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Potential for Abortion Clinic Abuse

Aborting women are vulnerable to the predatory behavior of unscrupulous doctors.

Potential for Abortion Clinic Abuse

Aborting women are vulnerable to the predatory behavior of unscrupulous doctors.


Page Summary:

No matter what anyone believes about abortion in theory, no matter how adamantly a woman argues for abortion rights in public, most women go to great lengths to ensure that their own abortion remains a secret. This desire for secrecy gives abortion clinics lots of room to cover-up abuse.

While there are a number of medical risks associated with abortion and significant evidence that abortion increases the likelihood of contracting breast cancer, there is another threat that is tied to the abortion clinics themselves.

No matter what anyone believes about abortion in theory, no matter how adamantly a woman argues for abortion rights in public, most women go to great lengths to ensure that their own abortion remains a secret. Why is this so? Because abortion, unlike any other common surgical procedure, carries with it very high levels of guilt and shame. Whether this is the product of social expectation or internal conviction, the end result is the same. Women want to keep their abortion hidden and get it over with as quickly as possible. This intense desire for secrecy makes them vulnerable on two fronts.

The first threat is leveled specifically at underage girls. It is illegal in this country for adult men to have sex with minors, whether the girl consents or not. Statutory rape laws exist to protect young girls from predatory men. Nevertheless, Planned Parenthood has been shown to repeatedly break the law so as to conceal the sexual relationships between underage girls and adult men. Life Dynamics went undercover, calling more than 800 Planned Parenthood and National Abortion Federation facilities around the country, to see if they would report or conceal and abet the sexual relationship between a 13-year-old girl and a 22-year-old man. More than 90% of the clinics contacted failed to comply with mandatary reporting laws, and ensured the girl they would keep her secret safe. The same ninety percent offered to provide the girl and her boyfriend with birth control pills to make sure their sexual relationship could "safely" continue. Planned Parenthood's refusal to report rape cases that come to their attention means that statutory rapists can continue, unchecked, in their exploitation of young girls.

The second threat comes from within the abortion industry itself, from abortion providers who have private and intimate access to young women, and know that these women are desperate to avoid drawing attention to their abortion. If women in such circumstances are sexually assaulted or mistreated, their only two options are to report the abuse (thereby making their abortion and sexual activity known) or keep quiet and try to move on with their life. Lest you think such a suggestion is wildly speculative, we invite you to the brutal and disturbing evidence contained in Lime 5. Lime 5 is a gritty exposé of the abortion industry, documenting case after case of women who have been sexually assaulted by the men performing their abortion. Of course, why should we be surprised when a doctor who has no moral qualms with suctioning tiny, unborn human beings into pieces exhibits no moral qualms about sexually abusing a patient? Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who played an integral role in the legalization of abortion in America before becoming an outspoken abortion opponent, made the following observation:

As I look back across the twenty-five years separating me from that revolting extravaganza playing itself out on the bodies of pregnant women and their slaughtered babies, I am struck by the uncritical nature of the task we had set for ourselves, by the moral and spiritual vacuum at the core of this fantastic operation, by our unquestioned certainty of the high level of moral rectitude on which we operated. And yet, the thing was so obviously sordid. Why couldn't we make the link between the ethical and the moral, between the shoddy practices and the shabby practitioners, the evident greed and callous motives, between the crassness of the enterprise and those involved in it, between all these ethical indicators and the grotesque immorality of the act itself?1

Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff in Roe vs Wade, spent years working in abortion clinics and reports the rampant use of alcohol and illegal drugs. "If we had stayed sober," she says, "we would have begun to think of ourselves as hideous monsters preying on little babies."2 And though she had received no medical training, she routinely performed medical duties like giving anesthesia or drawing blood.3 "Most people do not realize how unregulated abortion clinics are," McCorvey states. "The legal-abortion movement has hidden behind the slogan, 'Keep abortion safe and legal,' but the truth is, the only thing we fought for was legal abortion, not safe abortion."4 Carol Everett, who ran a chain of abortion clinics in Dallas, privately wondered how many women their medical director "had affairs with to keep them from suing him."5 When it became obvious to Everett that his heavy drinking rendered him incompetent to perform late-term abortions, she reminded herself that "he was the one we needed when a major complication occurred; his help was vital in all facets of the cover-up."6

Some will suggest that the abortion industry has cleaned itself up since these testimonies were made, but the kind of general safety hazards and lack of regulatory control reported on in Lime 5 seem just as common today. A simple news search for "abortion clinic abuse" is sure to turn up a slew of current examples.

In 2011, Philadelphia abortionist, Kermit Gosnell, and his staff were charged with 8 counts of murder – one for the 2009 death of a woman who overdosed on anesthetics prescribed by Gosnell after her abortion and seven for infants who were born alive after failed, late-term abortions and then killed with scissors.7 Gosnell's facility has been described in the press as "a filthy, now-shuttered 'house of horrors.'"8 As of December 2011, seven of the 10 clinic defendants, including Gosnell's wife, had pleaded guilty.9 Through the course of the investigation, new charges were made against Gosnell for running a "pill mill" from his clinic, writing thousands of illegal prescription for drugs each month without legitimate medical purpose.10

The grand jury report revealed that "the Health Department had decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics… [dropping] its policy of annual inspections in the mid-1990s under then-Gov. Tom Ridge, who supported abortion rights." A new Pennsylvania state law, passed in the aftermath of the FBI raid on Gosnell's clinic, requires for the first time that abortion clinics meet the same safety standards as freestanding outpatient surgery centers.11 At the time of its passage, none of the state's 20+ abortion clinics were in compliance with the tougher safety and health standards.12 A 2011 investigation of a dozen abortion clinics in Texas found violations of State and Federal laws at every facility.13

Other recent headlines indicate that these problems are not unique to the United States. An abortion clinic anesthetist for Marie Stopes in Manchester, England was accused in August 2011 of using sedated patients for sex acts – a charge he was also brought to trial for in 2009.14 In December 2011, a London abortionist already under investigation for wrongful deaths and illegal drug prescriptions left a patient to die at Box Hill Hospital after complications from an abortion. In the midst of this, the abortion clinic's former anesthetist has been charged with infecting more than 50 patients with Hepatitis C.15

Because abortion enjoys such broad and unregulated protection in both America and abroad, it has become a haven for mistreatment and abuse. The documented cases are staggering enough and since so much of what happens inside clinic doors is completely undocumented (California, the state responsible for more abortions than any other, does not track or report on abortion in any way), one can only assume that the abuses are, in fact, much worse than anyone knows.

This page was last updated on November 28, 2012. To cite this page in a research paper, visit: "Citing Abort73 as a Source."


  1. Bernard N. Nathanson, M.D. The Hand of God (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 1996), 106.
  2. Norma McCorvey. Won by Love (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997), 63.
  3. Ibid, 56.
  4. Ibid, 121.
  5. Carol Everett. The Scarlet Lady (Brentwood: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1991), 35.
  6. Ibid, 30.
  7. Sarah Hoye, “Prosecutors considering death penalty in abortion doctor case” CNN, http://articles.cnn.com/2011-03-02/justice/pennsylvania.abortion.doctor_1_women-s-medical-society-kermit-gosnell-karnamaya-mongar?_s=PM:CRIME (March 2, 2011)
  8. Marc Levy, “Corbett signs tougher standards on Pa. abortion clinics into law in response to Philly case” The Republic, http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/836a6bc8e70c460fbe11a4c3d074a907/PA-XGR—Abortion-Clinics/ (December 22, 2011)
  9. Mensah M. Dean, “Gosnell’s wife pleads guilty to illegal abortions” The Inquirer, http://articles.philly.com/2011-12-14/news/30516392_1_illegal-abortions-women-s-medical-society-kermit-gosnell (December 14, 2011)
  10. “Gosnell Charged With Running Pill Mill” Associated Press, http://www.myfoxphilly.com/dpp/health/Gosnell_Charged_With_Running_Pill_Mill_121411 (December 14, 2011)
  11. Marc Levy, “Corbett signs tougher standards on Pa. abortion clinics into law in response to Philly case” The Republic, http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/836a6bc8e70c460fbe11a4c3d074a907/PA-XGR—Abortion-Clinics/ (December 22, 2011)
  12. Operation Rescue “Special Report: Widespread Abortion Abuses In Texas Exposed,” http://www.operationrescue.org/archives/tx-abortion-abuses/ (March 1, 2011)
  13. “Consultant anaesthetist ‘used hands of sedated patients undergoing abortions to carry out obscene acts on him’” Daily Mail, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2024848/Dr-Narendra-Sharma-got-sedated-abortion-patients-carry-obscene-acts-him.html (August 12, 2011)
  14. Paul Millar and Nino Bucci, “Woman dies after abortion clinic visit” The Age, http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/woman-dies-after-abortion-clinic-visit-20111220-1p414.html (December 21, 2011)

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