Governor Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania announced major changes today following the revelations associated with the horrific conditions and the women and children Kermit Gosnell killed in abortions and infanticides. Those changes include accepting the resignation of, or dismissing, employees who failed to follow state law on monitoring abortion centers.
Corbett said he is upset at the way state officials in the administrations before his ignored the problems reported to the state health department about Gosnell’s abortion center and how it was violating health and safety standards.
“This doesn’t even rise to the level of government run amok. It was government not running at all. To call this unacceptable doesn’t say enough. It’s despicable,’’ Corbett said.
“It will be up to a jury to decide Dr. Gosnell’s guilt or innocence. It is up to me to decide how to stop such horrors from taking place again,’’ Corbett said.
On the first day of Corbett’s administration, a Philadelphia County grand jury report went public concerning the women Gosnell killed in a failed abortion, other women he injured in botched abortions, and the hundreds of babies Gosnell killed in abortion-infanticides where he purposefully birthed the babies in order to cut their spinal cords with medical scissors. Gosnell’s staff, who were untrained and unlicensed, engaged in medical procedures and his abortion center was filthy and covered in blood.
After getting the report, Corbett immediately ordered his nominees for Secretary of Health, Dr. Eli Avila, and Secretary of State, Carole Aichele, to review the charges and problems and recommend changes to the existing system of monitoring abortion centers to ensure they don’t happen again elsewhere. Corbett also held people responsible, — including seven members of the staff of the Department of Health, as well as the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, a branch of the Department of State, who are no longer employed.
Another four employees named in the grand jury report have resigned.
Michael Ciccocioppo, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, told LifeNews.com his group is delighted by the governor’s actions.
“We applaud Governor Tom Corbett for his leadership in responding to the atrocities found at Kermit Gosnell’s West Philadelphia abortion facility. The tragic loss of life there and the manner in which women were brutalized in that abortion center were truly horrific,” he said.
“We agree with the Governor that the state failed to properly oversee the facility, and we welcome the sweeping changes the Corbett Administration is making in an effort to protect women. The Gosnell case was a wake-up call for Pennsylvania and demonstrated the horrific conditions that can exist inside an abortion center,” Ciccocioppo added. “We are hopeful that the General Assembly will show similar courage in enacting legislation that will provide strict scrutiny of abortion facilities throughout the Commonwealth.”
According to the governor’s office, here are some of the changes the Corbett administration will implement:
At the Department of State:
•All complaints concerning a person or facility should be assigned to the same attorney. This will ensure proper management of each specific case.
•All attorneys will cross check all files, opened or closed, with other staff attorneys to ensure that any patterns of misconduct do not go unnoticed.
•Reports will be more detailed, including history of any prior complaints or violations.
•Attorneys will receive formal training on investigative procedures and instruction on rules and regulations, including prosecuting complaints.
At the Department of Health:
•Abortion clinics will now be held to a higher standard. Inspectors will come from the Division of Acute and Ambulatory Care, which is also responsible for inspecting Pennsylvania’s hospitals and out-patient surgery facilities. Registered nurses from the Department of Health will be trained to inspect these types of facilities for quality assurance and enforce regulations.
•All facilities will be inspected annually. Additional random inspections will be done unannounced, including weekends and evenings.
•Abortion facilities will be added to the same Department of Health computer system used to monitor hospitals and other medical facilities. This will make sure inspections are done in a timely fashion and standards are met. The computerized system will also track complaints, serious events and investigations.
•Inspection reports will be posted and searchable on the Department of Health website, just like other healthcare facilities.
•If inspectors find a deficiency, plans of correction will be required within 10 days, submitted online and automatically be made available to the public on the department’s website. Failure to comply will result in another on-site inspection. Failure to file a second plan of correction within a second 10-day period will result in an immediate suspension for the facility.
•Any facility that fails to report a serious incident – either to the state or the patient – will be fined up to $1,000 a day from the time of the serious event until the time the report is made. (A “serious event” is when a patient receives some level of harm, ranging from a minor, temporary injury to death, requiring additional health care treatment.)
•All serious events at abortion facilities will be reviewed within 48 hours by a physician and an on-site investigation will be conducted within five business days.
•Abortion clinics will be subject to the same complaint process as hospitals and other medical facilities in Pennsylvania.
•Abortion clinics will prominently display a poster with a 24-hour toll free number to the complaint line. Posters will be in English and Spanish. Any facility that fails to display the complaint information will be subject to possible suspension.
•Complaints will be taken from any source, entered into the computer system and assigned to the field office inspector, as they do for hospitals and surgical facilities. All complainants will receive a letter of acknowledgement and a follow-up letter after the investigation.
•All new abortion providers will be required to attend training on the state’s rules and regulations. All hospitals will be trained about reporting complications from abortions.
Together, the two departments will:
•Establish a set mechanism for sharing monthly data between agencies, including complaints, serious events, complications, deaths and investigations.
•Establish a process for joint investigations by agencies, including time frames and responsibilities.
•The Governor’s Office will continue, along with the departments of Health and State, to monitor the situation to decide whether additional action, either regulatory or legislative, is necessary.
The abortion industry has been forced to suspend two abortion businesses that employed embattled abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell, who has been the subject of national controversy over his abortion business in Philadelphia.
Following revelations that Gosnell is associatedwith two other abortion centers in Louisiana and Delaware, the National Abortion Federation made the decision to suspend the memberships of both. Atlantic Women’s Medical Services, the Delaware abortion business that employed Gosnell one day a week to do abortions, and the Delta Clinic abortion center of Baton Rouge, have both had their memberships suspended. Leroy Brinkley owns both abortion businesses. Atlantic operates abortion centers in Wilmington and Dover.
Delaware law does not require inspections of abortion centers but Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden said his office will launch a “wide-ranging” investigation of Gosnell and probe his work at the Delaware abortion facility given the vast problems at his Pennsylvania abortion center.
Gosnell has been charged with eight counts of murder and several of his staff at the abortion center, including his wife and sister-in-law, have been charged as well in the case with assisting in botched abortions, practicing medicine without a license or covering up the actions of those who did. The counts include grisly infanticides that involved Gosnell snipping the spines with scissors of babies who had purposefully been prematurely born so they could be killed moments later.
Mongar died November 20, 2009, after overdosing on anesthetics prescribed by the doctor, Williams said. Mongar’s family filed a lawsuitagainst Gosnell’s abortion business seeking damages.
“We want justice, this doctor has to be out of that clinic or he should not be treating anybody,” Damber Ghalley told CNN. “And the things that happen to my sister, I don’t want to happen to anybody in the future.”
He told CNN “the clinic was so dirty, filthy with blood stains and a dirty floor, everywhere dirty, I cannot describe how dirty it was.”
Gosnell has been denied bail while the case against him moves forward. Women have spoken out about their treatment and one woman says she was drugged and tied up and forced to have an abortion.
Authorities searching the facility last year found bags and bottles holding aborted babies scattered around the building, jars containing babies’ severed feet lining a shelf, as well as filthy, unsanitary furniture and equipment.
The grand jury investigation also shows state officials did nothingwhen reports came in about problems at Gosnell’s abortion center, which has upset incoming pro-life Governor Tom Corbett.