Pennsylvania Panel OKs Post-Gosnell Abortion Ctr Inspection Bill

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 27, 2011   |   1:33PM   |   Harrisburg, PA

A Pennsylvania state House panel today approved a bill that would subject abortion centers into the state to regular inspections that could result in fines or closing them if they breach state health and safety laws like the one run by Kermit Gosnell.

The House Health Committee passed SB 732 out of committee with a good amendment added to the bill sponsored by Rep. Baker to remove the requirement that this issue be studied first before holding abortion facilities accountable. SB 732 closely resembles HB 574, which passed the House in May by an overwhelming vote of 148-43.  SB 732 would require abortion facilities to meet the same health and safety standards already being followed by ambulatory surgical facilities.

“We are pleased that the Pennsylvania General Assembly is making progress in holding abortion facilities in the Commonwealth more accountable,” said Maria Vitale, Education Director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

“Hundreds of newborn babies died and countless numbers of women were harmed at Kermit Gosnell’s West Philadelphia abortion facility.  This unspeakable tragedy points to the need for stricter scrutiny of abortion centers in Pennsylvania. Senate Bill 732, as amended, is a victory for women’s health and safety,” Vitale told LifeNews.

The Pennsylvania Senate has already passed the bill that would crack down on abortion centers in the wake of the scandal involving Kermit Gosnell, the abortion practitioner who ran a horrific abortion center.

Gosnell’s center was found to be filthy and in violation of numerous state health and safety laws and he put women’s health at risk with botched abortions that ultimately killed at least one woman and injured others. Gosnell also used a live birth abortion technique that essentially had him birthing unborn children for the sole purpose of killing them in infanticides using medical scissors to “snip” their spinal cords. The aftermath of numerous investigations found state officials ignored complaints about the abortion center and that the state government had not inspected it or other abortion businesses.

“It is time for abortion centers to play by the same rules that govern ambulatory surgical centers,” said Vitale. “For far too long, abortion facilities have been operating in the dark. For the sake of women’s health and safety, it’s time for abortion centers to be held accountable.”

“The passage of Senate Bill 732 with Senator Bob Mensch’s amendment is a response to the atrocities which took place at abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society.  Gosnell and his unlicensed staff are charged with the murders of seven newborn babies and one female patient, but the grand jury believes that Gosnell was actually responsible for the deaths of hundreds of babies, while harming untold numbers of women,” she explained. “Nail salons in Pennsylvania have had greater scrutiny than abortion facilities.  The women of Pennsylvania deserve better, and enhanced oversight of abortion centers is long overdue.”

The Mensch Amendment would ensure that abortion facilities abide by the safety standards of ambulatory surgical facilities. Another amendment, advanced by Senator Pat Vance, would require that a study be conducted to see how much it would cost abortion centers to abide by the standards that govern such legitimate medical centers.

“The Vance Amendment is unnecessary,” Vitale said. “Abortion centers should comply with basic outpatient surgery standards as a matter of course.  The lives of women depend on it.”

Gosnell and several staffers at his abortion center, including his wife Pearl, were arrested in January after a grand jury indicted them on multiple charges after officials raided his abortion business following a woman’s death and discovered a “shop of horrors” filled with bags of bodies and body parts of deceased unborn children and babies killed in infanticides. Pearl Gosnell, Kermit’s 49-year-old wife who has no medical license, faces a charge of providing an abortion at 24 or more weeks and conspiracy and other charges.

Last March, the Pennsylvania Department of Health found the abortion center had violated more than a dozen health and safety laws ranging from a lack of equipment and drugs for emergency resuscitation to not having a way to get patients to a hospital or a backup physician. In the raid, officials found jars containing the remains of pre-born babies dating back 30 years along with filthy and unsafe conditions and evidence that unlicensed workers had been illegally treating patients. The office has no access for a stretcher in the case of an emergency. In previous emergencies, care was delayed because exit doors were padlocked shut or blocked with debris from the clinic.

But, the grand jury investigation also shows state officials did nothing when reports came in about problems at Gosnell’s abortion center, which has upset incoming pro-life Governor Tom Corbett who fired several state employees.

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.