Maryland Abortion Regulations Draw Pro-Life Groups’ Support

State   Steven Ertelt   Aug 4, 2011   |   6:14PM    Annapolis, MD

New regulations put forward by the Maryland health department are getting support from pro-life groups that say they could go a long way in protecting women, unborn children and shutting down abortion centers.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) has published draft regulations for sites performing surgical abortions and the Maryland Catholic Conference released a statement today saying these draft regulations will protect women.

“The fact that the regulations are based on those that govern other outpatient surgical facilities demonstrates DHMH’s commitment to protecting patients undergoing all types of invasive surgical procedures, including abortion,” the organization said. “While there are a few places in the document where important elements have been omitted and the protection afforded women can be improved, overall the regulations will do much to stop the needless maternal deaths and injuries that have occurred in Maryland’s abortion clinics.”

“We especially appreciate the efforts of DHMH to work closely with stakeholders to draft protections that everyone can live with,” the Catholic Conference said. “It also must be said that none of this would have been possible without the voices of Marylanders, those who consider themselves pro-choice as well as those who consider themselves pro-life, speaking out and calling for an end to 18 years of unregulated and unsafe abortion clinics.”

Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, said today that the regulations are needed because Maryland could follow Pennsylvania in having another Kermit Gosnell — killing and injuring women in botched abortions.

“It’s been eight months since Americans were introduced to Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia clinic owner who butchered unborn children and traumatized their mothers. In the aftermath of Gosnell’s horror show, several leaders have taken serious steps to keep those tragedies from being repeated in their own states,” he said.

“Perhaps the biggest crime–apart from Gosnell’s own actions–was Pennsylvania’s negligence. According to the grand jury report, state officials did virtually nothing to monitor abortion clinics, sentencing thousands of women to filthy–and even fatal–conditions,” Perkins continued. “That’s all about to change in some areas, where even the most pro-abortion states, like Maryland, are beginning to address these issues.”

“This month, at the urging of pro-life state legislators in Maryland, the state issued a set of draft regulations to protect women from the squalor and malpractice that’s been evident in other clinics. According to the health department, the rules “reflect the right balance of preserving both safety and access.” Everything that Gosnell did wrong seems to be combated in the measure,” Perkins said. “Among other things, Maryland is proposing a mandatory state licensure for abortion clinics, a 24-hour hotline for patients, emergency plans and procedures, and proof of qualified anesthetists. Any office that fails to comply would face a $1,000 fine.”

Perkins says pro-life Maryland residents need to tell the health department they like the proposal.

“Since the regulations will be up for public comment, Planned Parenthood and company will be flooding the website with objections. If you live in Maryland, you can help counter that negativity by affirming the rules on the health department’s site. Email regs@dhmh.state.md.us to make your voice heard,” he concluded.