By Dave Andrusko
The drive to put teeth in laws regulating abortion clinics is gathering momentum. As we reported previously, the Commonwealth of Virginia passed legislation requiring abortion clinics performing more than five first-trimester abortions per month are required to abide by the same safety regulations as hospitals (www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2011/03/virginia-to-have-abortion-clinic-regulations-in-place-by-january-1/). Pro-life Gov. Bob McConnell signed that legislation into law on Saturday, directing the state Board of Health to develop regulations, which will take effect January 1, 2012.
“The board [of health] has said it will write the regulations by Sept. 1 and allow the public to comment on them before they’re adopted Sept. 15,” according to the Associated Press. “Then they go back to McDonnell and others, who can make changes before they take effect.”
Last Friday, the Arkansas House unanimously approved legislation to require facilities that provide non-surgical abortions to be regulated by the Arkansas Health Department. By “non-surgical,” they mean chemical abortions—RU 486. The bill was offered by Democratic Rep. Butch Wilkins, who “says medical offices that provide abortion pills to 10 or more women per month would have to be licensed,” according to the Associated Press.
Also last week, an important victory in Delaware. On Tuesday on a 27-12 vote, the state House approved legislation to make it possible for the state health department to inspect abortion clinics. House Bill 47, which “now goes to the Senate, was prompted by the arrest of a Philadelphia abortion provider who is charged with murder in the deaths of seven babies and one patient,” the Associated Press reported. “Delaware officials already have suspended the licenses of two physicians linked to Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who is charged in the Philadelphia case.”
Pushing pro-life legislation in Delaware is a decidedly uphill battle. The word ‘abortion’ isn’t even mentioned, and “several amendments to expand the scope of the legislation to specify that abortion clinics would be covered were defeated by the Democratic majority,” the Delaware News Journal reported.
“Currently, Delaware health inspectors have no authority to inspect abortion clinics or other outpatient medical facilities that perform invasive procedures, such as plastic surgery,” wrote reporter Chad Livengood. “The inspections would be based on a complaint about cleanliness and safety from a patient or their parent or guardian.”
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