NRL News

West Virginia Attorney General Sends Letter to two abortion clinics

by | Jun 26, 2013

By Dave Andrusko

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

It is crucial to remember that abortionist Kermit Gosnell, convicted of three counts of first-degree murder, could never have operated with impunity what the Philadelphia District Attorney called a “Baby Charnel House” had there not been what DA Seth Williams correctly labeled a complete “system failure” on the part of the Pennsylvania Department of State and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, which ignored years of complaints and allowed Gosnell to operate without inspection for 17 years.

There were some laws on the books, not exactly toothless, but hardly comprehensive. But for a host of reasons—bureaucratic lethargy, pro-abortion governors, and the fact that most of the women were poor—it is no surprise that Gosnell was surprised when he was hauled before a judge: he’d gone nearly two decades free of oversight.

Pro-lifers have worked even harder in the last two years to prove to lawmakers and public health officials that Gosnell is not an anomaly and that abortion clinics should not be—as they are in many cases—less tightly regulated that tattoo parlors.

That’s why it’s so encouraging to read an editorial in the Wheeling News-Register, dated June 23, under the headline, “Safeguard W. Va. Women, Babies.”

According to the newspaper, which begin its editorial by talking about Gosnell, “After learning a similar lack of oversight exists in West Virginia, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is investigating the state’s two legal abortion clinics, both in Charleston.”

The state does regulate numerous health professionals–including massage therapists, chiropractors and acupuncturists, Morrisey said—“But abortion clinics are neither licensed nor regulated by the state.” He added, “Regardless of one’s position on abortion, the state needs to evaluate this basic fact.”

Naturally, this is bringing the usual howls of protest from pro-abortionists.

But as the newspaper points out, in his three-page letter Morrisey is only asking for the kind of information that should be known: “Among them are how late in pregnancy they will perform elective abortions and how they handle women who may revoke consent before or during abortions.”

There are other questions in Morrisey’s letter that track what happened at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society, including “What are your policies with respect to informed consent?” and “How do your physicians determine the type and appropriate amount of anesthesia to administer to each patient?”

According to the West Virginia Gazette’s Eric Eyre, “Morrisey said the answers the clinics provide will help him and staff attorneys, who serve as lawyers for state agencies, to ‘better evaluate the need for regulation.’”

The Intelligencer ends its editorial with this sobering reminder:

“Gosnell was allowed to get away with murder for years in Philadelphia, because state officials who should have stopped him did nothing. Morrisey is right to look into whether West Virginia has adequate protection for women and their babies.”

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Categories: Abortion Clinic