Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Chicago Tribune: State abortion records full of gaps, by Megan Twohey:
Health care providers are failing to detail abortion complications to the state as required by law, one of many gaps in a surveillance system viewed as crucial to protecting patients, a Tribune review has found.
The state's system for tracking abortions is so broken that regulators also may be missing more than 7,000 of the procedures per year.
The Illinois Department of Public Health must collect details about every abortion performed in the state, including whether the patient is injured or dies. . . .
The New York-based Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights research organization, conducts its own accounting across the country. Its information is widely viewed as more accurate than what is collected by state regulators because the organization makes extensive efforts to identify abortion doctors and follow up with them.
It was Guttmacher that located 37 providers in Illinois in 2008, and it is Guttmacher that has consistently counted thousands more abortions per year than the number recorded by state regulators. . . .