Rep. Jackie Speier (D., Calif.) on Wednesday said abortion procedures are safer than having one's wisdom teeth removed.
"Abortions are one of the safest procedures you could do on an outpatient basis, safer than doing an endoscopy or doing a wisdom teeth extraction," Speier said.
Speier made the comment while walking to the Supreme Court to express support for abortion rights as the justices heard oral arguments about a Louisiana abortion access law. Opponents of the law argue it is meant to shut down abortion clinics across the state. The law would require doctors who perform abortions to maintain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, where a woman may need emergency care following problems with an abortion procedure.
Speier argued the Louisiana law is purely political since abortions are "extremely safe." There are 22 states not required to report any data on postabortion complications so it is unclear how many women ultimately suffer from the procedure. There is also no federal requirement for clinics to report abortion complications or manufacturers to track complications that follow a medical abortion.
Risks of a surgical abortion include hemorrhage, infection, and injury to the uterus or cervix. A medicated abortion procedure includes risks such as incomplete abortion (ongoing pregnancy), heavy and continued bleeding, infection, fever, and digestive system discomfort.