State House Approves Baker’s Bill to Address Abortion Clinic Atrocities
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives today approved legislation authored by Rep. Matt Baker (R-Bradford/Tioga) aimed at holding abortion clinics to the same high standards as the state’s ambulatory surgical facilities.
“Upon learning of the alleged horrors that took place at the Women’s Medical Society in West Philadelphia over the course of nearly 40 years, action was needed to ensure the safety of women and children across the state,” said Baker. “No woman should have to endure the horrifying conditions and type of treatment that was alleged to have taken place in that clinic. My legislation (House Bill 574) will hold abortion facilities to the same fire and safety standards, personnel and equipment requirements, and quality assurance procedures as other freestanding ambulatory surgical centers if they provide surgical abortions.”
Baker’s legislation was created in direct response to the outcome of a grand jury presentment regarding atrocities alleged to have taken place at the Women’s Medical Society in West Philadelphia. Among the charges against the head of the clinic, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, are eight counts of murder including seven newborns and one woman.
Baker said it was revealed through court proceedings that these horrors were allowed to take place due to the failing of the state Department of Health to inspect abortion facilities. In fact, between 1993 and 2010, no such inspections were ever conducted.
House Bill 574 would expand the definition of what an abortion facility is and hold such facilities to the same high standards as other health care facilities in order to ensure that patients who use clinics for abortion procedures and other gynecological services are treated by trained personnel in a safe and sanitary manner.
“The need for reform is evident. We cannot allow the type of treatment endured by women at a West Philadelphia clinic to continue there or anywhere else. Simply put, under House Bill 574 the state’s abortion industry would not be exempt from commonsense safety standards that apply to other ambulatory surgery centers,” said Baker.
“We have 212 ambulatory surgery centers in the Commonwealth that are regulated and abortion clinics that perform surgical abortions have strangely been exempt. Why? Abortion centers are performing serious surgical procedures and should be regulated in state law to prevent the horrors that transpired in the Philadelphia abortion clinic,” he said.
House Bill 574 passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 148 to 43. The legislation now goes to the state Senate for consideration.
State Representative Matt Baker
68th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Tricia Lehman