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Abortion centers held to higher standard of health

by | Jun 19, 2012

Abortionist Kermit Gosnell

Harrisburg, PA – Stronger regulations for abortion centers go into effect today across Pennsylvania, providing greater protection for women’s health and safety.

“For far too long, abortion facilities in Pennsylvania have been operating with little accountability” said Maria Gallagher, legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. “The Kermit Gosnell tragedy in West Philadelphia, where seven newborn babies and one female patient were killed, was a wake-up call.  This new law is an important step in helping to protect the health and safety of women in Pennsylvania.”

Act 122, which passed on Dec. 22, 2011, requires that abortion facilities be licensed as outpatient surgical facilities and subject to regular inspections. It also divides facilities into two categories: Class A facilities perform surgeries with local anesthesia only, and Class B facilities perform surgeries with anesthesia where the patient is not fully conscious.

When facilities were notified of the new requirements in January, 17 submitted exception requests. The Department of Health said Monday it expects 14 of the 22 facilities to qualify to perform surgical abortions.

Of the remaining eight facilities, one voluntarily closed, two have been licensed through hospitals and the rest will only be allowed to perform medication-induced abortions that do not require surgery.

“We are hopeful that the state Health Department will be closely monitoring abortion facilities to ensure that they comply with the new law, and that swift and decisive action will be taken against abortion centers that violate health and safety standards,” Gallagher added.  

State regulators ignored complaints and failed to visit Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society for years. In the clinic, which was described as a “house of horrors,” Gosnell reportedly delivered hundreds of babies alive and then killed them by severing their spinal cords.

The Gosnell case showed that greater scrutiny of abortion facilities is needed to prevent such tragedies in the future.