Congress Launches Abortion Investigation After Kermit Gosnell Horrors

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 9, 2013   |   1:16PM   |   Washington, DC

A House committee has launched a nationwide investigation in response to the trial of Kermit Gosnell, the abortion practitioner charged with multiple counts of murder for gruesome abortions and infanticides.

The move follows letters from another committee to public health officials in all 50 states asking them what they are doing to prevent “House of Horrors” abortion clinics like the one Kermit Gosnell ran in Pennsylvania.

Because the Gosnell Grand Jury report identified a “regulatory collapse” that allowed Gosnell to go undetected for decades, the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to all 50 state attorneys general asking questions about efforts to protect the civil rights of newborns and their mothers.

The grand jury report specifies that inspections of abortion clinics were discontinued by the administration of a pro-choice governor who “was motivated by a desire not to be ‘putting up a barrier to women.’”

Responding to that, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee Chairman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) have sent a letter to all 50 state attorneys general seeking to find out if state and local governments are being stymied in their efforts to protect the civil rights of newborns and their mothers and if the federal government might be able to partner with states to prevent newborn homicides.

The letter asks the state attorneys general to respond to several questions and to provide copies of any official written procedures or guidance that relate to the gathering of information on, or the prosecution of, newborn homicides by June 1, 2013.

This letter follows the shocking allegations against Kermit Gosnell, who is charged with the serial murder of infants, the murder of a female patient, and other felonies committed in the operation of his abortion clinic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The grand jury report found that in Pennsylvania, numerous state and city regulatory agencies failed to adequately prevent violations of the law under a situation the report calls “regulatory collapse.”

Meanwhile, Congressman Stephen Fincher, a Tennessee Republican, along with two other co-sponsors, introduced H. Res. 206, a resolution calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to review public policies that led to illegal abortion practices, such as those of Gosnell.

The resolution, which was introduced with three original co-sponsors: Fincher, Rep. Stutzman (R-IN) and Rep. Blackburn (R-TN) resolves “Congress and States should gather information about and correct abusive, unsanitary, and illegal abortion practices and the interstate referral of women and girls to facilities engaged in dangerous or illegal second- and third-trimester procedures.”

“The more I hear about the Gosnell trial, the more my heart breaks,” Fincher told LifeNews. “With today’s technology you can actually see the baby grow, move and hear their little heart beats. Late-term abortions are unconscionable. As a nation, it’s time to put politics aside and do the right thing to protect innocent little babies.”

Stutzman added, “We owe it to the weakest among us to investigate public policies and abortion practices to determine what can be done to prevent more of these barbaric crimes. In a nation grounded upon equal protection under the law, Congress has an obligation to gather the facts and prevent future atrocities.”

Blackburn said: “Gosnell has debunked the myth that abortion in America is safe, legal, and rare. No one — not the President, Planned Parenthood, nor the mainstream media — can defend that lie anymore. America is better than allowing Gosnell-like clinic conditions and Gosnell-like abortions from being swept under the rug like nothing ever happened and that women and children never died. Oversight and enforcement are desperately needed so we can help stop these Gosnell abortion horror stories from continuing.”



Below are excerpts from the committee’s letter.  A copy of one of the letters can be found here.

“By now you are surely aware of the trial of Kermit Gosnell. The Pennsylvania Department of Health, whose job it is to monitor facilities like Gosnell’s, conducted sporadic site reviews between 1979 and 1993, citing various violations.  But for ‘political reasons’ the Department of Health decided to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all in 1993.

“We have all been shocked by the tragedy in Pennsylvania, and we know many states have strong laws to protect against these types of murders.  We are simply writing to gather information about these laws and to see how the federal government might partner with states to help prevent similar atrocities.

“We presume that each of you, upon learning of the failures highlighted by the Gosnell trial, have considered what your state governments are doing to ensure that similar crimes could not be perpetrated in your state.  As federal officeholders, we too have an obligation to find out whether newborn infants—who are unquestionably persons under the law, regardless of one’s views on abortion—are being denied their most basic civil rights.  We are seeking to find out if state and local governments are being stymied in their efforts to protect the civil rights of newborns and their mothers by legal or financial obstacles that are within the federal government’s power to address.”