Joe Scheidler, national director of the Pro-Life Action League, is responding to the Chicago Tribune's article, "State abortion records full of reporting gaps," which reveals that thousands of abortion complications have gone unreported.
The front-page article shows that not reporting abortions is not only illegal but unethical, because it's the only way that the state can know what types of complications have occurred, and how many women actually got abortions. Also, by not reporting abortions, the state may have allowed abortion providers to operate "off the books."
Scheidler is not surprised by the findings, and his entire letter to the Tribune is below:
To those of us in the Pro-Life movement, Tribune reporter Megan Twohey's well-done front-page story, "State abortion records full of reporting gaps," presents no surprises. But it presents much information the public needs to know. While we stand outside most Illinois abortion facilities and hand out literature explaining the hazards of abortion, it is important that the public be aware of the astounding facts Twohey presents in her article.
She calls the state's tracking of abortions so "broken" that it misses reporting more than 7,000 abortions each year, and consequently has no report on the complications and even deaths resulting from these elective terminations.
Twohey contacted the Pro-Life Action League in March while checking on the condition of abortion clinic inspections after the story broke on the deplorable condition in Dr. Kermit Gosnell's Philadelphia abortion clinic. Our office sent her summaries of multiple complaints we have found in court files against Illinois abortion clinics, including cases of hemorrhaging, perforated uteruses, excessive bleeding, hysterectomies and deaths, all resulting from abortions.
Illinois abortion clinics are rarely inspected, if ever. We know of one that has not been inspected for 15 years. But we cannot get laws passed in Illinois to require regular inspections, even though other medical facilities must meet basic standards of health.
Abortion advocates, such as the ACLU, campaign against any regulation of abortion clinics. The League, of course, wishes to see abortion outlawed, but while it is legal we believe the lives and health of women should be protected. Yet abortion advocates fight any regulations, fearing they might restrict abortion.
We at the League are grateful for the Tribune's "Watchdog" report. We believe women contemplating abortion should know facts such as this story reveals, that although presently legal, abortion is often unsafe. Yet, as the story reveals, the lack of safety is seldom recorded.
Women contemplating abortion should know the psychological damage abortion can cause. We at the League will continue to inspect the court files for complaints of malpractice against abortion clinics, including deaths, and we will continue to inform women of the fact that every abortion destroys at least one life, no matter how "safe" a woman may think it is going to be for her.
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