(CNSNews.com) – Dr. Monique Chireau Wubbenhorst, a board-certified obstetrician gynecologist with over 30 years’ experience in patient care, teaching, research, health policy and global health, testified before Congress Thursday that abortion is “not health care” for pregnant women or their children, because it “neither prevents, treats, or palliates any disease.”
“I’d like to discuss abortion’s harms to women and their children. The Dobbs decision, which returns the decision making on abortion legislation to the states and federal elected officials, presents an opportunity to mitigate abortion’s many harms to women in communities and to unborn human beings,” she told the House Oversight and Reform Committee at hearing titled, “Examining the Harm to Patients from Abortion Restrictions and the Threat of a National Abortion Ban.”
“Abortion not only poses risk to the mother. It is always lethal to an unborn child. It is my opinion that abortion is not health care. Abortion is defined by CDC as an intervention that is intended to terminate a suspected intrauterine pregnancy and does not result in a live birth. The goal of any abortion is therefore to kill the embryo or fetus, which is a human being,” Wubbenhorst testified.
“There are of course different types of health care, and it’s my opinion that abortion neither prevents, treats, or palliates any disease. It has instead as its goal the death of a human being. It is therefore not health care for the mother or her fetus, and research confirms this because the majority of OBGYNs do not do abortions,” she said.
Wubbenhorst cited a 1985 study that said that at that time , 40 percent of OBGYNs surveyed performed abortions.
“In the 2018 survey, only 7 percent of private practice OBGYNs performed abortions, and in another survey in 2019, 23 percent of OBGYNs performed abortions, but only 30—but 30 to 40 percent performed fewer than eight abortions per year,” she said.
“I’d like to now talk about the fact that clinicians caring for pregnant women have two patients – the mother and her unborn child because the fetus is indeed a patient, and advancements in technology have enabled us to recognize that. Many fetal conditions can … be prevented or treated in utero,” Wubbenhorst said.
“Open fetal surgery as we heard earlier can be performed as early as 15 weeks gestation, and science also shows that an unborn child is able to feel pain much earlier than previously thought. In addition to that, anesthesia is routinely provided at 15 weeks in order to ameliorate pain from these procedures,” she said.
Wubbenhorst also testified that statistics on the number of abortions and abortion complications are flawed, because reporting to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is “voluntary.”
I would also like to discuss briefly the epidemiology of abortion, because we know that the abortion statistic collection is extremely flawed, and in 2019 in fact, the CDC’s abortion surveillance report stated that because reporting to CDC is voluntary and reporting requirements vary, CDC is unable to report the total number of abortions performed in the United States, and this problem is not just limited to the number of abortion but also to abortion complications,” she said.
For many years, there’s been an assertion that abortion is safer than childbirth, and this has been used to defend the right to abortion. Because of the incompleteness of data, it is not possible to make this assertion with any certainty. Indeed, there are some studies that suggest that abortion-related mortality is equal to or almost equal to maternal mortality when abortion is conducted at later gestational ages.
I’d like to briefly mention that the fetal heartbeat is an important measure and a useful measure of fetal health. In my experience, physicians use ultrasound to detect it, and the fetal heart develops over the course of gestation with the heartbeat being able to be detected sometimes as early as six weeks but often later, but the point that I would like to make is that the heartbeat is there whether we detect it or not.
We are simply observing it, and observing the heartbeat is an important part of assessing fetal health. Studies show that the presence of a heartbeat at 10 weeks is associated with a greater than 90 percent likelihood that that pregnancy will carry to term.
She also said that more African-American babies have been abortion since abortion was legalized in the 1973 Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade than there are people in the African countries of Senegal and Cambodia.
“I’d like to close by briefly discussing racial disparities. Since Roe v. Wade, an estimated 17 million unborn African Americans have been aborted in the United States. That’s more than the populations of the countries of Senegal and Cambodia. Those abortions mean not only the deaths of the 17 million black people who were aborted but all of their families and descendants,” Wubbenhorst said.
“In addition, there are substantial racial disparities in abortion and its complications. Black women undergo 38 percent of abortions even though we comprise only 12 - 14 percent of the total population, and these statistics are likely underestimates,” she said.
“More than one-third of second-trimester abortions are performed in black women, and it seems to me to be difficult to reconcile the fact that black women have the highest rates of maternal mortality and the highest rates of abortion at the same time. Both cannot be true,” Wubbenhorst concluded.