Monday, 22 December 2014 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

The Next Battle in Mythical "Taxpayer-Subsidized Abortions:" Women Seeking Hospital Care Should Be Forced to Report Abortion

Sunday, 13 May 2012 11:09 By Robin Marty, RH Reality Check | News Analysis

Abortions are very common procedures, and are among the safest of any kinds of procedures performed in the United States. But like any medical intervention, from giving birth to taking an aspirin, there is always the chance that a complication can occur, either at the time of the termination or afterwards.

Anti-choice activists have honed in on that fact to use it as an excuse to demand that those who provide abortions need to have admitting privileges in nearby emergency rooms, a practice that isn't mandated for other outpatient procedures. The purpose of the rule is to make it so fewer providers can perform abortions, although they claim it's an issue of a woman's safety.

But now, a new line is being introduced, and it's the greatest example of twisted logic yet.  A provider who terminates pregnancies must have admitting privileges so that the costs of care that could be associated with addressing complications will not be transferred onto the E.R., and hence taxpayers who do not support abortion.

Did you follow that? Sort of? Well, a theory that complicated and convoluted can only be proposed by one person.

Yes, it's Phyllis Schlafly.

The abortion industry racks up profits by dumping expensive complications of its procedures on hospitals, legitimate physicians, and the public. Many abortionists lack staff privileges at local hospitals, so when women having abortion complications go to an emergency room, the enormous costs are shifted to others.

Missouri ended some of that cost-shifting in 2005 by prohibiting abortions unless the provider has hospital privileges within 30 miles. As a result, one of its only three abortion clinics closed shop, presumably because its abortionist lacked staff privileges at a local hospital to handle complications, and abortions in Missouri then declined.

Last month Mississippi became the second state to prohibit abortions unless performed by a physician who has privileges at a local hospital. That should stop the shifting of the costs of abortion complications to hospitals and the public, and some news reports claim that the only abortion clinic in Mississippi may even close.

Inevitably, that leads to the next logical question -- how to avoid taxpayers paying for "complications from abortions?" Obviously, when you go to the hospital, a new question should be added to the intake form asking if you or someone you have had sex with has recently or ever had an abortion. 

Yes, ever. 

After all, there are a ceaseless number of potential post-abortion complications according to anti-abortion groups, from infertility to depression, bleeding to death, alcoholism and drug use, and they effect both women and "post-abortive men." So every potential patient must be first asked about an abortion and then evaluated to see if there is a chance that whatever the medical issue is, could it have stemmed from a termination?

If he or she is cleared, the hospital may then work on the patient. If not? Well, sorry about that. But you wouldn't want to force taxpayers to subsidize abortions now, would you?

This work by Truthout is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
This article is republished from RH Reality Check, a progressive online publication covering global reproductive and sexual health news and information.

Robin Marty

Robin Marty is a freelance writer and editor from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Formerly, she worked as the Director of Special Projects for the Center for Independent Media.


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The Next Battle in Mythical "Taxpayer-Subsidized Abortions:" Women Seeking Hospital Care Should Be Forced to Report Abortion

Sunday, 13 May 2012 11:09 By Robin Marty, RH Reality Check | News Analysis

Abortions are very common procedures, and are among the safest of any kinds of procedures performed in the United States. But like any medical intervention, from giving birth to taking an aspirin, there is always the chance that a complication can occur, either at the time of the termination or afterwards.

Anti-choice activists have honed in on that fact to use it as an excuse to demand that those who provide abortions need to have admitting privileges in nearby emergency rooms, a practice that isn't mandated for other outpatient procedures. The purpose of the rule is to make it so fewer providers can perform abortions, although they claim it's an issue of a woman's safety.

But now, a new line is being introduced, and it's the greatest example of twisted logic yet.  A provider who terminates pregnancies must have admitting privileges so that the costs of care that could be associated with addressing complications will not be transferred onto the E.R., and hence taxpayers who do not support abortion.

Did you follow that? Sort of? Well, a theory that complicated and convoluted can only be proposed by one person.

Yes, it's Phyllis Schlafly.

The abortion industry racks up profits by dumping expensive complications of its procedures on hospitals, legitimate physicians, and the public. Many abortionists lack staff privileges at local hospitals, so when women having abortion complications go to an emergency room, the enormous costs are shifted to others.

Missouri ended some of that cost-shifting in 2005 by prohibiting abortions unless the provider has hospital privileges within 30 miles. As a result, one of its only three abortion clinics closed shop, presumably because its abortionist lacked staff privileges at a local hospital to handle complications, and abortions in Missouri then declined.

Last month Mississippi became the second state to prohibit abortions unless performed by a physician who has privileges at a local hospital. That should stop the shifting of the costs of abortion complications to hospitals and the public, and some news reports claim that the only abortion clinic in Mississippi may even close.

Inevitably, that leads to the next logical question -- how to avoid taxpayers paying for "complications from abortions?" Obviously, when you go to the hospital, a new question should be added to the intake form asking if you or someone you have had sex with has recently or ever had an abortion. 

Yes, ever. 

After all, there are a ceaseless number of potential post-abortion complications according to anti-abortion groups, from infertility to depression, bleeding to death, alcoholism and drug use, and they effect both women and "post-abortive men." So every potential patient must be first asked about an abortion and then evaluated to see if there is a chance that whatever the medical issue is, could it have stemmed from a termination?

If he or she is cleared, the hospital may then work on the patient. If not? Well, sorry about that. But you wouldn't want to force taxpayers to subsidize abortions now, would you?

This work by Truthout is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
This article is republished from RH Reality Check, a progressive online publication covering global reproductive and sexual health news and information.

Robin Marty

Robin Marty is a freelance writer and editor from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Formerly, she worked as the Director of Special Projects for the Center for Independent Media.


Hide Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus