The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill

Abortion is not a safe procedure — in Louisiana or anywhere else

Greg Nash

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) joined with other medical societies last week in issuing a statement asserting that abortion is an essential health care service and should not be put on hold as the nation deals with the spread of coronavirus by postponing elective surgeries.

The statement comes as no surprise; ACOG makes no secret of the fact that abortion advocacy is a core tenet of its mission. 

But the 58,000-member organization also presents itself as an authoritative and objective source on issues impacting women’s health, and the question has been raised whether ACOG can be both an abortion advocate and a dispassionate observer of abortion policy.

The organization highlighting this dichotomy is the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), and it has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take this into account as the justices decide an important abortion case from Louisiana. 

ACOG has come down firmly on the side of abortionists who are trying to block a law requiring them to have hospital admitting privileges, like other medical practitioners in the state, are already required to have.

Both ACOG and AAPLOG have filed amicus briefs in the case, June Medical Services vs. Russo. The ACOG brief argues against the Louisiana law. The AAPLOG brief argues against ACOG.

The question presented in the pro-life AAPLOG brief is the following: 

Whether amicus, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, functions as an authoritative medical association on issues related to abortion, whose opinions and standards should be understood as being guided by objective science, or as an abortion advocacy organization.

The brief reports that ACOG has filed dozens of briefs in abortion cases but “never in any instance filed or joined a brief in support of any limitation whatsoever on elective abortion, even when ample scientific evidence and the medical standard of care for other comparable procedures would support that limitation.”

“Thousands of obstetricians and gynecologists, including some within ACOG leadership, disagreed with ACOG’s departure from its tradition of safeguarding both the mother and her unborn baby,” AAPLOG noted in its brief.

Since the 1970s, in virtually every abortion case decided by the Supreme Court, including Roe v. Wade and Doe V. Bolton, ACOG has gone on record opposing laws that would protect children in the womb while supporting unfettered access to abortion. 

That advocacy continues to the present day.

Last year, for instance, ACOG filed a brief that argued against a Kentucky law that would protect living children in the womb from the brutality of a dismemberment abortion, the most commonly used method in the second trimester. ACOG tried to defend dismemberment abortion as the “generally safest abortion method.”

In 2019 ACOG also filed briefs that:

  • Objected to conscience rights for health care workers in several municipalities 

  • Opposed, in several states, the Trump administration’s Protect Life Rule that forbids health care agencies that get federal Title X money from performing or referring for abortion

  • Opposed an ultrasound law in Kentucky

  • Opposed a South Carolina law that removed Planned Parenthood from the list of Medicaid providers

ACOG makes clear in its brief in June Medical Services that it believes abortion to be a safe procedure for women: 

“There is no medical benefit to a local admitting privileges requirement for abortion providers. Abortion is an extremely safe procedure, and patients who obtain abortions rarely require hospitalization.”

That’s just one of many instances throughout the brief when the word “safe” is used to describe abortion. But other briefs filed in the case show a different side of abortion. 

A brief filed by the American Center for Law and Justice, the American Academy of Medical Ethics, and the American College of Pediatricians documented 72 instances of women taken by ambulance from abortion businesses and explains that the only way abortion injuries come to light is when pro-lifers are outside the facilities to see the ambulances arriving.

That brief also lists the names of several women killed by these so-called “safe” abortions.

Briefs filed by 207 members of Congress and Louisiana legislators paint a horrific picture of the reality of abortion in that state: “Immediate jeopardy” situations in several abortion facilities; women so horrifically injured that they needed hysterectomies following their abortion; a woman allowed to bleed for eight days following a chemical abortion before an abortion mill staffer picked her up at her home and brought her to the hospital.

Abortion is not a safe procedure, in Louisiana or anywhere else, yet organizations that purport to care about women fight every single law aimed at making abortion less hazardous for a mother’s health and well-being, even her very life. It’s counter-intuitive but in keeping with the upside-down nature of abortion, the most unregulated industry in our nation.

It would be natural to assume that physicians who perform abortions would want to ensure the safety of their patients, but that is too much to hope for from a group of people who studied medicine only to use it to kill unborn babies. But from a powerful organization representing tens of thousands of doctors — most of whom do not perform abortions — we have a right to expect more.

Father Frank Pavone is an American Roman Catholic priest and the national director of Priests for Life.

Tags Abortion Roe v. Wade United States

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

More Judiciary News

See All
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video