Last-in-state abortion businesses have poor safety records
Recently, Vice published a puff piece on seven abortion businesses that have the distinction of being the only (and, we hope, last) one operating in their respective states. The article consists entirely of quotes from the owners/staffers of these facilities, with no fact checking or context whatsoever. I can’t even call it journalism.
Most egregiously, Vice failed to include any information about the health and safety records of these final facilities. So we’ve done the work for them.
EMW Women’s Surgical Center, Kentucky
Abortionist Quote: “We’ve remained open because of dedication — dedication to the cause. It’s been part of my life’s work to work on women’s reproductive freedom. And I will keep doing it. Every day my patients say they appreciate what we do for them. That’s what people don’t get to hear.”
Reality Check: EMW was caught on undercover video lying to women about the extent of prenatal brain development.
Women’s Health Center, West Virginia
Abortion Center Director Quote: “The majority of our services are what we call in-clinic procedures; the trend is to get away from calling it surgery. It’s not really surgery. We’re not cutting people.”
Reality Check: Women’s Health Center has been sued for malpractice numerous times, most gruesomely for leaving a baby’s decapitated head inside the mother’s body in a botched abortion.
Planned Parenthood, Missouri
Abortion Center CEO Quote: “When we moved into our new building in 1998, we designed it according to the ambulatory regulations so that we could provide care according to the law. We worked with a state architect to ensure that all of our rooms were the proper sizes, that they had the right ventilation systems, that they had everything we needed in order [to comply]. We get inspected each year, and these are the types of things they look at.”
Reality Check: The St. Louis, MO Planned Parenthood is one of the most notoriously dangerous abortion facilities in the country. It has had 64 known ambulance calls in recent years: an average of one emergency every six weeks since 2009. (Ambulance calls are the best metric we have because a state law requiring complications to be reported to the Department of Health has gone unenforced, but that is about to change.) Planned Parenthood’s Missouri abortion center has also failed multiple inspections — not for the construction of the building, but for basic measures like sanitation.
Abortionist Quote: “There are people who won’t come to our family practice because we provide termination services. And that’s one of the things I’m willing to accept.”
Reality Check: According to Americans United for Life, Wyoming law does not mandate minimum health and safety standards for abortion facilities. Absent such standards and the inspections that would accompany them, it is impossible to know whether patients at EMW are receiving appropriate care.
Planned Parenthood, South Dakota
Abortion Center CEO Quote: “None of our physicians are from Sioux Falls; we’ve never been able to hire a doctor from the area. So we have four doctors who fly in on rotation. It’s a tremendous waste of resources and it’s very expensive to keep this practice up.”
Reality Check: Fly-by-night abortionists are by definition unable to provide adequate follow-up care, especially in emergencies. This is a major reason pro-life advocates have pursued legislation to require local hospital admitting privileges.
Red River Women’s Clinic, North Dakota
Abortion Center Owner Quote: “On the first day we opened, three women walked in. One woman was too far along, but we provided two abortions that day. The scales slowly started tipping; we started seeing more and more patients.”
Reality Check: This past March, an ambulance was summoned to Red River, where “paramedics discovered that the gurney they used could not fit in the front door. Instead, they went around to the back door and brought the patient out into an alley filled with trash dumpsters.” Red River also came under fire in 2010 for having an unlicensed doctor on staff, but ultimately was not brought to justice.
Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Mississippi
Abortion Center Director Quote: “I don’t know why we’ve managed to stay around. We just do everything by the book and we just try to stay on top of everything they’re trying to get passed. We don’t just lie back and let them do what they want, to play these games with these TRAP laws.”
Reality Check: Jackson Women’s Health Organization has a long, sordid history that includes numerous failed inspections and a $600,000 verdict in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
May these seven facilities close quickly, and may these states and the whole nation one day be abortion-free.
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