The big lie: Abortions are safe

We are forever told that abortions are safe. That abortion clinics do not need the same degree of regulation as other clinics that do outpatient procedures including invasive surgery. The assertion that abortions are safe is the central argument made by the abortion industry in legal challenges. Studies, often funded by the abortion industry or like-minded institutions, are constantly cited as evidence of abortion safety.

But a major study, “Unsafe: How the public health crisis in America’s abortion clinics endangers women,” by Americans United for Life challenges those assertions.

From its executive summary:

Building on the legacy of AUL’s groundbreaking, four-part exposé of Planned Parent- hood, AUL now offers Unsafe: How The Public Health Crisis in America’s Abortion Clinics Endangers Women. This latest investigative report focuses on the increasingly suspect safety record of America’s abortion industry, including non-Planned Parenthood clinics which are currently performing two-thirds of all abortions.

Evidence collected from 32 states on hundreds of abortion clinics (including Planned Parenthood abortion clinics) and individual abortionists establishes that the practice of abortion in America has devolved into the “red light district” of medicine and is populated by dangerous, substandard providers. Unsafe is both a “snapshot” in time, focusing only on abortion practices since 2008, and the “tip” of the proverbial iceberg, convincingly demonstrating a nationwide pattern of abuse that characterizes an industry that ghts to keep pro ts high and standards low.

Importantly, even limiting the scope of our investigation to the last eight years, efforts to discern the true state of abortion practices was stymied by a dearth of protective laws in a number of states, a lack of reporting in others, and limited public availability of information on abortion providers in still more states. We can easily deduce, there- fore, that the epidemic of substandard abortion practice is worse than even these pages show.

The top ten safety violations it found are:

  • Failure to ensure a safe and sanitary environment and failure to follow infection control policies
  • Failure to accurately document patient records and keep patient medical information confidential
  • Failure to ensure staff are properly trained for duties
  • Unlicensed/unqualified/untrained staff providing patient care
  • expired medications and medical supplies
  • Failure to purchase and maintain required equipment
  • Failure to adopt, follow, and/or periodically review health and safety protocols
  • Failure to properly handle medications failure to comply with physical plant standards failure to monitor patient vital signs

The findings take on special importance because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt that struck down Texas’s requirements that abortion clinics comply with medically endorsed health and safety standards and that abortion providers maintain hospital admitting privileges to facilitate emergency care and the treatment of post-abortion complications. In that decision, the court made “access” to abortion the pivotal argument, arguing that abortions are so safe that health and safety concerns come in second place over whether women have an abortion clinic conveniently located.

Justice Stephen Breyer, writing the majority opinion in the case, bought without challenge the abortion industry’s assertion “abortions taking place in an abortion facility are safe.”

The AUL study provides a state-by-state, clinic-by-clinic analysis of safety violations and complaints as well as abortion’s harmful results, including fatalities. In Illinois, it lists an alarming and lengthy series of violations and complaints for clinics in Chicago, Rockford, Granite City, Wood Dale, Hinsdale, Downers Grove, Des Plaines and Peoria. This list is here.


Unsafe details horrific abortion clinic conditions, documenting that 227 abortion providers in 32 states were cited for more than 1,400 health and safety deficiencies between 2008 and 2016 including hundreds of significant violations of state laws regulating abortion clinics. Because of a lack of responsible reporting, abortion clinics in other states – like California – could not even be fully evaluated.

A word about the researchers. The abortion industry will try to debunk the study by pointing out that AUL’s involvement taints the results. To that I would add that it no more does than the involvement of the Guttmacher Institute (the spawn of Planned Parenthood) and other pro-choice funded studies. Once again, the media have uncritically bought into the pro-choice assertions; a Google search of news outlets failed to turn up a single story about the study, except on Fox News, to which so many viewers are forced to turn for balanced reportage.

“Unsafe” is the latest study in the AUL’s Women’s Protection Project, begun in 2014 to document abortion’s negative affect on women.

Read why Americans need to learn about the nation’s most ignored war.

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