By Dave Andrusko
When it comes to ensuring that abortion clinics meet minimum standards, there is nothing—nothing—that to an unbiased third party makes perfect sense which nonetheless the Abortion Industry doesn’t fight tooth and nail. Why does not only PPFA but all the other “independent abortion providers” who annihilate essentially all but 5% of the babies not killed by Planned Parenthood go to the mat whenever they hear the word “inspection”?
There’s the usual talking points. Abortion is safe, safe, and (did we mention?) safe, so inspections are a waste of time. Or the Abortion Industry is and ought to be self-regulating (try that anywhere else). And so forth.
But the real reason begins when inspections are mandatory and — from their perspective worse, unannounced — and, ends with the knowledge that abortionist/thrice convicted of first-degree murder Kermit Gosnell was no “outlier.”
The Abortion Industry counts on the willingness of local and state medical and political officials to look away. That way, the local abortion clinic can be as slovenly and as unsafe as it wishes, with no concern there will be consequences—if you disregard what happens to women, that is. The 261-page-long Gosnell Grand Jury report offered mounds of evidence demonstrating conclusively that terrible things were happening at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society, and yet the Department of Health did not set foot in his abortion clinic for 16 years!
They also count on the 2016 Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt Supreme Court decision to immunize them from meeting basic health and safety standards. Since that time, however, states have passed laws substantially different than the parts of the Texas law that Hellerstedt eviscerated. We’ll see what happens on that score.
Moreover, worth remembering is that the Hellerstedt decision was 5-3. Justice Scalia had died and his replacement had not been made. Thus the vote would have been 5-4. Since then Justice Kennedy , who was in the majority, has retired.
Perhaps it is time to look again with fresh eyes at the highly questionable research litigants used to argue that the Texas law’s requirements constituted an “undue burden.” To do what Justice Alito did in his dissent—he “researched the research.”