Delaware Bill Responds to Gosnell, Inspects Abortion Centers

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 18, 2011   |   12:16PM   |   Dover, DE

Responding to the problems associated with embattled abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell, who did abortions in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and in Delaware, the Delaware legislature has approved a new bill calling for abortion center inspections.

Gosnell is the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania abortion business owner who ran one of the most filthy and unregulated abortion centers ever exposed and his shoddy practices resulted in the deaths of and injury to women from botched abortions. He also engaged in a brutal practice of live-birth abortions that saw him purposely prematurely birth babies and, afterwards, he would “snip” their spinal cords with medical scissors.

A House committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would give state health officials authority to inspect abortion facilities and legitimate medical centers that perform outpatient surgeries — a power state health officials currently do not have.

Rep. Bryon Short, a Democrat, is the sponsor of House Bill 47 and it was filed in response to the massive health and safety problems at Gosnell’s abortion facility and the eight charges he faces concerning a woman who died from a botched abortion and seven murder charges related to the hundreds of babies he killed in abortion-infanticide procedures. Gosnell also worked at the Atlantic Women’s Services abortion center in Wilmington, Delaware and started abortions there that he finished outside of Delaware law in Philadelphia.

“It really is a logical follow-up to the Bradley bills that we dealt with last year,” Short said, according to Delaware online. But republicans say the measure should go further than it does.

“I do not feel that this bill does what the people of the state of Delaware need to be done here in this chamber. You left out the fact that it does not mandate any inspections,” said Rep. Joe Miro, one Republican legislator. The bill makes it so inspections are only conducted when complaints from patients or their guardians are initiated, but the bill does not require periodic inspections.

The news web site indicates Short said he expects to introduce a second bill that would require inspections and also accreditation with a national medical organization for all abortion centers in the state, but Republicans on the committee would rather pass one bill that accomplishes both tasks.

The bill also concerns pro-life groups because it reportedly exempts “free-standing medical clinics” and they are concerned that Delaware state law defining a free-standing surgical center makes it so most, if not all, abortion facilities are excepted. But the news web site says Mary Peterson, of the Office of Health Facilities Licensing and Certification, said abortion businesses would not fall under that code.

The committee passed the bill 7-4 and now the full state House will consider the legislation.

During a hearing before the state medical board on Tuesday night, Delaware officials say abortion practitioner Albert Dworkin helped embattled abortionist Kermit Gosnell avoid state law and enabled him to run the shoddy abortion business in neighboring Philadelphia.

Gosnell not only operated in southeast Pennsylvania, but he was employed at the Delaware abortion facility known as Atlantic Women’s Medical Services, with offices in Wilmington and Dover, Delaware, where he would work one day per week to do abortions. That abortion center has already come under investigation from Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden and reportedly falsified abortion reports to state officials.

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.

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.

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 who fired several state employees.