The grand jury report on Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s chamber of horrors is getting more coverage, and the more that comes out, the more apparent it is that there was something demonic going on in the state bureaucracy. The Associated Press reports:
Regulators ignored report after report of horrific conditions at a squalid abortion clinic, prosecutors said, leaving a trail of missed chances over the years to stop a doctor from performing illegal, late-term abortions that killed at least two patients and hundreds of newborns.
The officials’ failure to follow up on complaints against Dr. Kermit Gosnell came amid a “live and let die” political climate that effectively ended inspections of all abortion clinics in Pennsylvania, according to the grand jury that indicted Gosnell.
Nearly a decade ago, according to legal documents, a former Gosnell employee gave the state’s Board of Medicine a complaint that “laid out the whole scope of his operation: the unclean, unsterile conditions; the unlicensed workers; the unsupervised sedation; the underage abortion patients; even the over-prescribing of pain pills with high resale value on the street.”
Nothing was done.
Why was that? The grand jury offers this opinion:
“We think the reason no one acted is because the women in question were poor and of color, because the victims were infants without identities and because the subject was the political football of abortion,” the grand jury wrote.
I don’t know about the first, the second is certainly true, and as for the third, I suspect they are letting them off easy. Something tells me that they didn’t act, not because abortion is a political football, but because they were ideologically predisposed to ignore health violations that might actually shut down an abortion mill. As I documented yesterday, NARAL thinks that Pennsylvania abortion clinics are over-regulated, and I don’t doubt that the people overseeing clinics during this period were of a basically NARAL mindset. At least one has had the good grace to admit failure:
Former Health Department official Janice Staloski personally inspected the clinic in 1992, but “let Gosnell slide on the violations that were already evident then,” the grand jury said. A decade later, when she headed the division that was supposed to regulate abortion providers, Staloski failed to order an investigation of the clinic despite having received several complaints about Gosnell, the report said.
Staloski, who retired last year, declined to comment Thursday. Her lawyer, Arthur Donato, said Staloski acknowledged to the grand jury that she made mistakes.
“I think the grand jury report speaks to an institutional and systemic problem, and I think a lot of people were responsible for the fact that these clinics were not surveyed annually,” he said. “She did receive some complaints (about Gosnell) and she did not cause a survey or an inspection to occur, and I think she testified truthfully that she should have.”
Yes, well. There’s still the question of why, and aside from putting this creep behind bars, an answer to that question may be the most important thing that comes out of this shameful episode. Perhaps it will get people thinking about whether pro-choice ideologues, or even just those who think of abortion as just one more medical procedure, should ever be in charge of enforcing regulations, and whether, contra NARAL, clinics should be more stringently regulated than they are.
Oh, can’t forget this. Evidently not everyone who appeared before the grand jury expressed the same contrition as Ms. Staloski:
Complaints about Gosnell to state regulators went nowhere, even though 46 lawsuits — including one over the death of a 22-year-old woman in 2000 — had been filed against him.
In its report, the grand jury said the department’s chief counsel, Christine Dutton, defended the department’s indifference. “People die,” she said.
Just the attitude you’d want in your state regulators.
By the way, not a peep yet out of the abortion industry’s religious left enablers.