When Planned Parenthood sued the state of Indiana in 2018, its goal was to stop two basic health and safety statutes from being enforced. In pursuing that goal, Planned Parenthood once again demonstrated an animus for transparency and accountability in the field of women’s reproductive health care.
The two health and safety statues were part of Senate House Enrolled Act 340, which was passed by the Indiana state legislature and signed into law by Governor Eric Holcomb in 2018. The first part of the law required annual inspections from the state health department. The second part required the reporting of complications arising from an abortion.
Planned Parenthood—which makes up more than half of Indiana’s abortion market—called the health and safety protocols “unique and burdensome obligations.”
Jane Henegar, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, had a more bombastic description of the law:
“Once again Indiana politicians are barging into the exam room with irrational demands and intrusive requirements,” she said.
But is an annual inspection from the state health department really so irrational? And is the reporting of complications arising from an abortion really so intrusive?
A year ago, the district court found that Indiana’s inspection statute was indeed constitutional. But it argued that its complications statute was “unconstitutionally vague.”
This week, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found otherwise, arguing that the core of the complications statute is not vague. “It is understandable by persons of ordinary intelligence and not subject to arbitrary enforcement,” the decision said.
Indeed, as with any procedure, there are risks to having an abortion. Aside from stopping the heart of a unique unrepeatable human child, an abortion also poses risks to the woman having the abortion.
“Persons of ordinary intelligence” understand this. We understand cause and effect. We understand if a complication arises because of an abortion. Physicians understand the medical correlation even better.
Yet Planned Parenthood prefers to act as if identifying cause and effect is above their pay grade.
“The definition of abortion complications in SEA 340, in such broad and uncertain terms, makes it next-to-impossible for medical providers to know what is or is not an abortion complication,” said Ken Falk, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana.
But Planned Parenthood abortionists do know what abortion complications are. They list several “serious complications” on their website:
- the abortion doesn’t work and the pregnancy doesn’t end
- some of the pregnancy tissue is left in your uterus
- blood clots in your uterus
- very heavy bleeding
- injury to your cervix, uterus or other organs
- allergic reaction to medication
The website also lists these extreme complications for which they advise a woman to call her doctor right away:
- heavy bleeding from your vagina that soaks through more than 2 maxi pads in an hour, for 2 or more hours in a row
- severe pain or discomfort in your belly that medication doesn’t help
- a fever of 100.4 or higher
And yet, there are other complications that don’t make the cut for Planned Parenthood. For example, they refuse to believe that significant numbers of women regret their abortions and suffer psychological harm from the experience.
“One 2011 study published by the British Journal of Psychiatry showed that women who have an abortion have an increased risk of mental health issues, including substance abuse, anxiety, and depression,” according to pregnancycentertruth.com.
There are also long-term physical risks to having an abortion.
“The odds of a preterm birth increase with just one abortion, and increase even more for women who have had multiple abortions,” says PreventPreterm.org.
First trimester abortion has been linked to higher chances of vaginal bleeding, low birth weight, and placenta complications in future pregnancies, as well.
Far from vague, Senate Enrolled Act 340 lists 25 complications that should be reported if they arose because of an abortion. Those are:
(1) Uterine perforation.
(2) Cervical laceration.
(4) Vaginal bleeding that qualifies as a Grade 2 or higher adverse event according to the Common
Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE).
(5) Pulmonary embolism.
(6) Deep vein thrombosis.
(7) Failure to terminate the pregnancy.
(8) Incomplete abortion (retained tissue).
(9) Pelvic inflammatory disease.
(10) Missed ectopic pregnancy.
(11) Cardiac arrest.
(12) Respiratory arrest.
(13) Renal failure.
(15) Amniotic fluid embolism.
(17) Placenta previa in subsequent pregnancies.
(18) Pre-term delivery in subsequent pregnancies.
(19) Free fluid in the abdomen.
(20) Hemolytic reaction due to the administration of ABO-incompatible blood or blood products.
(21) Hypoglycemia occurring while the patient is being treated at the abortion facility.
(22) Allergic reaction to anesthesia or abortion inducing drugs.
(23) Psychological complications, including depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, and sleeping disorders.
(25) Any other adverse event as defined by criteria provided in the Food and Drug Administration Safety In-formation and Adverse Event Reporting Program.
Abortion is a controversial practice that comes with real medical risks. And despite Planned Parenthood’s insistence that abortion be treated like a standard medical procedure, the corporation refuses to accept basic health and safety regulations.
Planned Parenthood already has a long record of health and safety violations with the Indiana State Health Department. Improper storage of biohazardous waste, inaccurate and incomplete record-keeping, uncertified staff—these are all violations identified in inspections performed by the department of health.
What additional complications could Planned Parenthood be exposing patients to due to these violations?
Planned Parenthood’s continued resistance to transparency and its eagerness to file a lawsuit every time an abortion regulation is passed only creates more mistrust with the public and raises more questions about the ethics and medical practices of the country’s powerful abortion giant.