By Lenora W. Berning, M.D.
Abortion is one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures in the United States, yet it is the least regulated. It is the only elective surgical procedure that I know of in which the doctor performing the procedure is not responsible for follow-up care, nor does he or she take an active role in dealing with the complications. Not only this, but the very nature of abortion clinics, which practice in isolation from the rest of the medical community, keeps the abortion provider free from accountability for these complications.
Those who support abortion on demand will claim that the reported complication rate for abortions is low. They may be right. Not necessarily because there are few complications, but because the complications are underreported. They are underreported because there is no accurate process in place today to quantify the harmful repercussions of abortion. The abortion industry has successfully kept abortion and abortionists free from the type of review, regulation, and accountability that is an integral part of the rest of the medical profession. Let me give you some real life examples.
I recently took care of a woman who almost died because she’d had an abortion. A few days before I saw her, she’d had an abortion because of a positive pregnancy test. Now, after an abortion, the clinic will examine the remains which have been scraped from the uterus to take inventory of fetal parts in order to ensure that the entire pregnancy was totally eliminated. This clinic noted that there were no fetal parts, which meant that the pregnancy had not been in the uterus.
This situation is known as an ectopic pregnancy, where the pregnancy is not in the womb, but in the fallopian tube. An ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition; the ectopic must be removed or it will grow to a size that will rupture the fallopian tube and result in massive internal bleeding that can kill the mother.
In any legitimate medical facility, a woman with an ectopic pregnancy would have an immediate ultrasound to assess the ectopic, be admitted to the hospital, and have surgery before it could rupture and potentially take her life. In this abortion facility, the woman was sent home and told to call her doctor. Unfortunately, time was not on her side — before she ever had the chance, her ectopic pregnancy ruptured, she was rushed to the ER by ambulance, and taken immediately to the operating room.
Had this quality of care been provided by any other medical provider — family physician, obstetrician, or emergency physician — it would be considered grossly negligent. By an abortion provider, it does not even cause a stir. In fact it goes unnoted and unreported.
A few years ago, a young woman about twenty years old came to the ER because she was feeling very sick. She’d become increasingly ill ever since the abortion she’d had about a week earlier. I had her admitted to the hospital from the ER with a severe pneumonia. The following days revealed that the pneumonia was just a part of the problem — she had overwhelming sepsis, which is infection throughout her entire body which had, at its source, the abortion.
This woman died. The admitting physician never reported the incident as abortion-related, nor did she inform the abortion provider of the results of his “care.” He was still practicing, without the slightest idea that his intervention had led to his patient’s death.
The medical diagnosis reads “severe pain” — the real cause is abortion. The record reads “vaginal bleeding” — the real cause is abortion. The operative note says “ruptured ectopic pregnancy and internal hemorrhage” — the real cause is abortion. The autopsy states “cause of death: overwhelming sepsis” — the real cause is abortion.
There is no other practice of medicine where people can suffer and die from complications of your intervention without your being in some way professionally accountable, involved in their care, and at the very least, made aware of it — except abortion.
Abortion is a horrible abuse of the practice of medicine, ending one and a half million lives every year, yet our nation has made it legal. It is an invasive medical procedure, which in my own singular experience as one doctor, has led to the death of one woman and the near death of another, yet its practitioners are not held to the same standards of care as the rest of the medical community.
Abortion is bad medicine. It is bad because it pushes sloppy medical care upon women who have been led to believe that their only choice is to abort their babies. It will always be bad medicine because it takes away an innocent human life. Our nation, our community, our mothers, sisters, daughters deserve better.
This article is excerpted from a press statement made by Dr. Berning. Reprinted with permission.