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Disassembling the Abortion vs. Childbirth Safety Myth

February 6, 2020

by Jonathan Imbody

The American Academy of Medical Ethics recently filed a brief in June Medical Services v. Gee, a very important upcoming Supreme Court case on abortion. The case centers on safety and health requirements on abortion clinics, and the brief dismantles the abortion industry’s spurious argument that abortion is supposedly safer than childbirth.

The abortion industry launched a lawsuit after the state of Louisiana passed Act 620, which required “that every physician who performs or induces an abortion shall ‘have active admitting privileges at a hospital that is located not further than thirty miles from the location at which the abortion is performed or induced.’” To many observers, such a requirement obviously would help protect women who experience adverse events from an abortion.

Abortion business advocates, however, viewed the Louisiana law as a threat to its own economic survival specifically and to the prevalence of abortion in general. The abortion industry has been long accustomed to political preference that has helped them skirt the standard health and safety oversight measures applied to similar facilities.

In Pennsylvania, for example, a grand jury report documented how political determinations had exempted the abortion industry from health and safety inspections. That political favoritism and lack of health and safety oversight allowed the infamous Dr. Kermit Gosnell of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to criminally operate a filthy and deadly abortion clinic that became known as a “House of Horrors.”

As the Washington Post reported, “The grand jury report is full of horrific and gruesome details about the clinic that Gosnell ran for more than three decades. Patients were neglected; providers were not certified; and cats were allowed to roam and defecate in the clinic.

“‘Gosnell had a simple solution for the unwanted babies he delivered: he killed them,’ the report said. “He didn’t call it that. He called it ‘ensuring fetal demise.’ The way he ensured fetal demise was by sticking scissors into the back of the baby’s neck and cutting the spinal cord.’

“How did this happen? This is one of the questions that the grand jury seems to have grappled with: How did Gosnell run a non-compliant clinic for three decades? Much can be attributed to an egregious lapse in regulatory oversight, the report said.”

Ultimately, the grisly Gosnell was “found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of patient Karnamaya Mongar who died at his late-term abortion clinic, and three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of four babies allegedly born alive inside the Women’s Medical Society abortion clinic in West Philadelphia, Pa., that he operated for 40 years.”

Obviously, for Gosnell’s patients and the babies whom he dismembered, abortion was hardly “safer than childbirth.”

Decades before the revelation of the Gosnell horrors, that oft-repeated myth served as a flimsy foundation for the U.S. Supreme Court’s infamous Roe v. Wade decision. The court’s decision in Roe asserted that the relative safety of (early) abortion over childbirth is “now-established medical fact.”

On the contrary, the American Academy of Medical Ethics’ brief notes, “The laim that abortion is safer than childbirth is a myth, resting on demonstrably flawed premises and refuted by study after study. The common claim of abortion advocates that abortion is safer than childbirth is based upon incomplete data and flagrantly inapt comparisons. The published medical evidence strongly suggests that abortion is more dangerous, not less, than childbirth.”

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