Abortion providers extol themselves on the safety of legal abortions. It is a claim reverberated throughout the entire pro-abortion community. But is this true? Where is the evidence? If it is true, why did Planned Parenthood sue both Idaho and Indiana in an attempt to fight their mandated data reporting laws— especially if they believe the data confirms that abortion is indeed safe? These questions are critical, and they need to be answered for the sake of every patient’s well being and legal right to informed consent.

Each year, abortion facilities receive abortion data requests from the Center for Disease Control, but the CDC itself explains that this data is strictly voluntary and that not every state and facility submits their data. According to the CDC Abortion Surveillance Report, only census and natality data which was volunteered is used for analysis. On their website the CDC states,

“Each year, CDC requests abortion data from the central health agencies of 52 reporting areas (the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and New York City). The reporting areas provide this information voluntarily. For 2015 data were received from 49 reporting areas. Abortion data provided by these 49 reported areas for each year during 2006-2015 were used in trend analyses. Census and natality data were used to calculate abortion rates (number of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years) and ratios (number of abortions per 1,000 live births), respectively.”  

California facilities, along with countless other facilities nationwide, did not volunteer any abortion data to the Center for Disease Control. California’s population is projected to reach 40.02 million people in 2019. That is a significant amount of unreported data.

Planned Parenthood has motive to omit negative data to garner funding and continued support. According to their latest annual report, in 2017-1018 alone, the organization grossed over a billion dollars and the fact that they pride themselves on the safety and efficacy of abortions could explain their insistence on withholding certain data if such data does not bode favorably.

Those reasons alone are more than sufficient to motivate the abortion behemoth. However, in the wake of President Trump’s newly implemented changes to Title X, Planned Parenthood now stands to lose millions in government funding. That is all the more incentive for the abortion organization to manipulate the facts in their favor.

The Population Research and Voluntary Family Planning Program is a federal grant program, also known as Public Law 91-572. The recent revisions to the program will now defund Planned Parenthood by almost $60 million dollars.

If a medical establishment such as a children’s hospital were to hypothetically refuse to properly report its medical findings, the general consensus would likely be that said medical establishment is irresponsible and negligent; and yet Planned Parenthood has done exactly that in their recent lawsuits against Idaho and Indiana’s abortion reporting laws.

Why the noncompliance? Planned Parenthood willingly shares confidential patient information with third parties. In fact, Planned Parenthood has a history of violating HIPPA laws. As Live Action reported,

“Former Stem Express procurement technician, Holly O’Donnell, told CMP that Planned Parenthood revealed private patient medical information to third party contractors at fetal tissue procurement agency StemExpress in order to meet the company’s quotas for harvesting body parts from Planned Parenthood abortions. O’Donnell said Planned Parenthood staff provided StemExpress contractors with private medical information of pregnant women coming into Planned Parenthood.”

Obviously, Planned Parenthood does not take issue with sharing patient confidentiality with third parties, so why are they downright defiant in adhering to state regulations pertaining to abortion data collection? If abortion is the safest medical procedure, as they affirm, why the obstruction?

In her article, “Abortionists Sue to Block Accurate Data Collection on Abortion. What Do They Have To Hide?”, Rachel N. Busick of The Washington Examiner writes,

“Lawsuits like these make one wonder what Planned Parenthood is trying to hide by avoiding reporting requirements. If abortion is so safe and complications are so rare, abortion practitioners should have nothing to fear from abortion safety reporting information to state and federal governments. In fact, they should laud the opportunity to back up their claims with real data. Considering that information on abortion and its resulting complications is vastly underreported, and that abortion providers keep suing to block abortion reporting laws, pro-abortion advocates simply cannot credibly back up their claim of abortion safety, much less their claim that it is one of the safest procedures.”

I could not have said it any better. The facts speak for themselves. Given that not every state and facility even submits abortion data, and given the fact Planned Parenthood is fighting tooth and nail to report as little data as possible, combined with the fact the CDC has not offered any updated data in their Abortion Surveillance Report since 2015, it is not only fair, but logical to conclude that it is impossible to come to an accurate analysis of abortion statistics, let alone to tout abortion as the safest medical procedure. The data simply does not support the claim.

In a rebuttal written to a misleading article, Priscilla K. Coleman, Ph.D, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Bowling Green State University, refutes a comparison study between the safety of legally induced abortion and the safety of childbirth which erroneously concluded that abortion is safer than childbirth. Her rebuttal is impeccable and it applies directly to the issue at hand. She writes,

“You need to know that the data reported by abortion clinics to state health departments and ultimately to the CDC significantly under-represents abortion morbidity and mortality for several reasons: 1) abortion reporting is not required by federal law and many states do not report abortion related deaths to the CDC; 2) deaths due to medical and surgical treatments are reported under the complication of the procedure (e.g., infection) rather than the treatment (e.g. induced abortion); 3) most women leave abortion clinics within hours of the procedure and go to hospital emergency rooms if there are complications that may result in death; 4) suicide deaths are rarely, if ever, linked back to abortion in state reporting of death rates; 5) an abortion experience can lead to physical and/or psychological disturbances that increase the likelihood of dying years after the abortion, and these indirect abortion-related deaths are not captured at all.”

Not only is there an outstanding lack of specified data and legitimate documentation within the abortion industry, but there are abortionists who would prefer to sue state legislation to avoid regulated reporting rather than simply submitting the data. That begs the obvious question: why? Surely the data confirms that legal abortion is safe. Surely Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry have nothing to hide.  

Stay at home mom to five kiddos with a heart for justice and a willingness to do everything in her power to stand for her preborn brothers and sisters.

The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.