New York Health Official Resigns After Failing to Inspect Abortion Clinics

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 10, 2014   |   10:33AM   |   Washington, DC

The New York state health department is potentially allowing another Kermit Gosnell to operate — with late-term abortions killing live babies, botched abortions killing and injuring women, and operating in dilapidated and shoddy conditions.

Some of those conditions included the fact that exam rooms were contaminated with insects and parasites.

Recently, the Chiaroscuro Foundation has obtained records of clinic inspections performed by the New York State Department of Health since 2000 by Freedom of Information Request. As the New York Post reports, the findings are less than encouraging: of the 225 abortion providers operating in New York, only 25 clinics were inspected over 13 years.

inspectionNow, “State Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah is stepping down amid criticism over his agency’s failure to conduct regular inspections of abortion clinics and for delays in releasing a long-awaited fracking study,” the Post reports.

Word of Shah’s resignation late Wednesday came as the Health Department announced it was scrambling to inspect 25 abortion clinics ”within the coming days” — after The Post reported that it hadn’t visited many of them in more than a decade.

The abortion clinic controversy also became a political hot potato for Gov. Cuomo when GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino Wednesday accused the Health Department of neglect and called on Shah to resign.

“Everyone on all sides of the abortion question was horrified by the revelations in the trial of Kermit Gosnell last year,” said Greg Pfundstein, president of the Chiaroscuro Foundation.

He told “As we learned about the house of horrors he ran in Philadelphia, and as it came out that the state of Pennsylvania had made a political decision to stop inspecting abortion clinics, we began to wonder whether any inspections were being done in New York. We are encouraged to know that some inspection is done in New York, but we can’t say on the basis of what the State has done over the last 13 years that anyone should be confident there is not a Kermit Gosnell at work somewhere in New York.”

The State refuses the reveal the names of the clinics which were inspected, the Chiaroscuro Foundation said.

“Women deserve to know whether a clinic they are about to visit has been inspected and is in compliance with health regulations,” said Chiaroscuro spokeswoman Molly O’Connor, “A surgical abortion is an invasive procedure, and safety is of paramount importance.”

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According to the group, there have been 1,145,261 abortions reported in New York City alone since 2000, during which time the Department of Health executed only 45 inspections.

The Chiaroscuro Foundation, which works to reduce the number of abortions in New York, a state often called the abortion the abortion capital of America, said that organizations on all sides of the abortion issue to join them in calling for an investigation.

“Women’s health is women’s health,” O’Connor continued. “Whether you are an abortion supporter or an abortion opponent, we should all stand firmly on the side of safety. We urge NARAL and other abortion groups to join together with us in demanding answers from New York State.”