The Right's Latest Attack On Planned Parenthood

Glenn Beck's The Blaze and a number of anti-abortion rights outlets are highlighting audio of a 9-1-1 call made by Planned Parenthood employees after a patient who had received an abortion apparently began bleeding.

Here's The Blaze's inflammatory headline:


Aside from invading the patient's privacy, it's unclear what the point of this particular anti-Planned Parenthood frenzy is.

It's not exactly news that abortion -- like any other legal medical procedure -- can occasionally lead to complications, as apparently happened in this case. Abortion obviously has well known risks, but those risks are rare. According to a frequently cited 1999 article, less than 0.3% of abortion patients developed complications that required hospitalization:

The largest database of abortion complications in the United States is maintained by the National Abortion Federation (NAF). In 1995 a total of 175 NAF members reported information on 241,986 abortions at all gestational ages; follow-up information was available for 30.7%. Complications requiring hospitalization were reported for 202 patients for a rate of 0.08% of all patients and 0.27% with follow-up. Infections were reported for 0.05% of all patients, continued pregnancies for 0.12%, and perforations for 0.03%. These rates are at best a rough guide, as the completeness of reporting complications is unknown. [Stanley K. Henshaw, “Unintended Pregnancy and Abortion: A Public Health Perspective,” in: Maureen Paul, et al., eds., A Clinician's Guide to Medical and Surgical Abortion, Pages. 11-22.]

So, to sum up: A single, legal medical procedure apparently resulted in complications. And the Right has decided to expoit the incident to smear Planned Parenthood.