Friday, August 31, 2012

Black Pro-Lifers Demand an Investigation of Planned Parenthood for Woman's Death

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | | 8/29/12 7:04 PM

The National Black Pro-Life Coalition (NBPLC), a coalition of African-American pro-life leaders from across the United States, is demanding an investigation of Planned Parenthood for criminal negligence in its killing of a young black woman in a failed abortion.
Planned Parenthood was responsible for the death of Tonya Reaves — a 24 year-old pregnant mother who entered the Planned Parenthood Loop Health Center abortion unit in Chicago, Illinois on Friday, July 20th, 2012. Tonya Reaves died later that evening following the botched abortion that reportedly perforated her uterus.
The following is a statement from the group, seeking an investigation:
For five hours, Ms. Reaves hemorrhaged at Planned Parenthood’s abortion facility. When an ambulance was finally called, this mother of a one-year-old son was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, a renowned level one trauma center. But emergency-room doctors were given insufficient information about the cause of Ms. Reaves’ bleeding. Subsequently, they reportedly performed an ultrasound that indicated an incomplete abortion and found that the source of her excessive bleeding was a severely perforated uterus.
It appears, from the evidence made public thus far, that Planned Parenthood is guilty of criminal negligence, depraved indifference, and gross medical incompetence. According to Planned Parenthood, their abortion clinics are described as “free-standing, non-medical units” which are independent of hospitals. {1}
That’s the problem. These non-medical abortion facilities are ill-equipped to address the adverse medical complications inherent in and arising from abortions, especially late-term, second trimester abortions such as the one that claimed the life of Tonya Reaves.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) originally sub-contracted Planned Parenthood to limit the number of babies born to Black women as a result of President Nixon’s Commission on Population Growth and the American Future. {2}
In a country of 200 million, a growth rate of one percent per year produces enough additional people to populate a new Washington metropolitan area every year. And we are feeling the impact — in the crowding of cities, the sprawl of suburbia, the vanishing wilderness, the trespass of pollution. Every one of us feels it where it hurts most — in the quality of our lives….
And what is most tragic and most ironic is that we, who need it least, have readily accessible to us and to our wives the means of deciding how many children shall share our large and well-spaced houses and our trips to the beach. Those who lack our ways of buffering the pressure of population on their lives also lack the means to decide how many shall share their lot. {3}
Title X grants, which are the primary means by which the federal government reduces birth rates among the poor, were two-fold: to provide black women with contraceptives and for birth-control. (According to Planned Parenthood, contraceptives prevent conception; birth-control prevents the birth of a baby.) {4}
Although Title X funds may not be used to pay for abortions, DHHS considers the provision of abortion as an integral part of its birth-control efforts through Planned Parenthood for minority communities. Consequently, no firewalls have been erected to ensure that monies are not fungible.
Planned Parenthood has been subcontracted by DHHS to advance the government’s population control efforts, which is why abortion services remain largely unregulated. Illinois law, for example, does not require Planned Parenthood abortion clinics to be inspected and certified by the state’s Department of Public Health. This lack of oversight and neglect of monitoring contributed to the premature death of Tonya Reaves.
According to the national Vital Statistics data, over 20 million Black American babies have been aborted since Roe v. Wade. {5} For example, 60% of Black pregnancies end in abortion in New York according to the vital statistics record. This is not surprising because by design 78% of Planned Parenthood clinics are strategically located in communities of color.
With Nixon’s Commission on Population and the American Future’s recommendation to the Supreme Court to legalize abortion and to eliminate parental notification and consent laws, {6} abortion has been promoted as a (poor, black) woman’s right and marketed to the Black community as health-care. And, more convincingly, abortion is sold as a civil right. However, the exercise of that “right” coupled with substandard “care” from lack of monitoring resulted in Tonya Reaves’ death.
In addition to the criminal investigation, the NBPLC urges full disclosure of the intrinsic risks of abortion – including suicide rates which are three to five times higher in post-abortive women than in women who carry to term. {7} Suicide rates are six times higher one year following an abortion compared to women who give birth, miscarry, or who do not get pregnant. {8} In Ms. Reaves case, the intrinsic risk of abortion especially included death from hemorrhage due to a perforated uterus.
The NBPLC urges a nationwide implementation of the July ruling by the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Planned Parenthood v. Rounds which ruled that abortion providers can be required to disclose the many risks associated with abortion, even if the attending doctor believes the associated risk is only incidental to the abortion and not a direct result of it. This reform requires abortion providers to practice all of the steps normally involved in medical decision-making, including respecting women’s patient autonomy as well as their right to fully informed consent.
Advising women of the risks of abortion, including and especially death, may have saved the life of Tonya Reaves. Doctors would have informed her that a second trimester abortion dramatically increases serious complications and the risk of death. Additionally, requiring abortion facilities to meet the same medical standards required by other outpatient surgical centers so that they are equipped for medical emergencies may well have saved this young mother’s life.
To allow a young woman to bleed for five hours before seeking professional medical help is unconscionable. “We are demanding a criminal investigation,” says Walter Hoye, a NBPLC spokesperson.

{1} Planned Parenthood of New York City (1970). Family planning in New York City: Recommendations for action. Family Planning Perspectives, 2(4), 25-31; Gobble, F. L., Vincent, C. E., Cochrane, C. M., & Lock, F. R. (1969). A nonmedical approach to fertility reduction. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 34, 888-891.
{2} Commission on Population Growth and the American Future (1971). Population growth and America’s future. Family Planning Perspectives, 3(2), 45-52; Farley, R. (1970). Growth of the Black population. Chicago: Markham Publishing; Guttmacher, A. F., & Pilpel, H, (1970). Abortion and the unwanted child. Family Planning Perspectives, 2(2), 16-24; Scheyer, S. C. (1970). DHEW’s new center: The national commitment to family planning. Family Planning Perspectives, 2(1), 22-24;;
{3} Scheyer, S. C. (1970). DHEW’s new center: The national commitment to family planning. Family Planning Perspectives, 2(1), 4-10.
{4} Tolbert, L. (1996). Condom availability through school-based clinics and teenagers attitudes regarding premarital sexual activity. (Doctoral dissertation, Talbot School of Theology, 1996). Dissertation Abstracts International, 57/08A, 3409; Tolbert, L. (2007). Keeping You & Your Kids Sexually Pure: A How-To Guide for Parents, Pastors, Youth Workers, and Teachers.
{5} TABLE 14. Reported legal abortions, by known race, age group, and marital status of women who obtained abortions — United States, 1995
{6} Population and the American future. (1972). New York: Signet.
{7} All Abortion Risks Must Be Disclosed, Appeals Court Rules
{8} Reardon, D. (August, 2002). Deaths associated with pregnancy outcome. Southern Medical Journal, 95/8, 834-41; Gissler, M. (1997). Pregnancy associated deaths in Finland 1987- 1994. Acta Obsetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 76:651-657.

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