The Penn Is Mightier than the Sword
June 19, 2012 - Tuesday
It won't bring back his tiny victims or ease the pain of so many traumatized patients, but Kermit Gosnell's Philadelphia torture chamber will hopefully be Pennsylvania's last. Today, the state officially enacted its tough new abortion regulations, almost 18 months to the day that Gosnell made it clear that Pennsylvania needed them. The infamous doctor was charged with killing at least seven newborns with scissors, fatally overmedicating one woman, and mistreating several others. People involved in the raid believe it could stand as one of the most horrific discoveries in Pennsylvania history. It took the city 261 pages to describe the nightmarish conditions of the "Women's Medical Society," which, deep inside its padlocked doors, hid the bodies of hundreds of aborted children. It was a scene that Philadelphia's District Attorney Seth Williams says "comprehension of the English language doesn't and cannot adequately describe."
From its 15-year-old "anesthetists" to blood-stained walls, Gosnell's facility had been flagged by inspectors but never investigated. The law implemented today is designed to change that by holding Pennsylvania clinics--and state officials--accountable. As part of the reforms, clinics can expect unannounced inspections from the health department, the results of which will be posted online. During their visits, state workers will be on the lookout for a laundry list of safety measures: new equipment, quality assurance plans, clean storage areas, proper medication handling, expanded parking lots, larger operating rooms, washable ceilings, in-room sprinkler systems, hospital-sized elevators, wider driveways and hallways to accommodate paramedics, and licensed staff. Essentially, the law forces abortion clinics to meet the same criteria as outpatient surgical centers. If they can't afford or refuse to adapt, Pennsylvania will shut them down.
So far, only 14 of the state's 22 clinics qualify. The others will either be downgraded to chemical abortion sites or close. "This law is a public health victory," Pennsylvania's Secretary of Health said. "Since my first day on the job, the Department of Health has been working tirelessly to ensure that the horrors that took place in the Kermit Gosnell clinic in Philadelphia could never happen again." The millionaire doctor raked in $15,000 a day--more than enough money to afford clean equipment and a trained staff. But, like so much of the abortion industry, his business wasn't about caring for women--it was about profit. Now, thanks to these airtight regulations, "we now have stronger oversight to monitor abortion facilities and ensure that women in Pennsylvania receive a higher standard of care," the Deputy Secretary for Quality Assurance insisted.
Meanwhile, as Gosnell waits for his trial behind bars, Pennsylvania is taking aim at an abortion provider with an even longer rap sheet: Planned Parenthood. A few weeks ago, state leaders introduced a bill to defund the abortion giant--which has spent thousands of dollars fighting common sense clinic standards like these. State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe hopes to join a number of states that are blocking the pipeline of taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood. "Regardless of their position on abortion," he told reporters at a press conference, "Pennsylvania taxpayers must no longer be forced to subsidize the loss of innocent lives."
Values Bus Maps out Convention Season
The Values Bus continues to rack up miles as it spreads the message of the Your Money, Your Values, Your Vote tour. The plan now is to take the pro-family, pro-economic freedom message to both the Republican and Democratic conventions in Florida and North Carolina. You can help plant the Faith, Family, and Freedom flag at Liberty Village during the Republican National Convention (RNC) August 25-30. As in the past, FRC Action will be on site the week prior to the main convention in order to protect the platform language and keep the document pro-life and pro-family. With so many attempting to change the platform, the party's main policy statement, this is a tall order and requires a great deal of staff time. That's why I hope you will consider a timely contribution to FRC Action's efforts.
While the RNC and platform debate are usually friendly places for our issues, we will also have a presence at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Values Bus will be there to champion the issues of life, marriage, and religious freedom and the Heritage Foundation's program to "Save the American Dream." Our involvement in both of national conventions is critical and worthy of your support. FRC Action is pulling out all the stops to make a difference in this crucial political year, which could be the most important in our lifetime. Can I count on you for a timely contribution for our efforts in both cities? You can donate by going to ValuesBus.com/donate.
** Synchronize your watches for 8:00 p.m. (EDT) tonight as FRC kicks off "Two Weeks for Freedom" with Gov. Mike Huckabee, congressional leaders, and experts from across the political and church spectrums. Click over to our webpage for more information on this important webcast. If you can't view it live, please make sure to check out the recording.
*** FRC's Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski predicted that President Obama would try to create an "imperial presidency" more than two years ago. To see how right they were, check out their Huffington Post column.