By Cheryl Sullenger
McAllen, TX – Abortionist Lester Minto is defiant concerning new safety standards passed by the Texas Legislature last week, especially concerning the new standards for dispensing abortion pills. He operates Reproductive Services, an abortion clinic in the Rio Grand Valley community of Harlingen that does 1,500-2,000 abortion per year, according to a New York Times story published on July 13, 2013.
If forced to comply with the new law, Minto says he is willing to seek other means of continuing to provide abortions, even if his substandard clinic must close.
Minto, who called the Texas abortion law “an insult to women’s intelligence,” said he would keep doing abortions “whether that means under the cover of a mesquite tree or on a shrimp boat or going to Mexico” where abortions are also illegal.
“I didn’t say I’d stop doing abortions. I’m not going to give this up…And I’m not going to abandon girls,” Minto told a local newspaper.
“Minto’s comments show his complete disregard for the health and lives of women and his insistence on subjecting women to substandard practices as if she did not deserve anything better,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Being treated by abortionists as something less than a human being is the real insult to the intelligence of women.”
The New York Times and other mainstream news outlets are raising concerns that in Texas, if the new law shuts down abortion clinics that cannot comply with new safety regulations, women would make the short trip across the border to Mexico where abortion-causing pills are readily available over the counter as many women already have been doing for years.
Usually medical abortions are done using a cocktail of mifepristone (RU486) and misoprostol (Cytotec). The patient takes one dose drugs at the abortion clinic then the rest at home, where she has the abortion. There is no monitoring done on the woman, who is not at the clinic during the painful abortion process that resembles a miscarriage.
However, even some abortion clinics often just use Cytotec to simulate uterine contractions and cause an abortion in early pregnancy. Cytotec is a drug originally developed to treat stomach ulcers which has been used off-label by abortionists for years despite manufacturer warnings because it is cheap, if not particularly safe. It is known to cause unpredictable and sometimes violent contractions. In fact, Hispanic have become so familiar with over-the-counter use of Cytotec that they refer to it as “Star Pills” due to the tablets’ multi-sided shape.
Minto further reflected an attitude that women don’t deserve high medical standards when he insensitively told ABC News, “It’s kind of like a cheap cure for a radiator leak. Its efficacy rate is about 30 percent when used alone and improperly. But even though I don’t approve of it, I can’t criticize it. I would probably try the same if I were in a situation like these women.”
Minto may be the newest darling of the pro-abortion media, but his record is not clean. In 1996, Minto was disciplined for allowing staff to practice without adequate supervision including “allowing a physician’s assistant to utilize pre-signed prescription and to telephone in prescriptions for patients without consulting with [Minto].” This is a practice that helped land Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell and several of his associates who masqueraded as “doctors” in trouble with the law.
Amy Hagstrom-Miller, who operates another Rio Grand Valley abortion clinic in McAllen, Texas, known as Whole Women’s Health, is also opposed to the new abortion pill standards and has opines that women will seek to obtain abortion pills in Mexico or at flea markets if her clinic is forced to close.
While abortionist worry about the “unmonitored” use of abortion drugs should abortion clinics that cannot meet the minimum safety requirements be forced to close, that concern seems shallow considering the current way abortion pills are dispensed.
Women who currently obtain abortion pills from abortion clinics must self-administer the drugs and endure often long and painful the abortion process outside the clinics without supervision. This practice has led to major medical complications and even death.
Earlier this year, Planned Parenthood issued a study that admitted to 385 “serious” abortion pill complications, including at least one abortion pill-related death from 2009-2010. That is more than one serious complication per day. The actual number is likely higher due to the fact that many women do not report complications to the abortion clinics but seek emergency care on their own.
“Trying to pretend that women are ‘monitored’ by abortion clinics after they dispense abortion-causing drugs is the height of hypocrisy since it is the monitoring provisions in the new Texas law that they most vehemently opposed,” said Newman. “Right now abortion clinics hand out the drugs and send women out the door. Often, they never see the women again.”
In fact, Hagstrom Miller admits that her McAllen abortion clinic now uses abortionists that fly in from other states, making supervision and follow-up by a licensed physician nearly impossible.
Newman continued, “If women self-administer abortion pills purchased in Mexico, as the fear-mongers predict, they really wouldn’t be getting much worse treatment than they are currently getting at Texas abortion clinics. Both options are completely undesirable.”
The new Texas law requires abortion clinics to follow FDA protocols, which mandates that women return to the abortion clinic for the second dose of abortion drugs. It also restricts the use of abortion pills to pregnancies that are under 7 weeks. Currently, abortion clinics dispense the drugs through the ninth week of pregnancy – or later in some cases.
In some clinics, abortion pills are given out by unlicensed clinic workers to women who have never seen a doctor. This was the practice at Kermit Gosnell’s Philadelphia “House of Horrors” according to court testimony.
But Hagstrom-Miller’s Whole Women’s Heath in McAllen shares more similarities to Gosnell’s horrific practices, even down to the macabre displaying of a Georgia O’Keefe print to apparently soothe women at their respective clinics.
The McAllen Whole Women’s Health office was fined $13,475 in 2011 after an inspection found the clinic was improperly disposing of aborted baby remains into an open and overflowing dumpster behind the run-down facility. The inspection confirmed allegations in a complaint filed by Operation Rescue in response to discoveries made during an undercover investigation of Texas abortion clinics.
“Abortion clinics and abortionists who do not want to bring their shoddy clinics up to minimum standards that other ambulatory surgical center must meet, then it is only right for them to close, because women deserve better than to subjected to substandard practices that endanger their lives and health. Scare tactics currently employed by abortionists only serve to divert attention from their own unsafe habits,” said Newman. “We know for a fact that women abortion clinics close, the vast majority of women seek other means of dealing with life’s challenges than aborting their babies, and that means lives are spared and women are kept safe from shoddy practices that aren’t much better than the back alley.”