Virginia Activists Admit: It’s Abortion, Not Women’s Health

State   |   Bill Saunders   |   Feb 25, 2011   |   1:01PM   |   Richmond, VA

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, under legislation passed yesterday, any physician’s office performing five or more first trimester abortions a month will now be classified as a hospital, subject to special regulations established by the state Board of Health within the next 280 days.

Upset by the new legislation – which passed by a bipartisan vote – Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw (D-Fairfax) said, “You know and I know there isn’t but one issue involved here.  It’s abortion. … It isn’t women’s health.” 

There is an unfortunate history of harm to women done by the “legal” abortion industry that refutes the Senator’s assertion.

While the mantra of the abortion lobby has equated “legality” with “safety,” legalized abortion has not eliminated substandard medical care, kept people without medical licenses from performing abortions, ended the use of dirty, unsanitary procedure rooms and unsterile, inadequate instrumentation, ensured competent post-abortion care, nor prevented women from dying from unsafe abortions.

The issue has received some national attention as the ghastly accounts of what went on inside Kermit Gosnell’s “House of Horrors” abortion clinic in Philadelphia were revealed by a grand jury report.  But the harms to women at his clinic are not an isolated incident. 

At least ten states have ongoing investigations of abortion clinics and abortion providers for offenses including violations of health and safety codes, improper disposal of medical waste and patient records, failure to meet medical standards and licensure requirements, placing a patient in “potential life-threatening danger,” and death of patients

To help remedy the epidemic of substandard conditions at the nation’s abortion clinics and for states that have already enacted minimal health and safety standards for abortion clinics, AUL has developed the “Abortion Patients’ Enhanced Safety Act,” legislation which requires abortion clinics to meet the same health, safety, staffing, and other standards as ambulatory surgical centers, health care facilities that specialize in providing outpatient surgeries.

Perhaps Senator Saslaw was merely announcing his motivation for voting against the common-sense regulation when he said, “It’s abortion. … It isn’t women’s health.”  However, failure to adequately regulate abortion clinics does not make sense if you care about women’s health.