the care they provide than during a public health crisis,” but abortion clinics actually violate safety measures and fail to provide proper care, increasing health risks during the crisis.
Additionally, National Abortion Federation and the National Network of Abortion Funds raked in taxpayer millions meant to help Americans and business owners impacted by COVID-19 as well. Some clinics were even open “for abortion services only,” utilizing scarce medical supplies needed by healthcare workers battling the crisis. Rather than help save lives, the abortion industry chose to exploit a deadly crisis to corruptly profit from even more deaths regardless of risks to women's health and working families.
The contrast between those protecting life and others profiting from destroying life is stark. Pro-abortion politicians such as Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer even ludicrously claimed keeping abortion clinics open during the deadly pandemic was “life sustaining.”
Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam who previously condoned infanticide after babies are born alive in botched abortions, mocked Good Friday as the day he signed legislation which repealed laws such as requiring physician credentials, instead allowing nurses and non-doctors to perform abortions, increasing substandard care and risks to women, and eliminated mothers seeing ultrasound images of their developing babies before having abortions. In fact, one study shows 80% of women choose life after viewing sonograms, exposing those who claim to be “pro-choice” actually oppose services which enable women to make fully informed choices. By contrast, pro-life legislation “empowers women with information” needed to make “the most informed decision about their health and that of their unborn child,” while those claiming to be “pro-choice” support abortion practices which violate informed consent and limit women's information and choices.
Thus, abortion is actually anti-choice. One study showed 84% of women seeking abortion are not fully informed, 78% are pressured, 79% are not counseled about alternatives, and over 50% feel rushed or uncertain. Alarming statistics show how many abortions are even forced. As a disingenuous effort to comply with safety recommendations during the health crisis, abortion clinics actually disallowed women to bring a friend or loved one with them for support, further increasing risks of women feeling pressured and suffering post-abortive mental health trauma, while pro-life counselors, who offer women more services and support, were prohibited or even arrested, not only violating their First Amendment rights, but also the rights of the women to receive full information and safe healthcare.
Abortion advocates also exploited the pandemic to push the dangerous at-home, do-it-yourself abortion pill regimen, which has hospitalized thousands of women and killed dozens. Women suffer life-threatening complications and hemorrhage, requiring blood transfusions, and mental health trauma due to severe blood loss and pain, or even seeing their tiny babies expelled, with formed faces, fingers and toes, and functioning organs, yet callously told to “flush it.”
Some courts, including the Fifth Circuit, upheld some abortion restrictions during the pandemic, but still allowed medical (pill) abortions, despite the fact that 2-7% of women who have medical abortions require follow-up surgeries or larger doses of the dangerous drugs. Abortion proponents ignore even the at-home abortion method endangers women and uses valuable medical resources that should go to the front lines of the health crisis.
Such unsafe abortion access also allows by-mail providers to continue violating federal law. The providers violate proper development, storage, or transport protocols and the FDA’s “risk evaluation and mitigations strategy” (REMS) regulations for dangerous drugs, including unregulated, unlicensed and online, international, illegal sources.
The FDA warned not to buy abortion drugs “over the internet because you will bypass important safeguards designed to protect your health (and the health of others).”
Abortion proponents, however, laud relaxing safety measures, dangerously administering life-threatening drugs without even confirming pregnancy or gestational age via a doctor examination first, or performing ultrasounds to detect ectopic pregnancies which could require emergency surgery, putting women's lives at risk. Some providers were exposed for failing to perform basic health checks, including confirming access to physicians, for women who obtained the dangerous drugs even after falsifying information, such as gestational age, violating the gestational limits for which the drug is approved and increasing health risks the later the gestation.
A U.S. District judge in Maryland even sided with The ACLU’s lawsuit to allow women to obtain the dangerous drugs by mail without an exam by a doctor. The claimed FDA’s safety requirement has “severe implications for low-income and people of color,” despite admitting they “are dying from COVID-19 at substantially higher rates.” In truth, the actual severe implications are caused by dangerous abortions violating safety standards and increasing potentially fatal risks to women's health. Ironically, the abortion lobby sued for an unsafe, faster means to obtain deadly abortion drugs as a “solution” to a deadly health crisis. The judge erroneously ruled in-person visits to doctors were “unconstitutional in the pandemic,” and infringement on obtaining an abortion could cause “irreparable harm,” ignoring the actual irreparable harm of severe health risks, including death, especially to women without a preliminary exam.
March for Life’s president Jeanne Mancini noted,
“Common-sense FDA regulations for women’s health have been sacrificed in the name of ‘access to abortion.’”
The purpose of the safety standards is to screen women for risks before taking abortion pills with severe risks. Women who take the pills later in pregnancy or are experiencing an ectopic pregnancy face extreme dangers. Medical abortions cause four times more severe complications than surgical abortions, and “should therefore have more oversight, not less.” In fact, medical journals cite the risk of death is ten times greater. Other risks include hemorrhage (which require surgery or blood transfusion), hysterectomies, and life-threatening sepsis. Women should also be checked for blood type, because some develop antibodies in response to abortions, which risks future miscarriages. If abortion advocates were truly concerned with women's health and reproductive rights as they claim to be, they would support health and safety standards, and ensure women are informed of life-threatening risks to their health and fertility.
Additional risks include misuse of the dangerous drugs, only approved up to ten weeks gestation, but women have aborted viable late-term babies, risking their own lives as well. While pro-life leaders protect lives with safety regulations in place, abortion activists exploited the pandemic to repeal a safety regulation they already wanted gone. The ACLU already has another lawsuit against the Health and Human Services Department seeking to remove the safety regulations entirely.
While abortion activists falsely warn restricting abortion sets back women's health, they support “chemical coat hanger” abortion procedures that bring “back alley” risks into clinics and homes. Continuing to dishonestly market the abortion pill as “safe” and “private,” the industry cuts costs and expands its reach to multiply sales and profits, while increasing lack of accountability and harm to women, thus revealing the abortion agenda is for “political, ideological, and financial” gain, not for women’s best interests, unlike pro-life advocates who protect women's health and assert that “women deserve better than incompetent providers who put profits over people.” Further, while abortionists lie that once the abortion pill regimen is administered, women cannot change their minds, pro-life organizations provide life-saving reversal for women and their children. As over 50% of women feel uncertain or rushed to abort, pro-life groups provide more information, safe healthcare services and support.
Abortion advocates’ push for even more lax availability without medical supervision not only increases physical and mental health risks, but also increases risk of harm, force, and violence. Women who have not consented to abort have been unknowingly drugged, forced at gunpoint or by other threats and violence, and even killed. New York Democrats appallingly called it an “achievement” when they repealed protections for women whose preborn babies are killed by domestic violence. Disturbingly, over 60% of abortions involve coercion, and widespread chemical abortion access further enables abusers and traffickers.
Planned Parenthood has even been exposed for failing to report statutory rape of minors, advising pimps and traffickers to pose as guardians to obtain abortions for underage sex workers to evade parental consent laws, and encouraging teens to try dangerous sexual practices, including pornography, which enables abuse and trafficking, in order to groom them for profitable abortions. Planned Parenthood further enables abuse and endangers minors by sponsoring a California bill that violates consent and parental notification laws, allowing insurance companies to hide minors’ abortions from parents, though they are paying for the procedures through their insurance policies. Opposite of abortion supporters’ claims to champion women's rights, abortion, in fact, perpetuates misogyny and violence.
Abortion advocates actually champion unsafe practices which masquerade as “healthcare” while endangering women and children. Even amidst a global health crisis, abortion activists push for dangerously reduced regulations, ignore health violations, and fight laws which protect women's safety. Pro-life advocates fight for the health, safety and equality of all vulnerable lives, and for women to obtain safe healthcare, not be dangerously exploited for profit by the abortion industry.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.