December 14th, 2012 a tragedy happened in Newtown, Connecticut. A mass shooting which led to an almost immediate outcry for new gun control laws. More oversight from the government on gun owners and gun sellers in order to stop such a tragedy from occurring again. It was nearly impossible to turn on a television or get on the internet without seeing the media coverage and ensuing debate over gun safety.
On February 18th, 2010 an abortion clinic in Philadelphia was raided by the DEA and the police, because of an ongoing investigation into selling of prescriptions for powerful narcotics that was occurring in the premises.
They found something much worse. Which anyone who has been paying attention to the media coverage (sparse though it has been) or read the Grand Jury Report or watched coverage, such as this documentary, on what has happened.
By the statement of witnesses, under oath, classroom’s full of living, breathing babies were killed at the hands of Gosnell, while the state of Pennsylvania allowed his office to continue operated as a “legal and safe” licensed abortion clinic.
This was despite dozens of complaints, the death of at least one adult woman at the hands of Gosnell and his untrained staff, his “clinic” (one might more accurately call it a “modern Auschwitz” complete with it’s own modern Josef Mengele) continued to operate unchecked. He was given free reign as a state sanctioned serial killer as a result.
He could not have committed mass murder on such a scale in any other way. Had he walked into a hospital nursery and begun shooting children with an AR-15 he would have been killing the children more humanely than he killed the children at his clinic and he would have killed far fewer, because there would have been swift action taken to stop him. Instead he was allowed to continue his actions for more than 40 years!
Why? Because the state of Pennsylvania had not inspected his clinic in 13 years. In fact, since 1993 the state of Pennsylvania’s Department of Health had not conducted yearly inspections of Abortions clinics at all. As the Grand Jury Report comments:
We discovered that Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has deliberately chosen not to enforce laws that should afford patients at abortion clinics the same safeguards and assurances of quality health care as patients of other medical service providers. Even nail salons in Pennsylvania are monitored more closely for client safety.
Why was this the case? The Grand Jury Report answers that question as well.
Staloski blamed the decision to abandon supposedly annual inspections of abortion clinics on DOH lawyers, who, she said, changed their legal opinions and advice to suit the policy preferences of different governors. Under Governor Robert Casey, she said, the department inspected abortion facilities annually. Yet, when Governor Tom Ridge came in, the attorneys interpreted the same regulations that had permitted annual inspections for years to no longer authorize those inspections. Then, only complaint driven inspections supposedly were authorized. Staloski said that DOH’s policy during Governor Ridge’s administration was motivated by a desire not to be “putting a barrier up to women” seeking abortions.
Brody confirmed some of what Staloski told the Grand Jury. He described a meeting of high-level government officials in 1999 at which a decision was made not to accept a recommendation to reinstitute regular inspections of abortion clinics. The reasoning, as Brody recalled, was: “there was a concern that if they did routine inspections, that they may find a lot of these facilities didn’t meet [the standards for getting patients out by stretcher or wheelchair in an emergency], and then there would be less abortion facilities, less access to women to have an abortion.”
“[L]ess access to women to have an abortion.” That was the concern of the Department of Health. They were not worried about the quality of care or that abortion clinics provided safe, clean, legal aid to women looking for abortions. They just wanted to insure that women would have access to the ability to have as many abortions as they wanted, damn the consequences. That’s obvious, seeing as Gosnell’s clinic was still not investigated or inspected for 13 years, even after a woman died in the clinic because of an overdose of anesthesia, given to her by untrained and unlicensed assistants at the clinic. Numerous complaints were filed against him, not once was his “clinic” inspected.
One would think that women would be more concerned about having their uterus or bowels perforated, being permanently sterilized by botched abortions, bleeding to death, given infections by retaining pieces of fetal tissue, or being given gonorrhea or chlamydia by improperly sterilized tools than they would be about how readily available an abortion clinic was available to them in their neighborhood.
In fact, go ask a woman who is going to get an abortion what their opinion is on this.
Ask them if they would be willing to risk infection with STDs, sterilization, hospitalization, major surgery, or death just so they could have an abortion clinic on every other block.
Somehow I doubt women who are looking for an abortion are going to head to a clinic with a history of those exact problems, even if the clinic was free. Hell, I doubt they would go if they were being PAID to have the abortion there.
Do you really think that’s it’s reasonable to allow medical offices to operate with so little oversight or regulation?
I’m not even arguing about the legality or morality of abortion. I’m certainly not using this case as a pulpit to argue my pro-life stance…except that I believe that women should expect that, when she goes to a doctor to have ANY procedure done, she will be treated by professionals, she will be treated by trained staff, and she will be treated in a clean and safe environment.
So where is the outcry for more oversight and regulation of abortion clinics? I’m seeing a whole lot of nothing from the pro-choice side of the fence.
If you believe in a women’s right to choose, then why don’t you believe in a woman’s right to choose to not be treated at a clinic that may permanently maim her. To do that, these places must be regulated.
People like Donna Brazile and Amanda Marcotte are quick to blame the horror’s that Gosnell perpetrated on women and children on the actions of people who are pro-life.
Pause and let that sink in. Can you figure out the contortions of logic that they had to go through to decide that? No?
Okay, here’s their tweets on the subject.
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) April 12, 2013
The problem with this is, of course, that there was no reason for the patients of Gosnell’s clinic (on either the abortion or family practice side) to believe that Gosnell was not a “legal and safe” option. He certainly wasn’t “underground” or back alley as both these women are trying to tell their followers.
In fact, neither was the Delaware Planned Parenthood that is being shut down for almost identical health reasons as Gosnell’s clinic. Oddly enough Delaware abortion clinics are not currently regularly inspected either.
This is a serious problem!
How many other states implement similar “regulations” (or lack there of) on facilities that are performing medical procedures that are often dangerous and invasive.
This is our wake-up call and what a gruesome one it is. Look up your state laws on abortion clinics and how/when they are inspected. Do your own research, do a little James O’Keefe style reporting. Hold abortion clinics accountable, even if your state isn’t going to .
Wake up and smell the roses. Whether you are pro-choice or pro-life, we need to agree that oversight and regulation on these clinics is a necessity for the time being, no matter what happens with the legality of abortion in the future.
“No law or set of laws can keep our children completely safe. But if there’s even one thing we can do, if there’s just one life we can save, we’ve got an obligation to try.”
Yes, Mr. President. I agree.
Though considering your voting record, I would say that you’re more than a little hypocritical.