Last week, there was a pro-life exhibit on Eastern Michigan University’s campus. I could write an article about the intolerance that causes some people to call pro-life arguments anti-science. I could write about the idea that calling pro-life advocates “anti-woman” would be like calling “pro-choice” advocates “pro-death.” I could even write about the fact that abortions are disproportionally performed on people in poverty, but I will not.
Today, I would like to write about an abortion clinic in Pennsylvania where horrible things occurred. An April 12 article in The Atlantic questioned why the media is not covering this story, which makes a case for regulating abortion and describes the grisly details.
What I question is why, if abortions are supposed to be like every other medical procedure, people who consider themselves pro-choice are against common-sense regulations on abortion clinics?
The abortion clinic in question, called the Women’s Medical Society, gave illegal abortions under horrible conditions. The clinic, according to the article, used a lot of outdated equipment, a dangerous type of sedative and had many other issues, including a large number of abortion-related complications. The article claims a lot of the problems at the clinic were due to lax regulation, failure of on-site inspectors and the ignoring of filed complaints.
At one point, according to the article, the clinic was denied admission to an association of abortion providers due to these facts, but the association did not report any of it to the state of Pennsylvania.
The clinic also performed illegal abortions by disregarding the limit placed on how long into a pregnancy an abortion can be performed. In fact, the article claims that clinic would allow the women to give birth to viable babies and then sever their spines with a pair of scissors. The doctor in charge of the clinic, who is now on trial, actually kept some remains in the clinic as “trophies.”
A number of states have passed laws further regulating abortion clinics in an attempt to make them more like hospitals (such as in Virginia), according to a Jan. 7, 2012 NPR article. In this case, as in many others, a “pro-choice” group, the Center for Reproductive Rights, is against these regulations because abortion clinics are the only non-hospital medical building to be held to these standards. But that makes sense because I don’t know of many procedures as invasive as abortions being performed outside hospitals.
It seems as if at least one state has gotten the message. The article in The Atlantic claims there were very few inspections of the clinic by the state of Pennsylvania, which eventually stopped completely due to political concerns. Reports of things going wrong, including deaths, also went uninvestigated according to the article; not even complaints by former employees were met with any real investigation.
I don’t quite understand the idea that an office performing invasive medical procedures, regardless of the procedure provided, should not be heavily regulated. Furthermore, those regulations need to be taken seriously.
That things like this persist, and that those organizations who think abortion is the same as every other medical procedure oppose stopping them, is horrifying.
I am not ashamed to tell you that I am pro-life, but I will also say that as long as abortion is legal, it should be regulated as much of medicine is, so it is performed as safely as humanly possible.