The verdict is still out in the murder trial of Philadelphia abortionist Dr. Kermit B. Gosnell — but that hasn’t stopped members of Congress from using the case to zero in on every abortion clinic in the country.
In addition, a group of black religious leaders have announced they are coming to Capitol Hill next week to ask for congressional hearings on illegal, late-term abortions in black communities.
Dr. Gosnell performed his late-term abortions in a filthy “house of horrors” clinic in an urban neighborhood in Philadelphia. Most of his clients were low-income minority women. He is charged with the first-degree murders of four newborns and third-degree murder of a female patient, as well as scores more illegalities related to his clinic and abortion practices. Jury deliberations began 10 days ago on April 30.
On Thursday, House committee leaders released copies of letters they sent to public health officials and attorneys general in all 50 states, asking them to provide information about the regulation and monitoring of clinics and facilities that provide abortions.
The Gosnell trial “raises troubling questions about the practices of abortion clinics, and whether state departments of health are aware, or even conducting appropriate monitoring of these facilities,” wrote House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, Michigan Republican, in a letter signed by five colleagues.
State public health officials are asked to reply by May 22 about their licensing regulations; inspections; handling of complaints; license suspensions and revocations; disciplinary actions; and legal protections for infants, including born-alive infants. Documented data is requested from 2008 to 2013.
Separately, the 50 attorneys general are asked by June 1 to answer five questions for the House Judiciary Committee about the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act and any similar laws passed in the state.
“Do prosecutors in your state treat the deliberate killing of newborns, including those newborns who were delivered alive in the process of abortions, as a criminal offense? If so, have there been any prosecutions in your state for this crime?” asked House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Virginia Republican, and Rep. Trent Franks, Arizona Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution and civil justice.
The lawmakers further ask about state laws on newborns delivered alive in abortions, infanticide laws, maternal deaths related to abortion and legal limits on abortion late in a pregnancy.
Pro-life groups hailed the committee actions.
“Kermit Gosnell is the tip of the iceberg,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. There has been “multi-state breakdown of oversight in the abortion industry, as well as the barbarism of abortions performed on children capable of feeling pain and surviving outside the womb.”
Lila Rose, whose Live Action organization has released four “undercover” videos of pregnant women talking candidly with abortion providers, also applauded the oversight letters. Live Action videos show that “gruesome” abortion practices, including leaving babies to die after a failed abortion, “are just another day at the office for many abortion center doctors and employees,” said Ms. Rose.
The Guttmacher Institute estimated in 2008 that there were about 1,800 abortion providers in the United States.
On Tuesday, Star Parker, founder and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, has announced an event at the National Press Club on abortion practices in black communities. Religious leaders from Georgia, Michigan, Illinois, California, Texas, North Carolina, Ohio, New Jersey and Maryland are expected to support the event, which will call for congressional oversight hearings on the issue.
source: Washington Times / Cheryl Wetzstein
- Exception or the rule? Gosnell’s ‘House of Horrors’ may not be as rare as you think! (cpnagasaki.wordpress.com)
- Gosnell-Like Abortion Practices are Business as Usual in New Mexico (deaconforlife.blogspot.com)
- Planned Parenthood Knew About Gosnell Clinic’s Conditions – And Did Nothing (pjmedia.com)