Pennsylvania Law Closes Abortion Biz, Five More Stop Abortions
by Steven Ertelt | Harrisburg, PA | LifeNews.com | 6/19/12 1:17 PM
A new abortion facility regulation law, passed after the horrifying discoveries at the abortion business Kermit Gosnell ran, is responsible for closing one abortion center in Pennsylvania and getting give others to stop doing abortions for now.
In the wake of abortion scandals involving Gosnell and unlicensed abortion practitioner and abortion clinic owner Steven Chase Brigham, Pennsylvania has passed a new abortion clinic licensing law that is set to go into effect today. The new law will require abortion clinics to submit to inspections and meet minimum safety standards.
One abortion clinic, Allegheny Women’s Center, voluntary closed rather than comply with the law and officials with Operation Rescue report five others will be forced to stop all surgical abortions as of today. A recorded telephone message at Allegheny Women’s Center in Pittsburgh informed callers that the abortion clinic closed “due to circumstances beyond our control.”
Out of Pennsylvania’s 22 abortion clinics, only one, Hillcrest Women’s Medical Center in Harrisburg, actually met all requirements and received a full license, Operation Rescue president Troy Newman says. Thirteen clinics, including all Planned Parenthood abortion facilities in the state, received provisional licenses will continue to supply surgical abortions on a temporary basis for the next 3-6 months. If the clinics do not meet all of the requirements by that time, they will no longer be allowed to do surgical abortions.
“All but one clinic could not initially meet all the standards. That fact alone speaks volumes to the shoddy conditions that exist at abortion clinics, not only in Pennsylvania, but across the nation,” said Newman, also of Pro-Life Nation. “These laws are important tools with which we can hold accountable an abortion industry that has run amok for over three decades.”
Maria Gallagher, legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, also commented on the effectiveness of the new law.
“For far too long, abortion facilities in Pennsylvania have been operating with little accountability,” she told LifeNews. “The Kermit Gosnell tragedy in West Philadelphia, where seven newborn babies and one female patient were killed, was a wake-up call. This new law is an important step in helping to protect the health and safety of women in Pennsylvania.”
“State regulators ignored complaints and failed to visit Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society for years. In the clinic, which was described as a “house of horrors,” Gosnell reportedly delivered hundreds of babies alive and then killed them by severing their spinal cords,” she said. “The Gosnell case showed that greater scrutiny of abortion facilities is needed to prevent such tragedies in the future.”
Act 122, which passed on Dec. 22, 2011, requires that abortion facilities be licensed as outpatient surgical facilities and subject to regular inspections. It also divides facilities into two categories: Class A facilities perform surgeries with local anesthesia only, and Class B facilities perform surgeries with anesthesia where the patient is not fully conscious.
When facilities were notified of the new requirements in January, 17 submitted exception requests. The Department of Health said Monday it expects 14 of the 22 facilities to qualify to perform surgical abortions. Of the remaining eight facilities, one voluntarily closed, two have been licensed through hospitals and the rest will only be allowed to perform medication-induced abortions that do not require surgery.
“We are hopeful that the state Health Department will be closely monitoring abortion facilities to ensure that they comply with the new law, and that swift and decisive action will be taken against abortion centers that violate health and safety standards,” Gallagher added.
Newman also indicated two abortion clinics affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania or the University of Pittsburgh have been placed under hospital regulations. The new law does allow the five clinics that must stop surgical abortions to continue to dispense the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug that has killed dozens of women and injured thousands more.
Illegal activities have resulted in stopping some abortion practitioners in the state, Newman adds.
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Last year, two abortion practitioners at Allegheny Women’s Center, John Barrett and Alton Lawson, were arrested for illegally prescribing drugs.
Gosnell and eight of his employees were arrested in January, 2011, and charged with numerous related to illegal late-term abortions. Gosnell and three of his employees were charged with murder for killing viable babies born alive during late-term abortions amid squalid conditions.
And New Jersey abortion practitioner Steven Chase Brigham, who is unlicensed in Pennsylvania, was banned from owning abortion clinics in the state.