A News Service with a Focus on Life
Posted by: adventlife | March 21, 2012
Investigation into our Adventist involvement with the Abortion Industry, by Nic Samojluk
Following the publication of my book dealing with abortion and the Adventist Church, I have received many requests for information regarding the number of abortions performed in our Adventist hospitals. I wish I could provide the exact number of such procedures for each Adventist hospital in the U.S. from 1970—the year our Adventist medical instiutions were allowed to offer elective abortions to their patients–up to the present. Unfortunately such statistics are not readily available to investigators. I am ready to share some of what I was able to secure from Adventist and non-Adventist sources, plus an estimate of what might be the best guess based on those statistics.
I counted a total of 51 Adventist hospitals within the territory of the United Sates, although some of those institutions are comprised of several medical entities. A good example is Florida Hospital Orlando composed of seven individual medical institutions; and Loma Linda University Medical Center made up of four separate entities. This means that if we include all the Adventist medical establishments which are located in the U.S. the grand total would be more like 60.
What we Know About our Adventist Participation in the Genocide of the Unborn
What do we know about abortion provided by these medical facilities? The answer is that we don’t know enough, but what we do know gives us reason for great concern. We do know, for example, that back in 1970, when the State of Hawaiidecided to legalize the practice of abortion, the non-Adventist physicians at our Castle Memorial Hospital [CMH] requested the right to offer elective abortions to their patients, and the church, after careful deliberations, caved in to those demands.
This action by the leadership of the church made it possible for eleven additional hospitals to offer abortion services to their patients by 1986, and here is the list of these medical institutions:
“Castle Medical Center, Hadley Memorial Hospital, Hanford Community Hospital, Loma Linda University Medical Center, Porter Memorial Hospital, Port land Adventist Medical Center, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Shawnee Mission Medical Center, Sierra Vista Hospital, Walla Walla General Hospital, Washington Adventist Hospital, and White Memorial Medical Center.”
Abortions on Demand in Several of our Adventist Hospitals
A survey conducted three years later by the Loma Linda University Ethics Department revealed that five of these Adventist hospitals were engaged—like our CMH—in elective abortions. Of course, abortions on demand are in a direct violation of the biblical prohibition against the killing of innocent human beings, and it would be hard to find another group of human beings more deserving of the “innocent” label than the unborn; in addition, providing elective abortions also represent a breach of our church “Guidelines on Abortion” which do not condone abortions on demand.
A Tragic Moral Detour by the Leadership of our Adventist Church
How can we explain this conundrum? If the church does not approve of elective abortions, how come the church did allow such a contravention of church policy with impunity? The reason is given by the dilemma our CMH faced in 1970: Allow the provision of such morally forbidden practice, or else risk financial failure due to loss of revenue. The fear of financial loss replaced the fear of God. The excuse Neal Wilson, the then president of the General Conference gave to the public was as follows:
“Though we walk the fence, Adventists lean toward abortion rather than against it. Because we realize we are confronted by big problems of hunger and overpopulation, we do not oppose family planning and appropriate endeavors to control population.”
Imagine the seriousness of an argument as this one: It meant that, since there were too many human beings in the world and that many of them were starving, it was morally acceptable for the “Remnant” church of God to start killing some of the most vulnerable members of the human race in the richest country of the world; a country which had an abundant oversupply of food which the U.S. shared with the rest of the world through its food assistance program.
Abortion Statistics for our Washington Adventist Hospital
I wish we would have the abortion statistics for those twelve hospitals listed above. What I have is anecdotic references to what was taking place in some of them, but I don’t have the hard facts. Nevertheless, I was able to locate a significant amount of information related to one of them: our Washington Adventist Hospital [WAH] in Maryland. Adventist historian George Gainer, provided the following statistics published by the Washington Post:
“As to numbers, participants in the “Pastors’ Protest Against Abortion” supplied the figure of 1,494 abortions performed at Washington Adventist Hospital from 1975 through July 1982. They said that the medical records office of the hospital supplied these statistics.”
This means that our WAH was averaging 213 abortions per year. Some have suggested that all these abortion might have been of therapeutic kind—resulting from rape, incest, and malformations—but the large number suggests the opposite. Even Planned Parenthood, the main provider of abortions in the world, did acknowledge that this kind of abortions represent a mere two percent of all abortions. Arguing that said abortions were all of the therapeutic kind would mean that had the hospital included elective abortions in their program, WAH would have done 10,650 abortions per year. This means that most likely 98 percent of them were of the elective type.
Abortion Statistics Published by an Independent Investigator
According to an independent investigator named Patrick Murebil, a decade later the same Adventist hospital reported 547 abortions per year; but by 2006 the number of abortions in the same institution dropped to 47, with 48 reported for the 2007 year. Why such a significant drop in the number of abortions; unfortunately both the People at our WAH and the General Conference [GC] are unwilling to assist in this investigation. I did write to the management at WAH and to Dr. Handysides at the GC about a year ago, and I am still waiting for a response. I also wrote to Ted Wilson, the GC president, asking for assistance with my research, but never got an answer.
A Public Source of Abortion Statistics for our Washington Adventist Hospital
This kind of stonewalling by the Adventist leadership prompted me to search for statistics from other sources, which providentially led me to the Health Services Cost Review Commission, [HSCRC] a State of Maryland agency charged with the responsibility of acting as a repository of hospital data and the services they provide to the public. From said source I was able to secure statistics for two Adventist hospitals, but I want to focus on one of them for which statistics are available from other sources.
Number of Inpatient Abortions performed at ourWashingtonAdventistHospital:
You might be surprised by the apparently sudden reduction in the number of abortions cases in said medical institution. For contrast purposes, let me post here a summary of all the available statistics to me:
Summary of Available Abortion Statistics for our Washington Adventist Hospital
1975-1982: 1492, which is equivalent to 213 per year
1993: 287 from January through June [half a year] which gives us an estimated 574/year
So the question is: Why the huge recent drop in the number of abortions performed at the WAH. The answer seems to be quite simple. The older data included both Inpatient and Outpatient statistics, while the newer data is for Inpatient cases only. When I contacted the HSCRC requesting the data for the 2008-2010 years, I was informed that the outpatient statistics were not available. This discrepancy in the numbers makes logical sense, since the modern tendency has been to offer abortion services on an outpatient basis.
Does this mean that the number of abortions has decreased? Perhaps, but we cannot be sure about this unless we can secure the missing data for the outpatient cases. Is this feasible?
My personal suspicion is that it is not. If the HSCRC agency cannot provide such data, who can? A correspondent of mine who has close connections with the General Conference office told me that he was informed that the church has made it almost impossible for anyone to secure accurate data about abortion statistics in Adventist hospitals. I may take a whistleblower to accomplish this!
Nevertheless, I am not giving up on my endeavor to solve this enigma, which has deepened when Ted Wilson, the current president of the GC, publicly announced a year ago at a public meeting in the city of Redlands that the elective abortions in Adventist hospitals is almost down to zero. The statistics posted above seemed to tell a different story, but I cannot be 100 percent sure until I secure additional statistics for the 2011 year, which I intend to procure. It may cost me several hundred dollars, but I intend to try. My suspicion is thatWilson may be in the dark about what is really taking place inside our medical facilities.
Ted Wilson is determined to push for a revival and reformation in our Adventist Church, and I wish him success. Nevertheless, his success will be very limited unless he decides to include the respect for the right to life of the unborn in his agenda. I have been praying for God’s blessings on his work twice a day. It is the first thing I do when I get up in the morning, and the last thing I do before retiring for the night. We need to repent of our participation in the genocide of the unborn! God is patient and merciful, but we need to repent of this great deviation from moral duty. May the Lord bless his church!
 George Gainer, ““The Wisdom of Solomon”?” Spectrum 19/4 (May 1989): 38-46; “Abortion: History of Adventist Guidelines” Ministry (Aug. 1991): 11-17.
 Gerald R. Winslow, “Abortion Policies in Adventist Hospitals” Specttum 19/4 (May 1989): 47-50. Accessed