Supreme Court Debates Common Sense in Abortion Law


Sometimes common sense gets run over by the forces of political correctness. Such thinking is at the heart of the debate playing out in the Supreme Court this very week.

As an orthopedic surgeon, I do nearly 100% of my surgery in an ambulatory surgery center. Although complications are very rare, I must maintain hospital admitting privileges at a nearby hospital in case one of my patients needs hospitalization after surgery. This is a logical and necessary precaution. It does not hamper my ability to do surgery in any way.

However, when it comes to doing abortions, pro-choice advocates want to deny their patients the same safety precautions. They want to risk the lives of women having abortions in the name of “reproductive rights.” What is behind such illogical thinking?

Dr. Christina Francis, an Ob-Gyn doctor, tries to explain this conundrum in an article in The Wall Street Journal. The case being debated by SCOTUS, June Medical Services v. Russo, concerns a Louisiana law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the site of the abortion. Despite the reasonableness of this law, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has weighed in with an amicus brief that opposes the law. They say the law requirements aren’t “medically justified” and therefore constitutes an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to abortion.

Dr. Francis correctly points out that uncontrolled uterine bleeding after an abortion can lead to death in as little as 10 minutes. She believes the required admitting privileges should be much closer than 30 miles for this reason. Opponents might argue that would limit the convenience of finding an abortion provider in rural areas. Most people would argue safety is more important than the convenience of a short drive to the abortion facility. Dr. Francis agrees.

Pro-abortion activists would gain some credibility if they agreed that women seeking an abortion deserve the same safety precautions as any other patient undergoing surgery. Instead, they make the indefensible argument that their patients are somehow immune to complications and don’t need such precautions. The two abortion providers in this case argue that admitting privileges provide no health or safety benefits. They insist such routine medical precautions are aimed at curbing abortion and impose an undue burden on women seeking abortion.

Physicians must meet rigorous standards of certification, licensing, and practice experience without frequent complications to be granted hospital admitting privileges. Is it possible the doctors objecting to these requirements are complaining because they can’t meet such standards? Should women seeking abortion be subjected to substandard physicians?

When women are sent to a hospital for emergency treatment after an abortion, and the abortion provider does not accompany the patient, they are forced to find an alternative Ob-Gyn doctor, like Dr. Francis, to treat their emergency condition. Dr. Francis frequently finds herself in this situation and rarely, if ever, receives direct communication from the abortion provider. This increases the risks to the patient. There is simply no need for these unnecessary risks. Those who support a woman’s right to abortion should also support a woman’s right to the best medical care possible. It’s just common sense.


Here is an update on the virus situation in our country from the CDC as of 3/7/20 with a comparison of the influenza and corona virus to keep our perspective concerning the serious nature of each virus. (see last week’s post (Corona Virus is Coming- Should We be Worried?)


No comments yet. You should be kind and add one!