NARAL on possible forced abortion: No comment

On June 11, 2015, a patient arrived at a Dayton-area abortion facility with the help of a friend. The clinic’s own notes stated that she could not walk on her own or hold her head up once she was placed in a wheelchair. Her speech was slow and slurred–she couldn’t hold a conversation. She was unable to keep her eyes open, and when she could, they were twitching.

The patient’s friend reported to Women’s Med Center staff that the patient had taken “two Soma and several Percocet and probably both Suboxone and perhaps some heroin on her way in.”

Only after the abortion did the abortionist give her medication to counteract the drug overdose, and send her to the hospital for treatment.

This week, Ohio Right to Life issued a press release on the incident, announcing complaints filed by our friends at Dayton Right to Life with the State Medical Board of Ohio. According to a citation report by the Ohio Department of Health, the abortion facility violated Ohio Administrative Code 3701-83-07 (A)(2), which states, “Each patient shall be allowed to refuse or withdraw consent for treatment.” 

Women’s Med Center clearly violated the very choice the abortion industry claims to stand for. Lack of cognition, slurred speech, indication that she had taken heroin–any one of these should have been more than enough to signal to the staff that the woman needed real care, not an abortion.

The Dayton Daily News posted the story to their website, and one thing was notably missing: A comment from NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. In fact, the story states, “NARAL ProChoice Ohio said it has not yet seen the complaint and could not comment on the matter.”

By Friday, The Columbus Dispatch issued their story, this one containing a dodge of a statement from NARAL’s lobbyist and a spokesperson for the abortion facility. The former claimed, “This is a political witch hunt. This is not how medical professionals should be treated in Ohio.” The latter claimed, “The anti-choice minority is up to their usual tricks by distorting, misstating facts and twisting rationale in an attempt to brainwash the public.” 

Really? This story comes to us from the abortion facility’s own notes. How hard is it to release a statement that says, “We condemn any and all violations of a woman’s choice to have an abortion”? 

Here’s where the abortion lobby’s politics begin to compromise women’s health and autonomy for the sake of Big Abortion. For the last year, Women’s Med Center has been fighting closure by the Ohio Department of Health for failure to secure adequate back-up care for emergencies. NARAL is in Women’s Med Center’s back pocket, refusing to take a consistent stance against abortion without consent.

Informed consent is a crucial, time-honored ethic in the practice of good medicine, and Women’s Med Center trampled right over this very elementary principle. A drug-overdosed woman has no capacity to refuse or withdraw consent for treatment.

In what other instance would a physician proceed with a medical procedure if the patient came in with signs of drug-overdose, unable to even hold a coherent conversation?

As our executive director said in our release, “Ohio’s abortion lobby forfeits whatever tinge of credibility it has if it refuses to condemn what happened at Women’s Med Center.”


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