Feminists Continue to Endanger Women’s Health

Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

The latest move by Planned Parenthood, in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), to force the state of Maine to allow non-doctors to perform abortions, is just another example of how feminists are putting women’s lives at risk.

LifeSiteNews is reporting on the  lawsuit filed last Wednesday challenging Maine’s law that doctors perform abortions. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are charging that this law violates the “equal protection rights” guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment because it poses a “medically unjustified restriction.”

Four other states, California, Oregon, Vermont and New Hampshire, allow “advanced practice nurse practitioners” — which includes nurse-midwives — to do both “aspiration and medication” abortions, the lawsuit states.

Julie Jenkins, who is the lead plaintiff in the complaint, is the stepdaughter of a Maine abortionist, and claims she has always wanted to be an abortionist and nurse practitioner.

“I couldn’t imagine a more fulfilling career,” she wrote in an ACLU blog post.

We can only pray for someone who aspires to a profession dedicated to murdering the unborn, but this lawsuit is also a perfect example of how today’s highly politicized feminism is jeopardizing the health of the very women they claim to be fighting for.

As Catholic League president Bill Donohue points out, feminists claim women have a right to safe medical care and are entitled to competent services by well-trained physicians.

“Then why are feminists working overtime to keep information from women about their bodies? And why are they trying desperately to prevent them from receiving first-class medical care? To be blunt, they are jeopardizing women’s health,” Donohue writes.

Even though the lawsuit cites the four states that allow nurse practitioners to perform abortions, it utterly ignores the fact that three-fourths of the states do require trained medical doctors to provide this procedure. Apparently, allowing non-physicians to perform abortions is an exception to the feminist mantra that demands “competent service by well-trained physicians” for women’s “reproductive health care.”

But the ACLU insists they have to ban this law in Maine because some women in rural areas are being forced to travel hundreds of miles to get an abortion. This problem would be eliminated if they let nurses perform abortions.

In other words, “Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are so zealous about abortion rights that they would sacrifice the lives of pregnant women—to say nothing about their babies—in exchange for increasing the number of abortions. To be exact, they want nurse practitioners and nurse midwives to perform first trimester abortions, thus increasing the pool of abortionists,” Donohue points out.

Putting aside the known psychological consequences of abortion, there is plenty of evidence showing grave physical risks to women who have first-trimester abortions.

Donohue cites a 2013 article Denise M. Burke, Vice President of Legal Affairs for Americans United for Life, entitled “Regulating Abortion Facilities and Providers: Combating the True Back Alley,” in which she provides a long list of potential complications from this procedure that would definitely require a trained physician to handle.

These include: “bleeding, hemorrhage, infection, uterine perforation, blood clots, cervical tears, incomplete abortion (retained tissue), failure to actually terminate the pregnancy, free fluid in the abdomen, acute abdomen, missed ectopic pregnancies, cardiac arrest, sepsis, respiratory arrest, reactions to anesthesia, fertility problems, emotional problems, and even death.”

Burke cites a case in Arizona where a woman bled to death following an abortion that left her with a two-inch laceration in her uterus. Although a doctor performed the abortion, he left to eat lunch and visit his tailor, leaving the woman to lay bleeding on the table for two to three hours because the nurses didn’t know what to do. She died before anyone could help her.

“Blaming the delinquent doctor misses the point,” Donohue states. “The point is that the non-physicians were not trained to help the woman. So she died. Now imagine how much more likely this would be if we allow mid-wives to perform abortions when there is no doctor within ‘hundreds of miles’ to treat her?”

The lack of hospitals in many rural areas is indeed a problem, but the cause of women’s rights is not advanced by allowing non-doctors to play doctor, Donohue writes. It just makes a bad situation even worse.

“That those promoting this policy claim to have the best interests of women in mind makes it all the more sickening,” he concludes.

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