The largest abortion vendor in Pennsylvania, Planned Parenthood, has just asked the state for an exemption for its newest abortion clinic in Lancaster from basic health and safety standards that would put additional risk on a woman having an abortion.
Reports from the Pennsylvania Department of Health show around one in every 100 women will have a serious medical complication from their abortion. This could include retained parts of the aborted baby, bleeding and/or infection.
This inherent risk is a reason why every abortion facility in Pennsylvania is licensed as an ambulatory surgical facility, which include health standards like having a transfer agreement with a local hospital capable of providing emergency care.
Any facility that performs surgeries on-site should have more safety requirements than a non-surgical health facility because patients are at more risk of needing immediate medical assistance from a hospital.
Planned Parenthood opened a new abortion facility in Lancaster and is now asking the state for an exemption from the required transfer agreement with a local hospital.
Around half of all abortions in Pennsylvania are surgical abortions; nearly 15,000 surgical abortions occurred in 2021. The procedure used in the majority of these surgeries was suction curettage, also known as a D&C or vacuum aspiration abortion, which uses a plastic tube to suck the unborn baby out from the mother’s womb. Risks from this procedure include the perforation of the uterus, damage to the cervix, scar tissue on the uterine wall, and infection.
In 2021, there were over 300 reports of complications from abortions that were submitted by physicians; up 35 percent from the previous year. The majority of these complications were related to “retained products of conception.”
There are women who will need emergency care from a hospital after an abortion, as is the case with other surgical procedures performed by ambulatory surgical facilities. “Expect the unexpected,” writes the Patient Safety Authority, an independent state agency that reports on healthcare facilities. “The necessity to provide unanticipated care while at the surgical center places the patient, other patients, and the ambulatory surgical facility staff at risk.” It is also a federal regulation for ambulatory surgical centers to have transfer agreements with a local hospital.
If we truly care for women’s health, no exemption should be granted. When these basic safety standards can’t be met, the answer should never be to lower our protections for patients, yet that’s exactly what Planned Parenthood wants to do.
It’s worth noting that the Pennsylvania Department of Health has a history of loosening safety measures on abortion facilities. Ten years ago, abortionist Kermit Gosnell was convicted of first-degree murder for the death of three babies born-alive and killed, as well as convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, while operating a licensed abortion facility in West Philadelphia.
State health evaluators for Kermit Gosnell’s abortion facility – his “House of Horrors” – approved his licensed abortion facility despite numerous violations, including no transfer agreement with a hospital for emergency care.
There are two patients involved with an abortion, the unborn child and the woman having the abortion. The result ends the life of an unborn child and also hurts the woman having the abortion who is at risk of serious complications. These inherent risks should be reason enough for why special treatment should not be granted to the abortion industry. Transfer agreements are mandated for ALL surgical facilities; the abortion industry is no exception.
Pennsylvania has treated the abortion industry differently before, at significant cost to many women and families. Let’s not start making the same mistakes again.