A woman is carried into an ambulance behind a sheet at Planned Parenthood in Aurora, Illinois [Photo by Eric Scheidler, 4/1/11]
The Chicago Tribune ran a front page story today reporting that many Illinois abortion facilities are not reporting how many abortions they perform or the number and nature of the complications that arise from the abortions.
Megan Twohey, author of the Tribune article, called the Pro-Life Action League back in March, in the wake of the news about the filthy conditions in Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s “House of Horrors” abortion facility in Philadelphia. Twohey was looking into inspections and reporting in Illinois.
We sent her the summaries of the malpractice lawsuits against Chicago area abortion clinics on file in the Circuit Court of Cook County. We routinely check the court files and have uncovered dozens of Complaints against Family Planning Associates, Planned Parenthood, and American Women’s Medical Center. Complaints range from deaths due to complications during or following an abortion, to hemorrhaging, perforated uterus, excessive bleeding and damage necessitating a complete hysterectomy on a 14-year-old girl.
Illinois Abortion Facilities Rarely Inspected
Our own research reveals that Illinois’ abortion clinics are seldom inspected. In some cases, it has been 15 years since the last inspection.
Recent attempts to require that abortion clinics maintain at least the same standards as other medical facilities failed in the Illinois Legislature. HB 3156 got 57 votes, but needed 60 to pass. The ACLU and abortion advocates campaigned against this piece of legislation that would only have served to protect women.
Although we would dearly love to see every abortion clinic shut down, HB 3156 would not have accomplished that. Nonetheless, advocates of abortion are so opposed to any regulation or restriction that they are perfectly willing to sacrifice the safety of patients to the ideology of wide open abortion.
Many Illinois Abortionists Off the State’s Radar Screen
Among the findings Twohey reports is the fact that Illinois gets reports from 26 abortion providers, while the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute identifies 37 abortion providers in the state. Illinois records also count between 7,000 and 17,000 fewer abortions than Guttmacher registers.
Abortion clinics are required under Illinois law to file reports on the numbers of abortions and on the nature of any complications, but if they fail to comply with the law, they are never prosecuted.
We at the Pro-Life Action League have long believed that women have the right to know about the malpractice suits that other women or their families have brought against abortion clinics and their staff. We are pleased to see that the Chicago Tribune also recognizes the importance of this information.
Planned Parenthood, FPA “Could Not Confirm” They Reported Women’s Deaths
In the article, Twohey interviewed the husband of a woman who died after an abortion at Planned Parenthood in Chicago in 2002. Yet Planned Parenthood was unable to confirm for Twohey whether they had reported that death, claiming that “the records were in storage.” Family Planning Associates was also unable to say whether they had reported the deaths of three women in 1998, 1999, and 2000.
Likewise, a manager at the Women’s Aid Clinic in Lincolnwood “would not comment” on the death of a teenage girl “immediately following her abortion” in 2009.
We will continue to monitor the court files and to alert women to the deaths and injuries other women have suffered at abortion clinics. Women have a right to know.
They also have a right to know about the development of the baby they carry in their womb, the dangers inherent in abortion and the alternatives and assistance available to them.
We’re doing our job. Why isn’t the State of Illinois doing its job?