Abortion Conviction Raises Questions About Abortion Safety

July 7, 2008 - 8:03 PM

(CNSNews.com) - The conviction and sentencing of an Arizona abortionist in connection with the 1998 death of a patient of his who bled to death following an abortion that he performed raises questions about the safety of legal abortions.

Arizona medical examiners determined that Lou Anne Herron's death was directly related to Dr. John Biskind's negligence and that her severe bleeding would have been prevented if Biskind had taken necessary precautions.

Unfortunately, Dr. Biskind is not the only American abortionist who violates their legal duty to provide safe care to all patients. Sadly, deaths from legal abortions occur more regularly than either proponents or opponents of abortion like to admit.

A similar incident occurred in October 2000 when a 21-year-old woman bled to death after having an abortion in a Dayton, Ohio clinic. The clinic where the death occurred had recently been granted a waiver from any kind of special treatment for abortion complications by the Ohio Department of Health. The normal Ohio medical license requires doctors to have a hospital and doctor identified in case of severe complications from medical procedures such as abortion.

In 1991 the Mobile Register reported that Michelle Madden, an 18-year-old Alabama woman, received an abortion in a Mobile clinic. Three days later she collapsed and was rushed to the hospital where doctors found pieces of a child's skull and a leg bone in her uterus. She later died from a blood infection following her admission to the hospital.

Another notorious case involved Bruce Steir, a Los Angeles area abortionist who knowingly punctured the uterus of a 27-year-old woman in an abortion clinic, then traveled to San Francisco without sending the woman to the hospital. Eventually the woman bled to death from the legal abortion. The assisting technician testified in Steir's 1998 second-degree murder trial that he punctured the woman's uterus then pulled her bowel through her uterus.

Laura Echvarria, a spokeswoman for the National Right to Life committee said, "We have file cabinets full of documentation of women who have either been killed or severely injured as a result of legal abortions. The one thing I can say is that abortion is legal, but it is certainly not safe or rare; we also know that 250 women have died since 1973 from legal abortions."

CDC statistics dating back to 1975 revealed that there were seven times as many abortion deaths following Roe v. Wade than prior to the decision. The desire for "safe and legal" abortions has been behind the desire of groups in favor of abortion rights to oppose efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Hard numbers regarding how many women either die or receive poor medical treatment are unavailable because abortion providers keep tight control over actual numbers.

Mark Crutcher, author of Lime 5, a survey of abortion clinic safety, alleges a cover-up.

"It is very hard to determine the exact number of women who die in abortion clinics each year because the people involved cover up the evidence. The CDC has put people in charge of disseminating abortion-related injury information, who are themselves abortionists or have ties to abortion," Crutcher said.

Conditions in many abortion clinics, he said, seldom exceed those of veterinary clinics, and abortion providers often do not have the proper training to handle problems that may arise.

"Many abortionists work in appalling conditions that you would close a veterinary clinic for. People don't know that rapes are not uncommon in abortion clinics. We found out that a lot of unsanitary equipment is used, and they often reuse supplies that are not supposed to be used," said Crutcher.

"Abortion is one of the most unregulated industries, and the same individuals who could not make it as doctors in the regular medical profession find their way into abortion clinics. Abortionists really are more technicians than doctors, and they often do not have the fine skills that surgeons have; often the result is a perforated uterus," said Echvarria.

Groups in favor of abortion have repeatedly opposed any efforts to protect women from unsafe abortion procedures in the name of preserving Roe v. Wade.

The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) and the National Organization for Women (NOW) were contacted for comments about protecting women from unsafe abortion practices, but they refused to comment.