Live Action and Fox News report that a Colorado woman has filed suit against Planned Parenthood for subjecting her to an abortion she had refused and then abandoning her when she experienced complications.
Ayanna Byer asserts that she told the Planned Parenthood abortionist that she had decided against having an abortion, but that the doctor went ahead with the procedure despite this. Then, “due to Ms Byer crying from pain” she alleges that the same doctor stopped before the abortion was complete. She says she was given prescriptions for pain and antibiotics and sent home.
When she began to experience complications, she says that Planned Parenthood told her that they did not offer abortion follow-up care. Ms Byer’s went to a hospital, where she ended up having to have more surgery. It sounds as if the surgeon who took care of her was outraged by what he found. He accused Planned Parenthood of abandoning their patient.
My reaction when I read this is that situations like this are what pro-choice advocates claim legal abortion will prevent. The whole argument for keeping abortion legal hangs on the contention that without it women will end up being treated much as Ms Byer says she was by Planned Parenthood. Based on stories I’ve heard from other women, I do not think her experience is all that rare.
I know women who have had legal abortions at abortion clinics here in America. Some of them received IV medication for pain, while others had to go through the entire surgery without pain medication. Those who did not receive pain medication have told me that it was a very painful experience. One of them was so traumatized that it took her years to fully remember what had happened.
Dumping women after an abortion and letting them find help for complications as best they can was supposed to have ended with Roe v Wade.
I know full well that supporters of legal abortion are going to line up with excuses for Planned Parenthood’s actions in this. I expect they’ll also trot about accusations against Live Action and Fox News for reporting the story.
However, if “women’s health care” is really the overriding concern for them that they claim it is, they should be angry about what happened to Ms Byer and demanding reforms so that it never happens again. I do not expect that to happen.
Based on my experience with this issue, any attempts to impose regulations on abortion clinics will be met with cries of “anti-choice” and “pushing women into the back alleys again.” Even the most common-sense reforms such as requiring doctors who perform abortions to have hospital privileges at a nearby hospital, or requiring that those who perform abortions be licensed physicians, are characterized as “attacks on women’s health care” and “driving women into the back alleys.”
Abortion proponents do not want women to be given accurate information about the child they are carrying. They do not want parents of minor children to be told that their daughters are going to undergo surgery. They do not want requirements that licensed physicians perform abortions, or in the case of abortion drugs, that licensed physicians administer the drugs. They do not want the abortionists to be required to have hospital privileges. I could go on and on. Abortion proponents appear to want a caveat emptor situation so far as abortion is concerned. I do not believe that this attitude reflects concern for “health care for women” or for women’s well-being.
I remember what life was like before Roe v Wade. I knew girls who had illegal abortions back then, including one who became grievously ill due to an incomplete abortion. That experience was the driving force behind my advocacy for legal abortion earlier in my life. Ms Byer’s story of what happened to her and that of my friend who become ill from an illegal abortion are not all that different.
From what Ms Byer’s complaint says, I take better care of my 21-year-old cat than Planned Parenthood took care of her.
And that’s a fact.
A Live Action article describing Ms Byer’s lawsuit says in part:
When Ayanna Byer scheduled an appointment at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains to take an abortion pill to end her pregnancy, there was no way for her to foresee the horrors ahead of her. Earlier this month, Byer, through the assistance of the attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom, brought a lawsuit to hold Planned Parenthood liable for the botched abortion that she did not consent to.
According to that complaint, when Byer arrived at the Planned Parenthood clinic, it was determined that her pregnancy was too far along to be terminated through the use of a pill, therefore a surgical abortion was recommended. Ms. Byer agreed upon the condition that she would receive IV anesthesia, for which she would be charged extra. Although the employees could not get the IV started, the doctor came to start the procedure anyway.
The complaint states:
“At this time, Plaintiff immediately told the Planned Parenthood Doctor to stop and that she did not want to go through with the abortion procedure because she had not received any anesthetic. Plaintiff also informed Planned Parenthood Doctor and agents or employees of Planned Parenthood Defendants that she believed this to be a sign she should not go through with the abortion. The Planned Parenthood Doctor did not stop despite Plaintiff’s request, and assured Plaintiff the I.V. would be administered and the procedure would only take a few minutes.
At this time, the Planned Parenthood Doctor turned on the vacuum machines and told Plaintiff it was too late to stop.”
Seven minutes later, due to Ms. Byer crying from pain, the procedure finally stopped. She received an apology and a prescription for a painkiller and antibiotics and was sent on her way. Planned Parenthood never followed up with her.
About two days later, Ms. Byer went to the hospital due to pain and bleeding, where it was found that part of the aborted baby was still inside her, resulting in an infection. She had to have emergency surgery.
Dr. Foley, who preformed Ms. Byer’s emergency surgery, accused Planned Parenthood of abandoning their patient:
“It is not acceptable to refer your patients to the emergency department and assume the on-call doctor will take care of any complications and assume all the risk associated with the complications.
No practicing physician can maintain privileges to practice and perform surgery if they do not provide specific coverage for their patients in case of a complication. It is considered abandonment of your patient.”
The complaint alleges seven different claims for relief. (Read more here.)