Two House committees launched nationwide campaigns earlier this week to investigate the prevalence of poorly regulated abortion facilities similar to the kind Kermit Gosnell ran in Philadelphia for 17 years.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee Chairman Trent Franks, R-Ariz., sent a letter to all fifty state attorney generals, asking them to report on efforts to protect the rights of babies and mothers in their states. They also asked for reports on the prosecution process against a person who kills a baby born alive during an abortion and on measures designed to prevent late-term abortions.
Fueled by testimony that Pennsylvania’s Department of Health refused to inspect Gosnell’s facility after 1993, the letters explain that the point of the investigation is to, “Gather information about these laws and to see how the federal government might partner with states to help prevent similar atrocities.”
Similarly, the House Energy and Commerce Committee also issued a letter to public health officials to urge increased inspection and monitoring of abortion centers.
“We’re learning Gosnell is not an aberration: approached by women who complained about the disgusting conditions at Gosnell’s facility, they didn’t report it,” said Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn in a press release. “We hope that our letter will prompt authorities to take responsible steps to monitor all health care facilities.”
According to research from the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA), a pro-life advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., poorly regulated, dangerous abortion centers like Gosnell’s are shockingly prevalent.
In Delaware, where the Health Department doesn’t require inspection for abortion facilities, inspectors found unlicensed abortionists at Atlantic Women’s Medical. Both the center’s locations were closed but two nurses described the conditions as a “a meat-market style of assembly-line abortions.” SBA included data about similar situations occurring in Illinois, Maryland, and Michigan.
“Kermit Gosnell’s ‘house of horrors’ abortion clinic in Philadelphia is not an outlier,” SBA concluded.
Gosnell’s trial will enter its eighth week on Monday. He faces four counts of first-degree murder, one count of third-degree murder, and various other charges, including racketeering, performing illegal abortions, and endangering a child.