Wednesday, April 25, 2007

MI Rep: Abortion Complications are Underreported

The health department made no mention of a woman's death in 2004 in its complications report. The department only noted that thirteen women reported complications, including shock, cervical lacerations, incomplete abortions and two unidentified complications.

However, Tamia Russell, a 15 year-old, died from a second-trimester abortion in January of 2004.

Steven Brown of the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office told that the cause of death for Russell was listed as, "Uterine infarction with sepsis, due to status post second trimester abortion."

Responding to the measure, T.J. Bucholz, a spokesman for the Department of Community Health, told AP that "We don't fabricate statistics on abortion."

Rep. Rebekah Warren, a Democrat from Ann Arbor who previously was executive director of NARAL's Michigan affiliate, criticized the bill, HB 4651.

"We have a law in place that requires physicians to report this information, and they do report this information," Warren said. "It makes me nervous to start witch hunts in our doctors' offices."


Witch hunts? Well, did they die of abortions or not? Why would an advocate for women's health not be concerned about women dying of legal abortion? (I suppose to ask the question is to answer it, but the issue needs to be raised).

In Canada, I know that the coding practices vary from area to area on late-term abortions, so I'm not surprised to hear that Michigan has an enforcement problem. I am certain there are late-term abortions in Canada that are not being reported to government bodies for statistical purposes.

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