By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
A check of the Pennsylvania Health Department website reveals that one fourth of the free-standing abortion centers in Pennsylvania have had health and safety violations since September.
The Health Department notes that 16 free-standing abortion facilities currently operate in the Keystone State. Of those, four were found to be “not in compliance” with state law over the past four months.
Regular inspections of abortion facilities are required in Pennsylvania under an abortion center regulation law passed some years ago in the wake of the Kermit Gosnell scandal. Gosnell, a West Philadelphia abortionist, was ultimately convicted of murdering three newborn babies and of involuntary manslaughter in the death of female patient Karnamaya Mongar. Gosnell, whose murderous crime spree has been depicted in a movie of the same name, is currently serving three consecutive life terms in prison for his crimes.
Allegheny Reproductive Health Center, Allentown Women’s Center, PPSP Far Northeast Health Center, and PPSP Surgical Locust Street Health Center failed their state inspections. One of the centers is located in Pittsburgh, one in Bethlehem, and two in Philadelphia.
Meanwhile, a bill expected to be reintroduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives would require abortion centers to post the results of state health inspections on their websites, along with plans of correction. The legislation is sponsored by state Representative Tim O’Neal, a Republican representing Washington County, in the western part of the Commonwealth.
Last year, it appeared that state health officials suspended abortion center inspections for five months, ostensibly because of the COVID-19 outbreak. A number of state lawmakers called for the resumption of the inspections, citing health and safety concerns for Pennsylvania women.
While the resumption of inspections is certainly welcome news, the persistent safety problems revealed by such inspections are of continuing concern in the Commonwealth, where abortions have been on the rise in recent years.