Sunday, October 12, 2014

Who Benefits from Abortion-Rights Efforts?

Abortion rights activists are fighting tooth and nail against laws and regulations that hold abortion clinics to the same standards as other outpatient surgical facilities. They assert that it is for women's benefit that they fight to keep the state from tightening standards for abortion clinics. But who is it that really benefits?

Let's look at some of the clinics that closed down in the wake of the Texas law that Wendy "Abortion Barbie" Davis fought so hard against and ask, "Cui bono?"

Let's look at some of the facilities Davis and her friends were fighting so hard to keep open.

Abortion Advantage (operating under several different names) was fined for repeated health violations: in March 2003 for $11,400 and in September 2007 for $1,950. Violations included:
  • failure to maintain a safe and sanitary environment
  • failure to maintain appropriate infection control
  • failure to maintain complete and accurate medical records including documentation of medications administered
  • failure to ensure that staff who provided patient care were certified in basic life support
  • failure to meet minimum standards for administering sedation
A doctor at this clinic, Dr. Robert Prince, was no prince. He was sued by the family of Dorothy Brant for failing to perform a proper pre-operative evaluation before performing an abortion on 22-year-old Dorothy at Dallas Medical Ladies Clinic on May 27, 1986. Dorothy hemorrhaged during the procedure. Prince, they added was negligent in his administration of drugs, anesthesia, and a blood transfusion. Dorothy was transferred to a hospital, where she died four days later.
One of Routh Street Clinic's doctors, Jasbir Ahluwalia had lost hospital privileges in 1996 due to improper handling of high-risk pregnancies. He had already been sued in 1991 and 1995 by three women whose abortions he botched, one of whom wound up needing a hysterectomy, and sued in 1995 by a woman who ended up losing a kidney because he stitched one of her ureters shut during a hysterectomy. In 2002, the Dallas Morning News noted that Ahluwalia had been sued after causing severe brain damage to their child during delivery.

Hilltop Women's Reproductive Health Services threw fetal remains in the trash, where a neighborhood dog found them. The dog's whose owners gave the remains to prolifers who then notified the authorities -- who chose to do nothing. If the state is turning a blind eye to a clinic dumping fetal remains outside the clinic, what are they turning a blind eye to behind the clinic's doors?

Women's Center of Houston's doctor Richard Cunningham was sued for his involvement in an ordeal suffered by a teenage abortion patient and her baby. After the insertion of laminaria (sterile seaweed sticks) to dilate her cervix for a late abortion, the teen changed her mind. Another doctor working with Cunningham lied to the girl, telling her that it would very much endanger her to remove the laminaria and stop the procedure, and put in more laminaria to further dilate her cervix. After leaving the clinic, the teen, increasingly upset, returned and spoke first to the other doctor then to Cunningham, who again lied, telling her that she could bleed to death if they removed the laminaria. After half an hour of badgering the girl to continue the abortion, Cunningham told her to look in the yellow pages for an anti-abortion group and dismissed her from the clinic. The girl and her mother immediately went to a hospital, but by then the teen's cervix had been too far dilated to keep her from going into labor. She gave birth to a 1 lb. 13 oz. baby girl who struggled for life in the NICU for six months before dying in February of 1992. Cunningham had also performed a fatal abortion on Sheila Watley in 1987.

In 2010 their other doctor, Shah Siddiqi, was disciplined for malpractice involving two non-abortion patients. One suffered permanent damage after he botched back surgery and failed to diagnose what he'd done wrong. Another patient lost function in her left hand due to an infection caused by a spinal procedure and Siddiqi failed to quickly diagnose and treat the infection.

Whole Women's Health of McAllen: disposed of fetal remains and other biohazardous waste in a dumpster.

Douglas Karpen closed his clinic soon after the law was passed, without waiting for the injunction to be sorted out.

He was the  main doctor involved in the refusal to stop an abortion after the teenage patient changed her mind. (See Richard Cunningham, above.)

He let a teenage abortion patient bleed to death, after having lied to her parents about the risks to their daughter.

Glenda Davis bled to death after an abortion at Karpen's Aaron Family Planning. Rather than call an ambulance when Glenda started to hemorrhage, employees just pushed her out in a wheelchair and loaded her into an employee's car.

Three former employees provided photographic evidence that Karpen was killing live-born infants.

On two occasions, the owner of a car dealership next door to Karpen's clinic had to call authorities to report that the clinic sewer had backed up, spilling recognizable fetal parts onto his lot.

The mainstream media, who evidently consider "journalism" to consist of getting a talking points sheet from abortion-rights groups, have failed to report on the conditions at any of the closed clinics, but have instead just uncritically and unquestioningly parroting the words of those organizations.

Who would benefit if abortion-rights advocates successfully block state crackdowns on abortion clinics? Who would benefit if abortion clinics aren't held to the same standards as other outpatient surgical facilities? Who would benefit if Wendy Davis had her way?

It wouldn't be the women walking into those abortion clinics.

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