Planned Parenthood puts profits over safety by calling for the removal of bipartisan health and safety regulations passed in 2011 that help ensure we never have another Kermit Gosnell horror.

(HARRISBURG, PA – January 22, 2024) Today, Pennsylvania pro-abortion politicians and the state’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood, called for the removal of patient health and safety regulations on abortion facilities in Pennsylvania. These common sense regulations were enacted more than a decade ago to protect women from experiencing another Kermit Gosnell, the abortionist whose ‘house of horrors’ abortion facility not only butchered women and killed born-alive babies, but went uninspected for years due to the political decisions of past governors and their administrations. Gosnell was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder, manslaughter and other crimes and was sentenced to three life terms.

“The Gosnell Grand Jury report found that there is no reason to exempt abortion facilities from the same requirements that every other ambulatory surgical facility must meet,” said Michael Geer, President of Pennsylvania Family Institute. “Until the legislature put those requirements on abortion facilities following the Gosnell scandal, abortion clinics were less regulated than nail salons in Pennsylvania. We cannot allow this horrific history to repeat itself.”

Abortionist Kermit Gosnell performed late-term abortions at his “Women’s Medical Society facility in West Philadelphia, often using a procedure his staff called “snipping” where he would deliver a live, viable baby only to cut the baby’s spinal cord with scissors. Former clinic staff shared how Gosnell committed “countless” deaths in this way.

Several women died as a result of abortions at this facility, including 22-year-old Semika Shaw, the cousin of former Pennsylvania legislator Margo Davidson, and Karnamaya Mongar, a Bhutanese refugee. 

“I am disgusted at this effort by Planned Parenthood,” responded Ann McElhinney, producer of the Gosnell movie and author of the NYT bestselling book Gosnell:The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer. “Karnamaya Monger, a Bhutanese refugee died after an abortion at Gosnell’s Clinic. The laws enacted after her death and GOSNELL‘s conviction were designed to safeguard women in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. How quickly they forget . More women will die, if the regulations are rolled back. It seems that political victories are more important than women’s safety.”

On February 18, 2010, FBI conducted a search warrant raid for illegal drug activity, and found the horrific conditions, including semi-conscious women in ‘tremendous pain’ walking through blood-stained floors, urine-stench hallways and jars of human feet in freezers. Untrained workers were administered anesthesia and aborted babies. This all happened in large part due to abortion facilities being treated differently than any other surgical facility; as the 2011 grand jury report put it, “for political reasons.”

“There is no sensible reason to subject women in Pennsylvania abortion facilities to anything less than the standards held by ambulatory surgical facilities,” stated Alexis Sneller, Policy Analyst at Pennsylvania Family Institute. “It is greed on full display by the abortion industry to lobby for removal of these basic standards. Planned Parenthood has proven time and time again that they put profits above all else.”

Members of the Gosnell grand jury in 2011 held a spectrum of beliefs on the morality of abortion, and found “common ground in exposing what happened here, and in recommending measures to prevent anything like this from ever happening again” (page 1, grand jury report). One of those recommendations was to regulate the abortion industry as ambulatory surgical facilities. 

“If oversight agencies expect to prevent future Dr. Gosnells, they must find the fortitude to enact and enforce the necessary regulations. Rules must be more than words on paper. We recommend that the Pennsylvania Department of Health plug the hole it has created for abortion clinics. They should be explicitly regulated as ambulatory surgical facilities, so that they are inspected annually and held to the same standards as all other outpatient procedure centers. Inspectors should review patient files, including ultrasound images, on site. Equipment, and employees’ licenses, should be scrutinized. Second trimester abortions should be performed or supervised by physicians board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology.” [page 16 – emphasis added]

Additionally, with records from the Pennsylvania Department of Health revealing half of abortion facilities in PA failed a state health inspection last year, along with state reports showing the steady rise in complications from abortions – tripling in the last five years in Pennsylvania, Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry are in no position to be suggesting any reversal of clinic regulations or abortion law.

Since 2012, abortion facilities in Pennsylvania have failed 179 inspections by the PA Department of Health. Last year, inspection failures by abortion facilities included failure to report a serious event, unsafe discharge of women post-abortion, needles removed from sterilized packaging and stored on a supply cart, using ketamine for general anesthesia, and parts of aborted babies being stored in a freezer for over a year. (Source: PA Department of Health)

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For more about Kermit Gosnell and the need for ambulatory surgical facility standards, watch the award-winning documentary 3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy, which includes exclusive interviews with detectives, crime scene investigators, journalists, victims, and Dr. Gosnell himself. This film is currently available for free on YouTube.


Pennsylvania Family Institute is a leading pro-life and pro-family state-based organization.