The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a report Friday on the safety of the practice of abortion in the US. However, it's the safety factor in abortion clinics across the country that has one pro-life group sounding a warning on the findings of the committee and its limited definition of safety.
Abby Johnson, the president of the non-profit group And Then There Were None, says the panel that issued the report failed to look at any of the medical safety reports from abortion facilities. She says there was a complete lack of focus on basic medical standards like properly cleaning equipment, disinfecting tools, and failure to provide a sanitary environment.
Written by an independent panel to advise the government on health matters, the report points out that abortions are rarely performed in hospitals. For example, in 2014, 59 percent were performed at an abortion clinic, 36 percent at a medical services clinic and only 5 percent at a hospital. And other workers besides a physician can perform abortions, including certified nurse-midwives, nurse-practitioners and physician assistants.
Johnson knows about abortions in clinics. She previously worked for Planned Parenthood as a clinic director. But she resigned after watching an abortion on ultrasound.
"An effective abortion always ends the life of a human being and many more lives are adversely affected in the long run," Johnson said in a statement. "I've personally witnessed hundreds of former abortion workers deal with the terrible emotional and physical repercussions of their time spent in the abortion industry."
The report also says state restrictions can reduce the quality of care for women who want an abortion. Five states require a three-day waiting period.
However, Johnson says other medical patients must endure a waiting period for test results, so why shouldn't women who want an abortion?
"As to the state laws regarding abortion, any surgery requires pre-op. Abortion should be no different," she said.
"None of the provisions made by the states, who have the right to regulate abortion, are to make abortion unsafe or inaccessible," she said. "A waiting period, sonogram and counseling are no greater a hardship than pre-operative blood work, x-rays, and counseling. Abortion is never an emergency procedure so these requirements are not a hardship."
The report also reveals the abortion rate in the US fell almost 50 percent in a 24-year period. Overall, the abortion rate dropped 29 per 1,000 women in 1980 to about 15 in 1,000 in 2014. According to the panel, the drop is due to the rise in the use of contraceptives, historic declines in unintended pregnancy rates and the increase of regulations on abortion by states.
And Then There Where None is working to help decrease the number of abortionists.
"Over the last several years, we've helped over 430 workers and what we've found over and over is that abortion doesn't just take the life of the baby, alter forever the life of the mother and those close to her, but it hurts those who work in the industry too," Laura Ricketts told CBN News.
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