A Chicago medical center has found itself in a controversial position, as the first Roman Catholic hospital in the country to help women halt an abortion midway through the process.
Resurrection Medical Center began the new practice after pro-life activists started bringing in women who, in the second trimester of their pregnancy, had gone to a clinic for an abortion and then changed their minds. The process used by the clinic for a second trimester pregnancy takes 2-3 days to complete, so by stopping the process early on, Resurrection doctors are hoping to preserve the pregnancy.
A procedure for late-term abortions, which uses a dried seaweed called laminaria, is new and still unknown by many medical personnel. “They put in this so-called laminaria, which is made from seaweed, and they insert it into the cervix…and the concept is that, this seaweed will soften the cervix… and then after a period of time, 12 to 24 hours, sometimes longer, they take the woman back and they look in her cervix again to see if she’s ready to have that abortion” said Doctor Shu Boung Chan, the chairman of quality at Resurrection Hospital.
Laminaria, he explains, is like a thin rod made of dried kelp that is inserted like a tampon. The laminaria is supposed to expand and dilate the cervix. Once brought to Resurrection, the laminaria is removed, with the hope the cervix will return to its normal state, saving the fetus.
Critics worry the hospital’s efforts could actually cause medical problems for the pregnant woman, and may result in a miscarriage.
Two things. First: Seaweed? Ew. Second: People worry that trying to reverse an abortion might result in a miscarriage? Huh?
Resurrection CEO Sister Donna Marie Wolowicki said hospital staff won’t try to persuade or coerce a woman either way.
“We have our staff prepared to walk her into a private area to make sure that she has the opportunity to share what she really wants us to do or how to help her and what she understands. The first thing we want to make sure is that she understands what’s happened to her thus far we want her to understand about her pregnancy … how far she is along with the pregnancy and what we can do to help her if she really wants us to stop this abortive process … We want it to be a free decision by her.”
Planned Parenthood of Illinois supports the hospital’s way of handling the situation. Vice President for Public Policy, Pamela Sutherland, said that as long as the women weren’t coerced into changing their minds, it seems they were treated well.
“Based on the statements made by Resurrection …regarding women who come to them to interrupt a second-trimester abortion in process, Planned Parenthood of Illinois agrees with the Hospital’s Standard of Care. We are very pleased that they are counseling women to be sure women are comfortable with their decision. And we support what we also consider to be good medical practice.”
That’s nice – we’re now at the point where a Catholic hospital has to be extra careful not to appear to be putting any pressure at all on women who are coming to them hoping their abortion can be reversed. And the journalist has to make sure to get a quote from Planned Parenthood, as though PP was some kind of unbiased authority suitable to making pronouncements on what constituted proper medical treatment at an actual hospital?
Give me a break!