Senate Bill Would Protect Women From Botched Abortions, Requires Hospital Privs

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 2, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Bill Would Protect Women From Botched Abortions, Requires Hospital Privs

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 2
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — Three members of the U.S. Senate have introduced new legislation to protect pregnant women from the aftereffects of a botched abortion. The bill requires abortion practitioners to have admitting privileges at a local hospital to be able to admit a woman suffering from life-threatening medical concerns after a failed abortion.

Sens. David Vitter, George Voinovich and Sam Brownback introduced the Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act yesterday.

Vitter, a Louisiana lawmaker and the primary author of the bill, told the legislation is "so important because it provides common sense qualifications for abortion providers."

"As with all medical procedures, abortions carry a risk, and doctors who provide them should, at the least, hold admitting privileges at a hospital in close vicinity to the abortion clinic," he said in a statement.

The bill also requires abortion practitioners to notify patients of the location of a local hospital where they can receive follow-up medical treatment in the event of post-abortion complications.

The measure also requires any abortion center that receives federal funding to be licensed by its state and comply with current requirements relating to ambulatory surgery centers.

Any abortion practitioner who doesn’t hold clinical privileges is prohibited from doing abortions unless needed to save the life of the mother.

"It is time that we took the appropriate steps to provide for the safety of the women who undergo abortions," Vitter added.

Senator Voinovich, another sponsor of the bill, knows first-hand about the problems of abortion centers not having admitting privileges at a local medical facility.

The Women’s Medical Center abortion business in Dayton, Ohio came under fire for not following state law by having a relationship with a local hospital to provide emergency care for women seriously injured by an abortion.

A judge’s last-minute order at the end of February allowed the abortion business to stay open even though Ohio Health Director Alvin Jackson revoked the abortion facility’s license weeks prior.

"We must do all that we can to restore our nation’s once cherished culture of life," Voinovich said.

Senator Sam Brownback, a Kansas lawmaker and former Republican presidential candidate, is also pushing the pro-woman measure.

He said this is the kind of bill that’s necessary to protect women and unborn children until the day comes when abortion is prohibited.

"While we are working toward the day when every unborn child is welcomed and loved, we are unfortunately not there yet," he said.

"The Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act will provide oversight of the abortion industry, which is badly in need of improved supervision," he added. "Too many abortions are performed under unsafe conditions, and too many women’s lives are at risk."

The senators said another impetus for the bill comes form the story of Cynthia Collins, who suffered through a botched abortion at home.

Collins was sent away from an abortion center by an abortion practitioner who offered no advice, no comfort, and no further care after a failed abortion on her.

Collins now serves as the executive director of the Crisis Pregnancy Help Center and is the Louisiana state director of Operation Outcry, a top national post-abortion group.

ACTION: Contact your two U.S. senators and urge strong support for the Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act. Call 202-224-3121 or see for more specific contact information.