By Dave Andrusko
This week the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is set to vote on HB 574, the direct outcome of the massive publicity that surrounds abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who stands accused of eight counts of murder.
HB 574 is as commonsensical—and overdue—as legislation can get. Sponsored by Rep. Matt Baker it “require abortion clinics to meet the health and safety standards of other ambulatory surgical facilities,” according to the Pennsylvanian Pro-life Federation, National Right to Life’s state affiliate.
The Philadelphia Inquirer this week explained, “The bill was crafted in response to a grand jury’s grisly report on physician Kermit Gosnell’s West Philadelphia clinic. The jurors said Gosnell, now charged with murder and other crimes, routinely performed late-term abortions and killed babies, some near full term, who were born alive.”
The report “questioned, in one damning paragraph after another, why state health officials didn’t treat the clinics as ambulatory surgical facilities – subject to stringent standards, annual inspections, and unannounced visits to investigate complaints.”
Naturally you would expect the usual suspects to go bonkers; for them nothing can ever touch abortion, including requiring that abortion clinics be inspected.
But you wouldn’t expect this from Philadelphia District Attorney, Seth Williams. As you recall from the many, many stories we’ve run, along with excerpts from the Grand Jury Report, Williams seems to have understood that Gosnell had run amuck.
Early on, Williams said there was “more oversight of women’s hair salons and nail salons” than over abortion facilities in Pennsylvania.
He “also says several oversight agencies, including the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Department of State (which oversees individual physicians) repeatedly chose to do nothing despite being repeatedly faced with evidence of wrongdoing,” according to CBS Philly.com.
Speaking before state Senators, Williams had spoken passionately about Gosnell’s “House of Horrors.”
“I’m here to discuss the lack of oversight that allowed for the horrific conditions to exist and to continue, and for the tragedy that was visited upon so many women, young girls and babies,” Williams said. “What they discovered was horrific, out of one of the worst horror movies or horror novels that you could image,” he said. “The interior of this clinic had blood stained walls, blood stained beds, unclean sheets, women walking around almost like zombies. They had been drugged to the state of being zombies, that the building itself was a maze of corridors and just unbelievable, just cat feces everywhere,” Williams added. (See http://www.myfoxphilly.com/dpp/news/local_news/020811-prosecutors%3A-state-missed-gosnell-case#)
Yet the Inquirer reported that last week Williams had “waded in” by firing off a two-page letter to legislative leaders. Amazingly, he argued that HB574 “goes beyond the scope” of the Grand Jury Report in requiring that all abortion clinics meet these standards.
“I don’t understand why he wrote the letter and who influenced him,” Baker told the Inquirer. “It’s almost as if he’s trying to defend, on the one hand, his grand jury report. Then, on the other hand, he’s raising all kinds of questions that contradict his own grand jury’s recommendations.”