Daily Dispatches
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell
Associated Press/Photo by Steve Ruark (file)
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell

Delaware lawmakers quietly approve tougher abortion standards

Abortion

A Delaware law that would tighten regulations on abortion providers is heading to the desk of pro-abortion Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat, after state lawmakers unanimously—and nearly anonymously—passed the bill.

Last week the state’s House of Representatives approved S.B. 140, one week after the Senate unanimously passed the same legislation. The bill did not go through the committee process and was not debated on the floor of either chamber.

If signed into law, the measure would allow employees, in addition to patients, to report health violations that could lead to investigations at abortion centers. The bill also requires abortion centers to receive accreditation from independent, state-approved sources—a direct action against Planned Parenthood, which accredits itself.

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The bill is less than Republicans wanted: Lawmakers who tried to include a provision that would allow “drop-in” inspections at abortion centers failed to get it in the bill.

The legislation came in response to complaints about unsanitary and dangerous conditions at Planned Parenthood locations in Wilmington and Dover. In late May, two former Planned Parenthood nurses told an ad hoc committee that the centers were conducting “meat market-style assembly-line abortions” while focusing more on profitability than patient care.

The day after the nurses testified, state officials filed a complaint against one of the implicated abortionists, Timothy Liveright, calling him a “clear and immediate danger to the public.” Liveright surrendered his Delaware medical license in April, but he denies wrongdoing and continues to hold medical licenses in other states.

Democratic state Sen. Robert Venables, who filed S.B. 140, told me he believes surgical abortion centers should be held to the same standards as hospitals. He said if his 2011 efforts to tighten abortion regulations had succeeded, Delaware wouldn’t still be dealing with allegations of gross negligence.

“Everybody has trusted [Planned Parenthood] so much,” Venables said. “I don’t think they really realize that [Planned Parenthood’s] big moneymaker [is] abortions.”

J.C. Derrick
J.C. Derrick

J.C. is a reporter in WORLD's Washington Bureau. He spent 10 years covering sports, higher education, and politics for the Longview News-Journal and other newspapers in Texas before joining WORLD in 2012. Follow J.C. on Twitter @jcderrick1.

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