Illinois investigation uncovers 4,000 underreported abortion complications (in one year alone) and six abortion deaths

Good for the Chicago Tribune, revealing today some shocking statistics it uncovered when investigating shoddy records reporting by Illinois abortion clinics and the lax Illinois Department of Public Health overseeing them:

Health care providers are failing to detail abortion complications to the state as required by law….

Nearly 4,000 reports of abortion complications involving Illinois residents in 2009 were missing the required description.

Health care providers who intentionally fail to submit accurate and complete reports are committing a criminal act, and a failure to report abortion complications is grounds for revoking their licenses, but the Department of Public Health has never sought disciplinary action against a provider…..

“It’s outrageous,” declared Maurice Stevenson [pictured left] whose wife died in 2002 from infection following an abortion at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Chicago….

A review of malpractice cases revealed other abortion-related complications in IL –  with no way of knowing whether they were reported to the state.

For example, in 2002, after an area woman’s uterus was torn in an abortion she began hemorrhaging, went into cardiac shock and was hospitalized for 3 weeks. Several years later, a mother of 3 experienced seizure symptoms and slipped into a coma following her abortion at a city clinic. And in 2009, a teenage girl suffered respiratory and cardiac arrest and died immediately following her abortion in a northern suburb, according to court records….

In certain medical malpractice cases reviewed by the Tribune, women said they were never informed by their provider that the abortion was unsuccessful and later underwent challenging pregnancies, painful deliveries and other complications.

Others suffered anesthesia-related problems, hemorrhaging and infections, according to the suits….

Planned Parenthood of Illinois… could not confirm for the Tribune whether it had reported the 2002 death of Stevenson’s wife, only that it had reported the 2008 death of another patient. The organization said it had no reason to believe the 2002 death was not reported but that the records were in storage.

And Family Planning Associates said it could not confirm whether it had reported 3 deaths, in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

A woman who identified herself as a manager of the Women’s Aid Clinic of Lincolnwood would not comment on a 2009 death.

[HT: ProLife Wisconsin on Twitter; bottom photo via the Chicago Tribune]

28 thoughts on “Illinois investigation uncovers 4,000 underreported abortion complications (in one year alone) and six abortion deaths”

  1. Same old pro-abortion BS. Not only one dead the other one wounded but two dead is just fine with the pro-aborts as well, we just won’t report it. Finally an expose of what we knew all along. Abortion kills. PP lies to you.


  2. This is sad. I wonder how many other women have been hurt and no one has any idea?


  3. We can expect the usual resounding silence from ‘feminists’ over this, or the usual pat answer ‘gee that’s too bad those women died but it’s no reason to make abortion illegal.’ For every one investigation that reveals this kind of deceptive practice there are a hundred more that are swept under the rug. The abortion lobby excels at protecting their agenda. Women? Not so much.


  4. Those poor women.  It’s sad to say, but I am not suprised.  And I beleive that there are many more cases like this one that have never been uncovered.  States have let abortion clinics be either unregulated or very underregulated and this is the result-dead and maimed women.  But hey as long as abortion is legal, it’s all good right?

    It will be interesting to see how the pro-choicers who go undercover to expose CPCs that they claim “deceive” women will respond to abortion clinics that actually KILL them and injure them.  

    I wonder where are all the pro-choice advocates who have publically mourned over women who were killed by their abortions before Roe?  Where is there care and concern for these women and their families? 

    They say they want abortion to be “safe and legal”.  let’s watch and see if they truly do.  Based on past experience, it seems as though many in the pro-choice movement would settle for abortion just being legal.  Safe not so much.


  5. And when abortion is re-criminalized, who cares about deaths and maimings from “back alley” abortions. Good enough for em. Right? Oh, I forgot. When abortion was illegal, all women welcomed their pregnancies which were always the result of sacred, marital sex. Right?

    And BTW, if legal abortion providers are providing less than quality care, they should be subject to the same penalties as those doctors who botch other surgeries.

    And for those who are unfamiliar with what women did to themselves in the sacred age of criminalized abortion, I recommend reading the novel “Revolutionary Road” which was made into a movie.


  6. CC “And when abortion is re-criminalized, who cares about deaths and maimings from “back alley” abortions. ”

    Actually CC, because I am pro-life I am against all abortions weather they be legal or illegal.  I don’t want ANY women to die of abortion.  It doesn’t matter to me if the abortion that kills them was done legally or not. They’re still dead. 

    Clearly making abortion legal has not made it any safer.  The overwhelming majority of illegal abortions were done by pro-choice doctors.  When abortion became legal, many of those illegal abortionists became  legal abortionsists.  So I don’t buy into this keeping abortion “safe and legal” stuff. 


  7. “I don’t want ANY women to die of abortion”

    But that’s what happened when abortion was illegal. Now that abortion is legalized there are far fewer deaths from “complications.” But if legal abortion providers are medically negligent, they should be prosecuted – just like any doctor who is medically negligent. Should we criminalize surgical procedures in areas where doctors have been cited for malpractice regarding other types of surgery? 

    The “pro-life” movement doesn’t care about deaths from illegal abortions, because underlying their world view is a contempt and hatred of any woman who defies her “destiny’ and attempta to terminate her pregnancy. Her death is seen as punishment for a grievous sin. At least that’s what the nuns in my grammar and high school school used to say. (I had 12 years of Catholic school).


  8. The “pro-life” movement doesn’t care about deaths from illegal abortions, because underlying their world view is a contempt and hatred of any woman who defies her ”destiny’ and attempta to terminate her pregnancy.
    Hey CC, how ’bout those statistics from legal abortion?  Any comment about that?  How ’bout the fact that there are thousands of injuries from legal abortion going unreported?  Any comments?  No?  What about those women who were told it was just a simple procedure, with no danger?  Any comments?
    You continue to ignore the fact that illegal abortion numbers were inflated by NARAL and its founder, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who confessed to exaggerating the numbers by hundreds of thousands.  Since, as kris mentioned above, most abortionists went from being “back alley” to “storefront” with Roe v. Wade, I don’t really see your point.  The same doctors, the same procedures, (to this DAY almost totally unregulated), but now with the blessing of the feds.  Since abortion numbers went through the roof after its legalization, it stands to reason that the frequency of abortion today would lend itself to more injuries.
    Her death is seen as punishment for a grievous sin. At least that’s what the nuns in my grammar and high school school used to say. (I had 12 years of Catholic school).
    Nice to see you just can’t let go of your hatred toward religion or your straw men.


  9. “The “pro-life” movement doesn’t care about deaths from illegal abortions, because underlying their world view is a contempt and hatred of any woman who defies her ”destiny’ and attempta to terminate her pregnancy. Her death is seen as punishment for a grievous sin. At least that’s what the nuns in my grammar and high school school used to say. (I had 12 years of Catholic school).”


    I would like proof of this assertion, please.


  10. Just stoppin’ in for a fly-by comment: CC, noticed that you bashed the Catholics again.  Over to the side, Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld is quoted.  Why no comment there?  You usually have something to say about all your liberal Jewish rabbis who midrash about the good work that Margaret Sanger started.  Nothin’ to say over there?  Cat got your keyboard? 

    ‘k, thanks, bye!


  11. Where were abortion advocates when women died from back alley abortions, CC? Adopting the surviving kids? No. Paying for the woman’s funeral? No. Comforting the woman’s grieving family? No. Encouraging other women to keep aborting? Yep.



  12. Let’s look at the factual evidence of abortion practice before Roe v. Wade:
    Mary Claderone (then Medical Director of Planned Parenthood) and Nancy Howell Lee (a pro choice researcher) both investigated the practice of criminal abortion in the pre-legalization era. Calderone estimated that “90% of all illegal abortions are presently (1960 – ed) being done by physicians.” Calderone further estimated that 8% were self-induced and that 2% were induced by someone other than the woman or a doctor. Lee estimated that 89% of pre-legalization abortions were done by physicians, an additional 5% by nurses or others with some medical training, and 6% were done by non-medical persons or the woman herself. Calderone’s numbers came from “43 men and women from the various disciplines of obstetrics, psychiatry, public health, sociology, forensic medicine, and law and demography.” Lee interviewed women who had undergone pre-legalization abortions. The discrepancy between Lee’s and Calderone’s breakdowns of non-physician abortions is probably due to sampling errors.”
    And on the 5% of amature and self-induced abortions: “Lee’s interviews with women who had self-aborted found a different picture from the women who had sought professional (however illegal) abortions. These self-aborting women tended to be less rational, and more self-destructive, than the women seeking competent abortionists. Lee also found that the women attempting self-abortion were likely to have had a death wish at the time of the abortion.
    This finding is in keeping with psychiatric literature of the time, which treats self-induced abortion as a peculiar manifestation of the self-mutilating behavior common in patients with certain psychiatric disorders.

    Mutilation of the genitals is not rare in these patients, and self-induced abortion was often regarded as an extreme form of genital mutilation aimed at attacking the patient’s own femininity. It was in the political context, not the psychiatric or psychological context, that self-induced abortions were considered to be the expected behavior of normal women. This politicized view of self-aborting women eclipsed the reality, and case studies stopped showing up in the literature, although occasional stories still do make it into the newspaper.
    This is not to say that all women who self-induce abortions are mentally ill. Investigators of post-Roe self-induced abortion injuries and deaths found other factors, such as distrust of the medical profession, a perception of home herbal abortion as more “natural,” cultural preferences, and “ideosyncratic” factors nobody could readily explain. These women, however, carefully research abortion methods and use common sense and intelligence to select a method likely to be efficacious and comparatively safe (source).

    Abortion-rights advocates often parrot the claim, “There were 5,000 to 10,000 unsafe abortion deaths before legalization.” This claim is nothing more than a well-established myth. In debunking this myth, let’s look at the source:
    “In the case of the 5,000 – 10,000 claims, the original source was a book — Abortion, Spontaneous and Induced — published in 1936 by Dr. Frederick Taussig, a leading proponent of legalization of abortion. Taussig calculated an urban abortion rate based on records of a New York City birth control clinic, and a rural abortion rate based on some numbers given to him by some doctors in Iowa. He took a guess at a mortality rate, multiplied by his strangely generated estimate of how many criminal abortions were taking place, and presto! A myth is born!
    Even if Taussig’s calculations, by some mathematical miracle, had been correct, they still would have been out of date by the end of WWII. Antibiotics and blood transfusions changed the face of medicine. But not only are the Taussig numbers dated, they were never accurate to begin with. At a conference in 1942, Taussig himself appologized for using “the wildest estimates” to generate a bogus number. Although it took Taussig six years to reject his own faulty calculations, at least he did admit that he’d been wrong. Other abortion enthusiasts lacked Taussig’s compunctions. Bernard Nathanson, co-founder of NARAL, admitted that he and his associates knew that the claims of 5,000 to 10,000 criminal abortion deaths were false. They bandied them about anyway, Nathanson confessed, because they were useful. This, too, is old news — Nathanson came clean over twenty years ago.” (source)

    So the numbers aren’t as high as abortion-rights advocates would have you believe. Also, if you looks at statistical trends for abortion deaths from 1940 to 1970, the number of deaths actually began to decrease even before the legalization of abortion began in the 1960’s, with 1,407 deaths in 1940, 744 deaths in 1945, 263 deaths in 1950, 224 deaths in 1955, 251 deaths in 1960, 201 deaths in 1965, and 119 deaths in 1970. Source: “Induced termination of pregnancy before and after Roe v. Wade” JAMA, 12/9/92, vol. 208, no. 22, p. 3231-3239.
    Despite abortion-rights advocates crediting the legalization of abortion, much of the decrease in maternal/infant and abortion mortality during from that time period (from 1940 to 1970) can be better attributed to improvements in antibiotics (such as the finding of penicillin), improved access to blood products, improvements in surgical techniques, improvements in emergency medicine, broader access to adequate prenatal care, improved vaccinations, and improvements in environmental health/sanitation, to name a few.


  13. In other news, I just read my local PU (Planned Unparenthood) is closing at the end of the month. May the kill-free zones keep expanding!


  14. Thank you so much Rachael C., for your researched, measured and intelligent response to CC’s rantings.  You show much more patience, persistence and Christian love than I could have mustered this morning. God Bless You!


  15. Thank you for the compliment Amy1, although I do try to be patient and polite in conversation with our resident pro-choicers, I can’t take the credit for the research, as I was quoting articles and research conducted by Christina at Real Choice.


  16. Hey guys:

    CC is a troll.  I know you are aware of that but it is worth a reminder.  CC has been taken to task numerous, perhaps hundreds of times for illogical and unfounded assertions.  CC is not here for an honest and open minded exploration of the issue, and in fact has admitted on several occasions that abortion kills unborn babies.  CC thinks abortion is a lark.

    CC also has a major problem with Catholicism and nearly always misrepresents the teachings of the Church, just as what was done in an earlier post claiming that the death of the person in question is “punishment for a grevious sin”.  This last assertion is truly pathetic and profoundly ignorant.  The teachings of the Church are out there for anyone to read, but for CC it better fits the agenda of pro-abortion advocacy to make up things as we go along.     


  17. Hey Jerry, I’m not even Catholic myself and I’ve only been following this blog for a few weeks, and even I can see CC’s complete misunderstandings and possibly purposeful ignorance. Still, I loved what Rachael wrote and I’m glad she wrote it. I learned things I didn’t know before—things that will undoubtedly be useful in my next interaction with someone in favor of legal abortons for the sake of preventing deaths from “back alley abortions.” Sometimes, it’s worth responding to someone who obviously doesn’t care to know the facts. You never know who might be reading and learning.


  18. how do we know abortion is safe than childbirth if they’re not reporting abortion complications/deaths? OMIGOSH, YOU MEAN ALL THE PRO-ABORTIONISTS WHO’VE BEEN TELLING ME THAT HAVE BEEN LYING?! NO WAI!


  19. x,
    Did you fall into a wormhole?? I don’t know if I have the guts to time travel on these threads!  :)


  20. I’m not glued to the radio or Tv but I do listen periodically during the day to various news sources and this is the first I’ve heard of this story. Maybe the Chicago Tribune should reprint this story next week after the NATO Summit in Chicago is over.  Unless this becomes the talk of the town, nothing will come of it, unfortunately. Women will continue to be mal-treated.

    Gosh, maybe the Illinois Dept of Public Heath could require that every abortionist assign a State Case Number to each abortion patient from the very start. That might streamline reporting a bit and simplify follow-up procedures. Just thinkin’.


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