Op-Ed: Preventing Future “Houses of Horror” By: Senator David G. Argall 2-18-11

Pennsylvania made the national headlines in the last few weeks – but for all the wrong reasons. In January, a West Philadelphia abortion clinic described in the media as a real-life “house of horrors” overlooked by regulators for years, was finally closed down. If the allegations are correct, this clinic was a danger to countless mothers and their babies. The owner has been charged with eight counts of murder due to the deaths of seven live babies and one mother.

Many people, both pro-life and pro-choice on the abortion issue, are asking the same question: How could this be allowed to happen?

Under current law, abortion becomes illegal after twenty-four weeks into a pregnancy. At the West Philadelphia clinic, abortions were allegedly performed up to eight months into a pregnancy, with some babies being born who should have survived with proper medical attention.

These horrific actions in West Philadelphia call for serious reform to protect innocent lives. I was proud to recently co-sponsor measures by Senator Jake Corman and Senator Patricia Vance to help us avoid tragedies like this in the future.

The first bill will require licensure and inspection of abortion facilities statewide. Currently, abortion clinics are exempt from the same laws governing other medical facilities. This bill would require that abortion clinics be regulated by the state, with their licenses renewed each year in order to operate.

The second bill will require the Pennsylvania Department of Health to shut down abortion clinics that are in violation of health and safety standards. The legislation will put plans in place for investigating allegations and properly close an abortion clinic if warranted.

The simple fact is this: Our state government has failed to protect innocent lives. We can never permit clinics like this “house of horrors” in West Philadelphia to operate in the future.

Contact: Jon Hopcraft
(717) 787-2637
(570) 773-0891


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