On Friday, the Virginia Board of Health gave final passage to a bill requiring all 20 state abortion clinics to uphold the same surgical standards that hospitals provide patients. The Virginia board heard testimony from over 30 individuals from both sides of the discussion. Pro-lifers reminded the board what abortion truly looks like, while abortion advocates complained about the burdensome cost of renovations.
But one message was clearly heard by the board members: "We need to be assured that a Kermit Gosnell-type practitioner is not operating in Virginia." These are the words of Janet Robey, State Director of Concerned Women for America of Virginia.
Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell is undergoing a capital murder trial for the gruesome slaughter of at least seven newborn babies and the death of one woman. In what can only be called an abortion "House of Horrors," Gosnell allegedly forced vulnerable women to give birth to viable babies and then murdered the newborns by "snipping" their spinal cords. It is understandable why Virginias have gone the extra mile to ensure new measures will protect the health and safety of its female citizens.
So far, only Indiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Oklahoma uphold similar health and safety standards for abortion clinics like those Virginia just adopted. (Tennessee also passed abortion clinic regulations, but the constitutionality of that legislation was challenged by Planned Parenthood vs. Sundquist). Unfortunately, this fact does not stop abortion advocates like Kate Michelman, President Emeritus of NARAL Pro-Choice America, from taking baseless pot shots at pro-lifers for advancing sensible abortion regulations. Michelman lamented that women are being forced to seek care from Gosnell-like clinics because, "Reputable, careful providers of high quality abortion care are under attack. As a result of an orchestrated campaign of harassment, intimidation and violence against individual doctors and freestanding women's clinics … the number of abortion providers in the United States declined 38 percent between 1982 and 2005." Blinded by a searing lust for a woman's right to choose to abort her child, Michelman is seriously mischaracterizing the facts surrounding Gosnell's abortion mill.
In fact, Gosnell's clinic was not even inspected between 1993 and 2010. It wasn't until pro-life Republican Gov. Tom Corbett was elected that he subsequently demanded that inspections of Pennsylvania abortion facilities ensue. Only then did an FBI raid of the Gosnell clinic find freezers filled with jars containing infant feet and women moaning in pain while covered in bloodstained blankets, according to the 281-page grand jury report. Michelman is obviously not concerned that Gosnell was neither a certified obstetrician nor gynecologist, his assistants were often unlicensed and untrained, and he often gave women incorrect dosages of medication. Michelman and the Left are so blinded by their ideology of the right to any number of free abortions for any reason, at any point of gestation, that they are irrational.
Forgetting her talking points, one Planned Parenthood representative recently admitted to the Florida legislature that when a baby is born alive due to a botched abortion, the fate of that child is a decision "between the patient and the health care provider." So it is no wonder why abortion proponents are unfazed by the standards kept by abortion clinics. If infanticide is a non-issue, then why should the width of hallways (which should be able to accommodate a gurney) be a concern?
For the so-called "women's rights" groups, there should be no renovation costs too exorbitant or sanitation measure too extreme that should come between women and their safety.
Abortion advocates like Michelmen might try to play the victim, but pro-lifers recognize who truly suffers: women and babies, one dead and the other wounded. Last February, another name was added to abortion's long list of victims. Jennifer Leigh Morbelli, 29, was a kindergarten teacher from New York and the expectant mother of a baby girl. Sadly, she chose to end her 33-week-old pregnancy at Carhart Clinic, a late-term abortion facility responsible for the 2005 botched abortion death of Christen Gilbert, after learning that her unborn child was diagnosed with "fetal anomalies." Last July, 24-year-old Chicago resident Tanya Reeves died after a negligent second-trimester abortion at a Planned Parenthood clinic left her hemorrhaging to death. Were any of these deaths the results of "intrusive" ultrasounds or parental notification requirements? I think not.
Where was the attention from the media and outrage from feminists?
Instead of taking responsibility for the culture of death surrounding abortion, advocates continue to justify their gruesome agenda by blaming their long list of casualties on the same individuals they criticize for embracing state protocols whose very purpose is to save lives. But this is the ugly face of moral relativism: It is only a baby when they say it is a baby, and a woman is only a victim of abortion when they say she is.
Virginia has it right. Women deserve better than what Gosnell and Michelman want to give them.