Apparently Pennsylvania has decided to follow in Virginia’s ill-advised footsteps, at least when it comes to regulating abortion clinics out of existence. The state House has approved a bill that would require clinics to adhere to new structural guidelines and staffing procedures that would likely be expensive and logistically difficult. If it is passed, the bill – which includes requirements like upgrading elevators and doubling the size of procedure rooms – could force “most, if not all” of the state’s 20 freestanding clinics to either move or stop offering abortion services entirely.
The bill’s supporters argue that this level of regulation is needed in the wake of allegations surrounding Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia-area doctor that was charged earlier this year in the death of seven infants and one woman. Republican Rep. Matt Baker, chairman of the House Health Committee, claims that the bill “is about patient safety and preventing future cases of murder and infanticide within abortion clinics.” What Baker and his colleagues seem to miss is that different building codes would not have made a difference in the Gosnell case; larger exam rooms aren’t exactly going to deter someone from practicing the kind of bad medicine that Gosnell is accused of. [Read more...]