A Texas state senator said Tuesday that she supports a bill which would force nearly all of the state’s abortion clinics to close, namely because if a man ever suffers from anal bleeding after a colonoscopy, trained surgeons are needed to help him.
That insight came from state Sen. Donna Campbell (R), who spoke in favor of Senate Bill 537, which would require all abortion clinics in the state to comply with regulations governing surgical centers.
“After a colonoscopy on a man, he comes in bleeding in the emergency room from the rectum and we’ve got a surgeon on call,” Campbell said in video of the hearing, embedded below. “But we don’t have somebody on call for a lady who is hemorrhaging in the uterus from a procedure that was done at a facility that was held at less standards. So I applaud this bill. I jumped on this bill as a physician and as a woman.”
While the comparison of a rectum and a uterus might strike some as offensive on its face, the analogy also seems to indicate that Campbell may not understand the possible complications from surgical and medical abortions, nor their frequency.
The National Abortion Federation (NAF) says that legal surgical abortions result in death just 0.0006 percent of the time — one in every 160,000 cases — usually from an embolism or reaction to anesthesia. Other complications that can result from an abortion are almost never dire emergencies requiring the immediate attention of a surgeon. Added, NAF notes that the risks of pregnancy and childbirth are ten times greater than getting an early term abortion.
That is why most abortion clinics across the state of Texas are so concerned about Senate Bill 537: because legal abortions are so safe and serious complications are so rare, doctors at these facilities usually do not have emergency room admitting privileges, namely because in order to get on that list you actually have to see patients who have serious infections or trauma.
RH Reality Check put it another way in February: All but five clinics in the state will not be in compliance with the new standards if this bill passes, leaving them as the sole service providers for a population of more than 13.1 million women.
The Texas Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee voted in favor of the bill 5-2 on Tuesday, with the split falling along party lines. If the bill is passed by the Texas legislature at-large, Gov. Rick Perry (R) — who has said he would like to end the practice of abortion altogether — is very likely to sign it.
A similar law in Mississippi has reduced that state’s abortion clinics to just one, which still remains under threat of closure amid an ongoing legal battle.
This video is from the Texas State Senate, recorded Tuesday, March 19, 2013.
David Edwards contributed to this post.
Photo: Donna Campbell on Facebook.
Updated from a previous version to fix a typo.