Gov. Mary Fallin on Wednesday signed the bill that requires abortion clinics to have a physician with admitting privileges at a nearby hospital present when an abortion is done on an unborn baby.
When the state of Texas clamped down on abortion clinics that could not follow basic health and safety standards and failed to ensure abortion practitioners had admitting privileges at local hospitals in cases where women are injured in botched abortions, abortion clinics closed down because they couldn’t comply. As many as 20 Texas abortion clinics have closed or stopping doing abortions.
The pro-life bill will protect women by ensuring that abortionists have admitting privileges at a local hospital, which is a health and safety standard many abortion clinics who put women’s health at risk can’t meet.
Based on Americans United for Life model legislation found in the Women’s Protection Project, the bill is designed to protect women from “house of horrors” clinics such as the clinic in which convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell operated.
“Common-sense regulation of abortion clinics is not only popular with Americans, it represents the very least that the highly profitable abortion industry should do for women,” said AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “For too long an under-regulated, rarely monitored and unaccountable abortion industry has pushed the boundaries of the law to increase profits. If abortion clinics are as safe as their lobby claims, why do they fight following the same kinds of standards that apply to other medical facilities?”
The Oklahoma law would require that across the board standards be applied to every abortion clinic. Current law allows each clinic to submit their own operational plan for review by the state.
“Across the country, news of women dying in abortion clinics has been too common and illustrates why under-regulated clinics should not be left to their own devices,” said Dr. Yoest. “Thanks to Senator Greg Treat and Representative Randy Grau for their leadership on this important bill.”
Why are laws requiring abortion practitioners to hold admitting privileges necessary? Consider Angela’s story.
Angela was twenty weeks pregnant when she walked into a dingy abortion clinic in Santa Ana, California, on August 7, 2004. Her abortion was completed in five minutes with little or no pain relief by an 84-year old abortionist, Phillip Rand, who rotated his time between several clinics throughout Southern California.
When he was done with Angela’s abortion, he got in his car and began the three-hour drive on congested California freeways to another abortion clinic in Chula Vista, near the Mexican border, where he had more patients waiting. But when Angela started bleeding heavily, the two medical aids, who were the only ones left in the clinic, didn’t know what to do. One called Rand and asked him to return to the clinic to help the hemorrhaging women, but Rand refused. He was already an hour or so away and didn’t want to go back and risk losing business in Chula Vista. He told them to call 911 if she got any worse.
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Angela did get worse – much worse. By the time paramedics arrived, it was too late. They found her in a pool of her own blood. There was no oxygen or no crash cart at the clinic, but it is doubtful that the two minimally-trained aids would have know how to operate them if they had been available. Angela was transported to a local hospital where she later died.
One paramedic was so incensed by how he found Angela that he reported Rand to his supervisor who, in turn, notified the Medical Board. A signed declaration from the paramedic noted, “This was the worst post-partum patient situation at a medical clinic I have ever encountered during my time as a paramedic.” Twenty months later Rand surrendered his medical license.
For Angela, there was no continuity of care. Rand held no hospital privileges. This allowed him to operate well below the standard of care at the cost of one woman’s life.