HB 574 Would Regulate Abortion Clinics like Surgical Centers
PFC Applauds Committee Passage

For Immediate Release

April 11, 2011

Contact: Michael Geer or Thomas Shaheen (717) 545-0600

(Harrisburg, PA) Why should Pennsylvania’s abortion clinics get special treatment and extra protection from politicians and bureaucrats? They shouldn’t, but they did. Why should abortion centers in Pennsylvania be exempt from the same health and safety regulations that every other outpatient surgical center must meet? They should not, but they have been.

Today, that is beginning to change.

The Pennsylvania Family Council today applauds the House Health Committee passage of common- sense legislation (HB 574) that would require the state’s abortion clinics to be regulated like every other ambulatory surgical facility. It’s about time.

“For nearly two decades, Pennsylvania’s abortion centers have been hiding behind a veil of politically motivated secrecy,” said Michael Geer, president of the Pennsylvania Family Council. “No inspections, virtually no follow-up on malpractice and injury allegations against abortionists, and lax rules and regulations that left women endangered.”

“HB 574 provides critically important health and safety protections for the women of Pennsylvania, regulations that many women take for granted when they undergo serious medical procedures.”

“We thank Health Committee Chairman Rep. Matthew Baker and the members of the committee for their timely action on this much needed bill,” added Geer. The bill passed the committee by an 18-4 vote.

The bill was drafted and passed in response to the “house of horrors” case of abortionist Kermit Gosnell and his staff, who were charged with the killing of newborns, at least one woman, and other unconscionable practices amid horrendous conditions while operating a state-approved abortion clinic in Philadelphia. Details of this wrongdoing are in a Philadelphia Grand Jury report, which states, “There is no justification for denying abortion patients the protections available to every other patient of an ambulatory surgical facility, and no reason to exempt abortion clinics from meeting those standards.”

House Bill 574 would put into place the most important recommendation of the Philadelphia Grand Jury investigating the Gosnell case. Cases such as this clearly show why it is critical that regulations be placed on abortionists in the Commonwealth. The lives and safety of women are clearly at stake.

Under the legislation, any licensed abortion clinic would be subject to the same standards as other ambulatory surgical facilities.

The Pennsylvania Family Council calls on the full House of Representatives and the Senate for swift passage of the bill, so it can go to Gov. Tom Corbett for his signature. It simply cannot happen fast enough.