Michigan Legislator Worries Abortion Complications are Underreported

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 25, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Michigan Legislator Worries Abortion Complications are Underreported Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 25
, 2007

Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — A Michigan state legislator is concerned that the number of abortion complications occurring in the state annually is underreported. Republican Rep. Kevin Green has filed a bill that would allow anyone who knows of a botched abortion to report it to the state health department.

Michigan law currently requires abortion practitioners to report cases of botched abortions or problems stemming from an abortion to the state Department of Community Health.

But Green has surveyed the statistics and says they’re incomplete and that not all cases of post-abortion problems are reported.

He told AP there is a "sad and serious enforcement problem" with that law.

He pointed to records from the state health department showing only five immediate and nine subsequent complications from abortions. That’s despite the fact that more than 26,000 abortions are done in Michigan each year.

Green sent a letter to his colleagues saying that the complications figures did not include the death of a Detroit teenager in 2004.

The health department made no mention of a woman’s death in 2004 in its complications report. The department only noted that thirteen women reported complications, including shock, cervical lacerations, incomplete abortions and two unidentified complications.

However, Tamia Russell, a 15 year-old, died from a second-trimester abortion in January of 2004.

Steven Brown of the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office told LifeNews.com that the cause of death for Russell was listed as, "Uterine infarction with sepsis, due to status post second trimester abortion."

Responding to the measure, T.J. Bucholz, a spokesman for the Department of Community Health, told AP that "We don’t fabricate statistics on abortion."

Rep. Rebekah Warren, a Democrat from Ann Arbor who previously was executive director of NARAL’s Michigan affiliate, criticized the bill, HB 4651.

"We have a law in place that requires physicians to report this information, and they do report this information," Warren said. "It makes me nervous to start witch hunts in our doctors’ offices."

To make sure people are not randomly and inappropriately reporting false complications, the bill includes penalties for those who do.

Related web sites:
Right to Life of Michigan – https://www.rtl.org