Abortion Death Another Casualty of the War on Women

Opinion   |   Brianna Walden   |   Aug 2, 2012   |   10:20AM   |   Washington, DC

Pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood would like you to think they are fighting for women by opposing draconian measures promoted by republicans against women’s health. In actuality, the cause for which they go to war is not women’s health, but the expanse of abortion, and unfortunately women themselves are often the casualties in that war.

On July 20th, 2012, Tonya Reaves’ family joined a growing number of people grieving over the loss of a beloved daughter, mother, or sister to a failed abortion procedure. In reports on Tonya, who died from abortion complications in Chicago, Illinois, the number often promulgated regarding the percentage of abortions that result in the woman’s death is less than 0.3%. But as Tonya’s family knows, she is so much more than a statistic, a “less than one percent.” And so are the other 450+ women who have died as a result of abortion since Roe v. Wade (Center for Disease Control and Prevention Report, pg 36).

It is to the families of those 0.3% that Planned Parenthood offers their “condolences,” while at the same time opposing state legislatures’ attempts to offer real solutions to the shocking lack of regulation of the abortion industry.

Few Americans realize how de-regulated abortion clinics are across the country. Prior to 2011, Missouri was the only state in the nation that regulated its abortion clinics as it regulated other outpatient surgical facilities, the intuitive definition of an abortion clinic. Fewer still realize that Illinois had a one-page bill in 2011 (HB3156) that would do just that: define abortion clinics as “ambulatory surgical facilities” and regulate them thereby. Unfortunately, this simple bill designed to protect women was aggressively opposed by Planned Parenthood and the pro-abortion lobby, and it died in the Illinois House of Representatives by a close vote.

Just over a year later something else died in Illinois, but this time it was a mother and her child.

One cannot be certain that the increased oversight found in HB 3156 would have prevented Tonya Reaves’s death. But how many more women must die before we stand up to the abortion industry and demand their compliance with life-saving regulations rather than placidly accept their condolences for avoidable deaths?

While Planned Parenthood and the left loudly accuse pro-life conservatives of waging a “war on women,” they quietly pull the trigger on legislation designed expressly for women’s safety.

Michigan is currently considering a bill (HB5711) which includes the same provision in Illinois’ bill defining abortion clinics that perform six or more abortions a month as “freestanding surgical outpatient facilities” for the purpose of health regulations. The Department of Health is given the authority to develop specific regulations. Michigan’s HB 5711 is not an attack on women. To the contrary, in addition to bringing abortion clinics up to the health standard of other outpatient facilities it establishes safe-guards to prevent coercion, requires the posting of domestic abuse and human trafficking hotlines, requires physicians to examine women in person outlawing “skype abortions,” and ensures women’s rights in malpractice suits. This bill is overwhelmingly pro-women, yet Planned Parenthood opposes it.

They oppose it like they opposed a similar bill passed in Pennsylvania, and are opposing the clinic regulations currently moving through Virginia. They try to paint them as unnecessary and point to one “ridiculous” requirement that hallways be widened to accommodate emergency paramedics’ stretchers while ignoring the evidence that narrow hallways have contributed to at least one woman’s death. The grand jury report addressing the death of Karnamaya Mongar, who died in Kermit Gosnell’s abortion clinic in 2009, said it took paramedics 20 minutes to remove the patient from the clinic due to “cluttered hallways.”



Planned Parenthood opposes the Michigan bill like they opposed the one in Illinois. Let’s hope Michigan legislators stand up to Planned Parenthood and defend women so that Michigan does not have to morn their own Tonya Reaves in the future. It’s time to call the war on women what it really is, a war to advance abortion in which real women, not a faceless 0.3%, are the casualties.

LifeNews Note: Brianna writes for the Family Research Council.