A doctor whose abortion clinic was described as a filthy, foul-smelling “house of horrors” that was overlooked by regulators for years was charged Wednesday with murder, accused of delivering seven babies alive and then using scissors to kill them.
Dr. Kermit Gosnell was also charged with murder in the death of a woman who suffered an overdose of painkillers while awaiting an abortion.
In a nearly 300-page grand jury report filled with ghastly, stomach-turning detail, prosecutors said Pennsylvania regulators ignored complaints of barbaric conditions at Gosnell’s clinic, which catered to poor, immigrant and minority women in the city’s impoverished West Philadelphia section.
Prosecutors called the case a “complete regulatory collapse.”
“Pennsylvania is not a Third World country,” the district attorney’s office declared in the report. “There were several oversight agencies that stumbled upon and should have shut down Kermit Gosnell long ago.”
Pennsylvania is not a Third World country, but it is a country that until this week has been run by people ideologically opposed to virtually any regulation of abortion. You know, like the RCRC.
Gosnell, 69, was arrested and charged with eight counts of murder in all. Nine of Gosnell’s employees – including his wife, a cosmetologist who authorities say performed abortions – also were charged.
Prosecutors said Gosnell made millions of dollars over three decades performing thousands of dangerous abortions, many of them illegal late-term procedures. His clinic had no trained nurses or medical staff other than Gosnell, a family physician not certified in obstetrics or gynecology, prosecutors said.
Leave aside the horror movie absurdity of the doctor’s cosmetologist wife doing abortions. This guy was not certified in obstetrics or gynecology, but the state let him do abortions anyway? Even if his facility had been spotless, he’d done them pro bono, and had done nothing other than what abortionists all over the country do on a daily basis–do they really let family practitioners do abortions in Pennsylvania?
State regulators ignored complaints about Gosnell and the 46 lawsuits filed against him, and made just five annual inspections, most satisfactory, since the clinic opened in 1979, authorities said. The inspections stopped completely in 1993 because of what prosecutors said was the pro-abortion rights attitude that set in after Democratic Gov. Robert Casey, an abortion foe, left office.
This from the same people who think the government should regulate just about every but abortion.
I’ll be awaiting comment on this “doctor” and his “practice” from RCRC and its constituents, including the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society and Women’s Division, the Episcopal Church, the PCUSA, Catholics for Choice, and the YWCA (among others) with the same eager expectation that I await the melting of the ice at the South Pole.
UPDATE: If you’re wondering how the pro-abortion movement is going to handle this, you might start with a column at RH (Reproductive Health) Reality Check. Managing editor Annie Newman writes:
When abortion is stigmatized, and access to care blocked for many women in this country, women are forced to turn to “providers” like Dr. Gosnell and his employees. Dr. Gosnell and others like him are offered easy access, in essence, to desperate and vulnerable women simply seeking to end a pregnancy.
But when we stigmatize the decision to have an abortion and keep discussions of this safe, legal option closed, as well as keep abortion care out-of-reach financially or geographically, we are not only telling women not to speak of this issue. We are also telling women they don’t deserve access to safe, legal care and that they won’t get access to a safe, nurturing environment either.
Most of the women who visited Dr. Gosnell would not have chosen a center like his if they had other options, or if they knew they had other options, of course. It’s why making abortion care more difficult to access – through state laws which prohibit abortion coverage in the new state exchanges to laws which make abortion care illegal for any number of reasons – can be a deadly decision. Women do not stop needing or making the decision to have an abortion because we make abortion increasingly more difficult to access. They just end up at centers like the one run by Dr. Gosnell and his staff.
In other words, Gosnell was able to do his dirty deeds because society does not approve of abortion for any and all reasons, under any and all circumstances, and at any point in a pregnancy, including five minutes before delivery. Oh, and because society doesn’t always pay for it (though it does in Pennsylvania, which has at least 15 other abortion clinics). Incredible.
Pennsylvania imposes a variety of burdensome requirements on abortion providers that are not imposed on other health-care providers, including:
Restrictions on Where Abortion Services May Be Provided
Pennsylvania places medically unnecessary restrictions on where abortion services may be provided.
Any medical facility – including a private physician’s office – in which an abortion is provided must be approved by the state as an abortion facility. 28 Pa. Code § 29.43(a). All abortion facilities must meet additional administrative, professional qualification, patient testing, and physical-plant requirements. 28 Pa. Code § 29.33, .38.
All providers must be located within 30 minutes of a hospital that has agreed in writing to “supply emergency services” to the clinic’s patients. 28 Pa. Code § 29.33(10). No exception is made for rural areas.
Restrictions on Who May Provide Abortion Services
Pennsylvania prohibits certain qualified health-care professionals from providing abortion services.
Only a physician or doctor of osteopathy licensed to practice medicine in the state may provide abortion care. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 3203 (Enacted 1982; Last Amended 1990); 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 3204 (Enacted 1982; Last Amended 1990).
I guess that answers the question I asked above. If an osteopath can perform abortions, why not family practitioners. Heck, why not plumbers? It’s all the same principles, right?