Over the last few weeks, Americans have learned of the house of horrors operated by Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of murder, but it is too little too late. Nothing will bring back the lives of the hundreds of unborn babies he gruesomely murdered, or the patients he killed. Nothing will be able to heal the countless number of young women he maimed and scarred for life.
Oversight from the Pennsylvania state government or any shred of common decency from the abortion industry who witnesses Gosnell’s disgusting practice could have saved these women and children. But both looked the other way, aiding and abetting Gosnell and causing immeasurable damage to scared and fragile young women.
Starting with former PA Gov. Tom Ridge, continuing through former Gov. Mark Schweigert. and ending with former Gov. Ed Rendell, a sense of complicity allowed Gosnell to continue to operate. The Pennsylvania Department of Health did not bother to inspect Gosnell’s facilities, as the grand jury report noted:
…[t]he Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all. The politics in question were not anti-abortion, but pro. With the change of administration from [pro-life] Governor Casey to [pro-abortion] Governor Ridge, officials concluded that inspections would be “putting a barrier up to women” seeking abortions. Even nail salons in Pennsylvania are monitored more closely for client safety. Without regular inspections, providers like Gosnell continue to operate; unlawful and dangerous third-trimester abortions go undetected; and many women, especially poor women, suffer.
The Board of Medicine also shrugged away complaints of Gosnell’s clinic:
Almost a decade ago, a former employee of Gosnell presented the Board of Medicine with a complaint that laid out the whole scope of his operation: the unclean, unsterile conditions; the unlicensed workers; the unsupervised sedation; the underage abortion patients; even the over-prescribing of pain pills with high resale value on the street. The department assigned an investigator, whose investigation consisted primarily of an offsite interview with Gosnell. The investigator never inspected the facility, questioned other employees, or reviewed any records. Department attorneys chose to accept this incomplete investigation, and dismissed the complaint as unconfirmed.
Thankfully, new Gov. Tom Corbett, elected last November, has restored accountability and justice to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Eleven workers have either been fired or have resigned since the Gosnell story went public. Gov. Corbett has ordered inspections of Pennsylvania abortion clinics at least once a year, with failing clinics being shut down either permanently or temporarily.
Gov. Corbett has also ordered unannounced inspections, which come come at any time, including nights and weekends. The results of these inspections will also be posted online.
Gov. Corbett ripped the performance of the state government, saying the lack of oversight “doesn’t even rise to the level of government run amok. It was government not running at all. To call this unacceptable doesn’t say enough. It’s despicable.”
Philadelphia district attorney Seth Williams applauded Gov. Corbett’s handling of the Gosnell case, saying:
“I applaud the governor for his quick and decisive actions. While my office is addressing the criminal activity charged in this case, Governor Corbett’s leadership is holding people within state government accountable.”
If the horrors of abortion clinics are to be stopped, it is going to take governors like Tom Corbett who seek justice and refuse to excuse any complicity in their state governments. If the past three governors had possessed the courage and backbone of Gov. Corbett, hundreds, if not thousands of lives, could have been saved. Thankfully, cowardice is no longer the status-quo in the Governor’s Mansion.