Showing posts with label Kermit Gosnell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kermit Gosnell. Show all posts

Laissez-Faire Abortionomics

Kermit Gosnell

Liberals have objected vehemently to suggestions of increasing regulatory scrutiny of the abortion industry. Apparently, the cost of sterilizing equipment to ensure that teen victims of forced abortion do not acquire sexually transmitted diseases while having their babies exterminated could potentially reduce abortionists’ obscene profits, putting the whole industry in jeopardy.

Last year, while Dr. Kermit Gosnell was greedily raking in at least $1.8 million at his abortion mill in Philadelphia, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli provided his non-binding opinion on the power of the state to regulate the abortion industry:
It is my opinion that the Commonwealth has the authority to promulgate regulations for facilities in which first trimester abortions are performed as well as for providers of first trimester abortions, so long as the regulations adhere to constitutional limitations…

The regulations at issue [concern] licensing requirements; staffing rules; specified drug, equipment and laboratory availability; detailed record keeping and reporting duties; maintenance, safety and emergency policies; sterilization procedures; and design and construction standards.
As noted by the Washington Times, this opinion ignited a brushfire that quickly engulfed liberal America:
Liberals usually want to regulate everything that breathes, moves, burns, flows or produces. When it comes to abortion mills, however, the same leftists scream bloody murder – not against killing babies, but against daring to regulate the practice even for the mother’s safety. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has drawn fire merely for saying his state’s Board of Health is allowed to regulate providers of first-trimester abortions…

Morality demands that women be protected from unhealthy practices of licensed abortionists, who after all are in business to make money and frequently cut corners. Pro-abortion militants are against abortuary oversight for fear that some clinics will be shut down, thus preventing mothers from terminating their pregnancies…
True to form, lefties at The Atlantic were much more concerned about the profitability of the abortion industry than about the safety of mothers and their babies. Nichole Allan accused Ken Cuccinelli of making an “end run on abortion” when Cuccinelli said that Virginia has the power to regulate abortion in the same way that it regulates other procedures at outpatient surgical clinics:
In 2001, Mother Jones ran a story about the rise of what abortion rights advocates call TRAP laws, short for Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers. The article, written by Barry Yeoman and titled “The Quiet War on Abortion,” detailed the anti-abortion movement’s shift from targeting the legality of the procedure to applying pressure on its providers…

If the [Board of Health] were to follow Cuccinelli’s advice, the state’s 21 abortion clinics would be subject to the same requirements as hospitals. In order to comply, they would have to undergo structural renovations and obtain staff members with new qualifications. The cost of these requirements would, Virginia abortion rights advocates estimate, put 17 of the state’s 21 clinics out of business.

“We predict it’s about $1.5 to $2 million per clinic in extra cost,” Keene said. “It’s just crazy. And the thing is, it’s really just designed to shut these places down. It has nothing to do with medical care.”
Maybe the folks at The Atlantic can be forgiven for their shortsightedness. This time last week, very few of us had any idea how dirty and unhealthy the abortion industry could be. The holocaust at Dr. Gosnell’s flea-ridden charnel house has opened millions of eyes. Because Gosnell was operating his business in a state dominated by militant pro-abortion politics in both political parties, Gosnell was free to subject his victims to filth, disease and death while state regulatory agencies deliberately turned a blind eye.

Now we know how dangerous and reckless the abortion industry can be. The decades-long laissez-faire approach to the abortion industry hurt women and their families in Pennsylvania irreparably.

Neglect by Design

Dr. Kermit Gosnell is the now-infamous Philadelphia abortionist who was finally arraigned this week on charges of murder after a decades-long career of death and mayhem. Gosnell subjected his victims ― mothers and babies ― to humiliation, filth, disease, and extreme pain.

Abortion advocates insist that this story is “not about abortion.” They say Gosnell is an outlier whose evil deeds highlight the need for easy access to taxpayer-funded abortions. Some dare suggest that this case shows that “the system is working,” and if there are any problems with the regulatory system, it’s probably because “rabid fetus people” (pro-lifers) have distracted regulators from the real problems.

These apologists have apparently ignored or dismissed the facts of this case.

District Attorney R. Seth Williams (D) contends than Gosnell’s incredibly brazen disregard for the law and for the value of human life was made possible by the generous support of state regulators:
State health officials have also shown a disregard for the laws the department is supposed to enforce. Most appalling of all, the Department of Health’s neglect of abortion patients’ safety and of Pennsylvania laws is clearly not inadvertent: It is by design.
[emphasis in the original]

Seth Williams provides this scathing vignette highlighting of the culture of abortion corruption in Pennsylvania government, particularly at the Department of Health (DOH):
State health officials knew that Gosnell and his clinic were offering unacceptable medical care to women and girls, yet DOH failed to take any action to stop the atrocities documented by this Grand Jury. These officials were far more protective of themselves when they testified before the Grand Jury. Even DOH lawyers, including the chief counsel, brought private attorneys with them – presumably at government expense.
Gosnell’s abortion mill was rarely inspected after it opened in 1979, and inspections stopped in 1993. This lack of governmental oversight persisted in the face of highly credible complaints of death, serious injuries and sexually transmitted disease:
According to DOH witnesses, sometime after 1993, DOH instituted a policy of inspecting abortion clinics only when there was a complaint. In fact, as this Grand Jury’s investigation makes clear, the department did not even do that…

In January 2002, an attorney representing Semika Shaw, a 22-year-old woman who had died following an abortion at Gosnell’s clinic, wrote to Staloski [a high-ranking DOH official] requesting copies of inspection reports for any on-site inspections of the clinic conducted by DOH. Staloski wrote to the attorney that no inspections had been conducted since 1993 because DOH had received no complaints about the clinic in that time.
But DOH had received, and continued to receive, numerous complaints from physicians and attorneys:
  • In 1996, an attorney reported that his client had suffered a perforated uterus, requiring a radical hysterectomy, as a result of Gosnell’s negligence.
  • Between 1996 and 1997, Dr. Donald Schwarz, the former head of adolescent services at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, now Philadelphia’s health commissioner, noticed that patients were acquiring STDs at Gosnell’s clinic. Dr. Schwarz hand-delivered a formal letter of complaint to the office of the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health. He never heard back from DOH, and no inspection resulted.
  • In 2007 Dr. Frederick Hellman, the Medical Examiner for Delaware County, reported to DOH an illegal abortion of a 30-week-old baby girl at Gosnell’s clinic.
  • Janice Staloski, director of the DOH unit that is responsible for abortion clinic oversight, received two inquiries from attorneys’ offices about Gosnell’s clinic in the first two months of 2002. One was from the Shaw family’s attorney. The other was from a paralegal for yet a third attorney who phoned Staloski in February 2002, asking for information concerning the clinic.
The Grand Jury Report documents a callous political calculation that traded public safety for easier access to dangerous abortion clinics:
[DOH Senior Counsel Kenneth Brody] described a meeting of high-level government officials in 1999 at which a decision was made not to accept a recommendation to reinstitute regular inspections of abortion clinics. The reasoning, as Brody recalled, was: “there was a concern that if they did routine inspections, that they may find a lot of these facilities didn’t meet [the standards for getting patients out by stretcher or wheelchair in an emergency], and then there would be less abortion facilities, less access to women to have an abortion.”
Is there any reason to assume that criminal abortion activities à la Kermit Gosnell are confined to one practice, one city or one state? Will the spotlight that was used to expose corruption in the Catholic Church be used to shine a light on this scandal? Don’t hold your breath (Exhibit A: Pharyngula vs. Pharyngula).


Ace notes that Jounolistas are neglecting this story by design: “Abortion Should Be Safe, Legal, and Rarely Mentioned In a Negative Headline.”

Michelle Malkin: Deadly indifference to human life isn’t tangential to the abortion industry’s existence – it’s at the core of it.

Quote of the day: “After playing with the baby, Williams slit its neck.”

Via Malkin, The Anchoress comments on the relentless machinations of the left-wing media:
Its funny how framing works. A massacre perpetrated by a deranged man is not about the deranged man; it’s about “rhetoric.” But a massacre perpetrated by an abortion provider whose violations against laws of the nation and of humanity were overlooked for years is “not about abortion.” It’s about criminal behavior, and that’s all. But some of our most prominent politicians have voted against the very bill — the “born alive” bill — that defines such behavior as criminal. Meaning, I guess, that if only enough politicians had voted with Sen. Barack Obama, Gosnell’s behavior would not be “criminal” at all, and therefore we wouldn’t even be talking about it?

The Price of a Forced Abortion

Photographer: Louisa Stokes

Dr. Kermit Gosnell is the now-infamous Philadelphia physician who was charged Wednesday with murder, accused of killing one mother and of delivering seven babies alive and then using scissors to kill them. Evidence provided by the grand jury strongly suggests that Gosnell killed countless others.

Gosnell subjected his victims to humiliation, filth, disease, and extreme pain.

Gosnell committed his grizzly crimes over a 30 year period with the tacit support and cooperation of other physicians, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Department of State and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

In the 281 page Report of the Grand Jury, Gosnell’s evil is documented in incredible detail. I will discuss these details over the course of several posts, starting with this one.

In this post I will shed light on Gosnell’s policies and practices relating to forced abortions.

Kermit Gosnell was explicitly in the business of providing forced abortions. This fact is made abundantly clear by Gosnell’s schedule of fees for anesthesia. In addition to the fee for the procedure itself (up to $2,500 or more), victims were encouraged to pay extra for dangerous doses of anesthetic agents, particularly in cases in which the “patients” were being subjected to coercion:
An “Anesthesia for Surgery” form [Appendix B] presented to patients for their signature – and payment – did not identify or describe the drugs to be administered.

However, it suggested:

It will probably be best to pay the extra money and be more comfortable if some of the following conditions are true for you.

1. The decision to have the procedure is a difficult decision.
2. Medication is usually necessary for your menstrual cramps.
3. Your decision has been forced by your parents or partner.
4. Your family members or friends “don’t like pain.”
[Emphasis added]

For their special needs, victims of forced abortion were offered several options at various price points:
The “Custom” mix of medications is described on the form as follows:

“Most women who choose CUSTOM SLEEP want to feel ABSOLUTELY NO CRAMPS OR PAIN during their procedure. A needle with an anticlotting medication is inserted prior to the procedure and sedation is repeatedly administered until the patient is comfortable throughout the procedure.”

The form has a place to sign next to “I choose CUSTOM SLEEP” and a blank where the price of the “Custom” option is handwritten in. The price of the “Custom” sedation is $150.

The form explains the effects of the “Twilight Sleep” concoction in this way:

“Most women who choose TWILIGHT SLEEP want to feel VERY FEW OR VERY SLIGHT CRAMPS during their procedure.”

The cost listed is $90, which was in addition to the cost of the procedure. The form describes the clinic’s “Heavy Sedation” option:

“Most women who choose HEAVY SEDATION feel SLIGHT TO MODERATE CRAMPS during their procedure.”

Heavy sedation cost $50 extra.