The Supreme Court’s Choice: Abortion over Women’s Health

This week the United States Supreme Court handed another victory to abortion supporters in Whole Woman’s Health Et Al. V. Hellerstedt, Commissioner, Texas Department of State Health Services, Et Al.  Women were celebrating on the steps of the Supreme Court even though the justices basically said women’s health was secondary to abortion access.

Every pro-abortion law or judicial ruling is only for the supposed benefit of the woman, at least one baby is killed during every successful abortion. The biggest benefactor by far though is the abortion industry.

When Roe v Wade became the law of the land on that fateful day in 1973, many abortion supporters argued that it was not a baby being aborted, it was a clump of cells or a blob of tissue. In fact, Justice Harry Blackmun, writing for the majority, perhaps understood the magnitude of the decision being based on the leanings of the day when he wrote:

The appellee [Henry Wade] and certain amici argue that the fetus is a "person" within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. In support of this, they outline at length and in detail the well-known facts of fetal development. If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's [Jane Roe’s] case, of course, collapses, [410 U.S. 113, 157] for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment.

Even with the advent of 4-D ultrasound images of the womb and the fact that from the moment of conception the zygote has unique DNA, the personhood of the fetus is still not recognized and Roe v Wade stands. More than 58.5 million babies have been aborted since 1973. For pro-abortion advocates though, it is only about a woman’s right to choose abortion, “safe, legal and rare” was just a slogan.

So, do pro-abortionists want every safety measure available put into place to protect women having abortions? Abortions involve risk and some of the physical harms women suffer during surgical abortions include: infection; sepsis; endometritis; cervical lacerations; uterine, bladder, or bowel perforations; Pelvic Inflammatory Disease; incomplete abortion and retained tissue. In chemical abortions, they include: severe pain; hemorrhage; infection; or rupture of undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy. Many of these complications require hospitalization.

The abortion industry, not women themselves, mind you, sued and won their case to strike down the two Texas provisions designed to help women having complications during an abortion receive hospital care quickly and to protect them from untrained, incompetent and frankly, dangerous abortionists.

In the Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision Justice Breyer’s opinion summarized the law:

In 2013, the Texas Legislature enacted House Bill 2 (H. B. 2), which contains the two provisions challenged here. The “admitting­ privileges requirement” provides that a “physician performing or in­ducing an abortion . . . must, on the date [of service], have active ad­mitting privileges at a hospital . . . located not further than 30 miles from the” abortion facility. The “surgical-center requirement” re­quires an “abortion facility” to meet the “minimum standards . . . for ambulatory surgical centers” under Texas law.

Why wouldn’t the abortion industry want to protect women from butchers like Kermit Gosnell, LeRoy Carhart, James Scott Pendergraft IV, and Douglas Karpen with commonsense laws comparable to the one from Texas? If you are not familiar with how these abortionists mutilated women’s bodies, you may read about their stories in a report I wrote in 2014. Gosnell and Carhart killed women while performing abortions. Karpen’s story is gruesome:

While many abortion supporters claim Dr. Gosnell’s house of horrors is an aberration in the abortion industry, abortion clinics are not the “safe” havens portrayed in the media and by abortion supporters. Just as the Gosnell trial ended and sentencing was taking place, Douglas Karpen was exposed as “Gosnell 2.” A videotape of three former abortion clinic workers from his Aaron Women’s Clinic in Houston, Texas, contained claims that he performed illegal late-term abortions (after 24 weeks in Texas) and that he murdered babies born alive in ways similar to Gosnell. One of the methods he used to kill the babies born alive was by “twisting the head off the neck.” The accusations against him also include severing the spines of babies born alive, plunging instruments into the soft spots on a baby’s head to kill the baby, and aborting babies so large they had to be dismembered alive inside the womb instead of delivered (the clinic worker assisting said she would be drenched in blood from the procedure); workers claimed Karpen would sometimes insert instruments through women’s stomachs to make it easier for him to kill the babies and that he would not tell victims of botched abortions that he had lacerated their cervix or uterus.

Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the majority (joined by Ginsburg, Kagan, Kennedy and Sotomayor), sought to assure women that the Texas law would not have protected them from doctors like Gosnell, and by inference, Karpen. Breyer opined:

Gosnell’s behavior was terribly wrong. But there is no reason to believe that an extra layer of regulation would have affected that behavior. Determined wrongdoers, already ignoring existing stat­utes and safety measures, are unlikely to be convinced to adopt safe practices by a new overlay of regulations.

One wonders, will Justice Breyer apply the same argument to future gun-control cases? According to the CDC, there are approximately 33,600 gun-related deaths a year in the U.S. and of those approximately 11,000 are homicides. Justice Breyer’s opinion cites a Texas statistic that estimates there are between 60,000-72,000 legal abortions a year -- just in Texas. Adding more regulations to legal gun buyers will not stop “determined wrongdoers” -- criminals by definition ignore laws and can obtain guns without purchasing at a store or gun show. Adding clinic regulations however, will add to the likelihood these abortionists who are “determined wrongdoers” will be identified and prevented from practicing altogether and put a stop to other abortionists performing abortions in unsanitary conditions while ensuring these doctors have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals for the times they do injure women. If the state of Texas could prevent even one woman from getting injured during an abortion, wouldn’t the law have been worth it?

Having a clean and sterile environment for women undergoing abortions is too onerous a burden for the abortion industry evidently. According to Whole Women’s Health v Hellerstedt, the District Court in Texas found in part:

The “cost of coming into compliance” with the surgical-center requirement “for existing clinics is signifi­cant,” “undisputedly approach[ing] 1 million dollars,” and “most likely exceed[ing] 1.5 million dollars,” with “[s]ome . . . clinics” unable to “comply due to physical size limita­tions of their sites.” 46 F. Supp. 3d, at 682. The “cost of acquiring land and constructing a new compliant clinic will likely exceed three million dollars.”

Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, receives more than half a billion dollars in taxpayer money every year. Perhaps they could chip in money for all abortion clinics, many of which belong to them or their affiliates, to meet “minimum standards… for ambulatory surgical centers.” According to Operation Rescue, at the end of 2015 there were “517 surgical abortion clinics and 213 medication abortion clinics remaining active in the U.S.” Just one year of government funding diverted from Planned Parenthood’s haul would get all those surgical clinics up to minimum standards.

With about one million abortions performed in the U.S. each year, they represent a big money-maker for these clinics. Sorry ladies, the abortion industry, backed by the Supreme Court, thinks your health and well-being just aren’t as important as your “right” to abort babies and their right to profit from your choice.