Planned Parenthood claims that its efforts to provide abortion services have at last removed the spectre of dangerous back alley abortions from our land. Nothing could be further from the truth. The spectre remains, darker and more ominous than ever before. The truth is, many of the butchers who ran the old back alley operations have simply moved uptown to ply their grisly trade for Planned Parenthood.
Abortions are dangerous. Planned Parenthood's own liability release forms say so - in very fine print, of course. There is no such thing as a "safe and legal" abortion. Legal, yes. Safe, no way.
The Centres for Disease Control conducted a study of maternal deaths and discovered that abortion is now the sixth most common cause. The results of the study, released in the May 1985, issue of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, admitted that those abortion-related deaths may be under-reported by as much as fifty per cent.
According to a John Hopkins University study, nearly twenty per cent of all mid-trimester abortions result in serious genital tract infections.
And a study conducted by two UCLA Obstetrical and Gynaecological professors concluded that "abortion can be a killer," due to "pelvic abscess, perforation of the uterus, and sometimes also of the bowel." But even if such infections and abscesses do not prove fatal, they can cause serious and permanent medical complications.
According to one physician, writing in the British Journal of Venereal Disease, "infection in the womb and tubes often does permanent damage. The Fallopian tube is a fragile organ, a very tiny bore tube. If infection injures it, it often seals shut. The typical infection involving these organs is pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID." This condition affects nearly fifteen per cent of all those who submit to induced abortion.
Other medical complications of abortion include sterility (as many as twenty-five per cent of all women receiving mid-trimester abortions); haemorrhaging (nearly ten per cent of all cases require transfusions); viral hepatitis (occurring in ten per cent of all those transfused); embolism (in as many as four per cent of all cases); cervical laceration, cardio-respiratory arrest, acute kidney failure, and amniotic fluid embolus (occurring in as many as forty-two per cent of all Prostaglandin abortions).
In the September-October 1995 edition of New Dimensions magazine featured an in-depth report on the high incidence of traumatic outcomes to women having abortions. They obtained an internal report of Planned Parenthood Federation of America that reveals that abortion may cause serious damage to the great majority of women who undergo the procedure.Planned Parenthood's internal report (Department of Education's 3-year Plan and Long Range Program Goals, 1990-1993) reveals on page 29 that its own research organisation, the Alan Guttmacher Institute, estimates that as high as 91 percent of all women undergoing abortions may suffer from physical or psychological "post-procedural trauma
Such an admission is in stark contrast to Planned Parenthood's public relations slogan about 'safe and legal' abortion. Planned Parenthood has always tried to keep this sort of information away from media and public scrutiny.
"Planned Parenthood has become the McDonalds of America's abortion industry," concludes one observer. "The abortion business is fast, efficient, and very profitable. This, despite growing indications that its main 'product' may in fact be dangerous to the health of women."
In a survey of women who had received abortions at Planned Parenthood sixty per cent stated that their counsellor had "very strongly encouraged them to choose abortion as the best solution to their problem." This is especially significant in light of the fact that over ninety per cent of these encouraged to abort by their Planned Parenthood counsellor said that "there was a strong chance" they would have chosen against the abortion if they "had not been so strongly encouraged to abort."
Over sixty per cent were "still hoping to find an alternative" when they went in for counselling. Only twenty-five per cent were already "firm in their decision" to obtain an abortion. So what do the "champions of choice at Planned Parenthood do to help these women through the agonising decision-making process? Did they lay out all the options? Did they discuss all the available alternatives? Did they go over all the possible risks, hazards, and complications?
Did they offer women a real choice? Hardly. Ninety-five per cent of the women said that their Planned Parenthood counsellors gave "little or no biological information about the foetus which the abortion would destroy."
Eighty per cent said that their counsellors gave "little or no information about the potential health risks which might follow the surgery. Sixty-eight per cent felt that the "procedure was not described with any degree of depth or clarity." And eighty-nine percent said that their counsellor was "strongly biased in favour of the abortion."
Far from advocating choice, then, Planned Parenthood has become, over the years at home and abroad, the most valiant crusader against choice. It is one of the most vicious opponents of choice in the world today.