Published July 24, 2012
Planned Parenthood is facing new calls for congressional scrutiny after a Chicago woman died following an abortion at a local clinic last week.
Twenty-four-year old Tonya Reaves died Friday of hemorrhaging following the abortion, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. Her death has been ruled an accident.
While Planned Parenthood afterward issued a statement expressing condolences to the family, the abortion provider's most vocal critics in Washington swiftly began calling for a closer look into the group's safety guidelines and financial practices.
Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., who launched a probe into Planned Parenthood earlier this year, is now calling for a public hearing on Capitol Hill.
"I would like to put them under oath," he told Fox News. "I would like to find out how they spend our half a billion dollars, and I would also like to explore some of the safety aspects, particularly in light of this death, of this tragedy."
Stearns claims that since he launched a congressional probe, all he's gotten are thousands of pages of irrelevant documents and no answers to his questions.
The anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List also called for congressional oversight in the wake of Reaves' death.
"Congress has an obligation to exercise clear and regular oversight of businesses like Planned Parenthood that receive hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer funding and have such dramatic impact on the lives of women and unborn children," Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement. "We must not allow Tonya Reaves to have died in vain, but rather heed this warning and call on Congress to exercise its full capacity to investigate Planned Parenthood."
Planned Parenthood's national office so far has not responded to requests from Fox News for comment. The Illinois chapter of Planned Parenthood released the following statement, which ran over the weekend in local media:
"While legal abortion services in the United States have a very high safety record, a tragedy such as this is devastating to loved ones, and we offer our deepest sympathies. Planned Parenthood of Illinois cares deeply about the health and safety of each and every patient."
The Guttmacher Institute reports that nationally, abortion has become much safer since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. One study, which cited data from the '90s, said fewer than .3 percent of abortion patients "have complications requiring hospitalization."
"Today, having an abortion in the United States involves far less short-term risk than carrying a pregnancy to term," the report said.
Fox News' Shannon Bream contributed to this report.