Switch to Pro-Abortion Governor Allowed Abortionist Horror

State   |   Maria Vitale   |   Jan 21, 2011   |   11:32AM   |   Harrisburg, PA

The grand jury calls him a butcher of women. If the charges are proven correct, he is a butcher of baby girls and boys too, a poster boy for what Roe v Wade has wrought.

The horror story playing out in the city of Brotherly Love features a veteran abortionist without ob/gyn training who has been brutalizing his fellow human beings for decades. Yet, until recently, hair salons received greater scrutiny than Kermit Gosnell’s little shop of abortion horrors.

This is a tale of unspeakable crimes, exploitation of the poor and the immigrant, medical malpractice, and murder. But it is also a cautionary political tale.

Pennsylvania boasts one of the strongest, oldest, and most comprehensive pro-life laws in the nation. Today it ranks among the top three states in the nation according to American United for Life’s listing of states and how they deal with pro-life issues. The Keystone State is also home to a landmark alternatives to abortion program, administered by Real Alternatives, Inc., which is a ground-breaking endeavor that has become a model for the rest of the nation. Had the U.S. Supreme Court been more amenable, a Pennsylvania court case, Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, could have toppled Roe way back in the ‘90s.

Given this pro-life pedigree, how could the Commonwealth be the setting for one of the worst abortion stories ever to hit the pages of the nation’s daily newspapers?

The question is not simply rhetorical. There’s a one-word answer: politics.

And it is not simply pro-lifers who are saying so.

A panel convened to investigate Gosnell’s sordid business came up with the same answer—even though the individuals involved “cover a spectrum of personal beliefs about the morality of abortion,” according to the grand jury report.

The grand jury noted that the first line of defense against Gosnell was the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The department conducted site reviews of Gosnell’s abortion facility in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Violations were duly noted—although not corrected.

“But at least the department had been doing something up to that point, however ineffectual,” the grand jury report states.

Yet, in 1993, the oversight disappeared.

“Not because of administrative ennui, although there had been plenty. Instead, the Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all. The politics in question were not anti-abortion, but pro,” the grand jury report said.

When the Governor’s office changed hands from pro-life Bob Casey Sr. to “pro-choice” Tom Ridge, according to the grand jury, health officials suddenly concluded that inspections would be “putting a barrier up to women” seeking abortions.

“Better to leave clinics to do as they pleased, even though, as Gosnell proved, that meant both women and babies would pay,” the grand jury said.

Up until a few days ago, Pennsylvania had another pro-abortion Governor at the helm, Ed Rendell, who apparently continued the practice of laissez-faire regulation. But now, the winds of change are blowing through the Harrisburg Capitol, and there’s a new sheriff in town, Governor Tom Corbett.

Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley was quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer as saying, “The Corbett administration will review the allegations contained in the grand jury’s report regarding deficiencies in oversight by both the department of state and the department of health and make it a priority to address those deficiencies. This has to do with enforcing regulations and the law.”

What a difference an election makes.