Two Senate Democrats apparently have blocked a resolution that would have condemned Philadelphia abortion murder case defendant Kermit Gosnell.
The proposed resolution cited Gosnell for the “untrained and uncertified personnel performing abortions, nonmedical personnel administering medications, grossly unsanitary and dangerous conditions, violations of law regarding storage of human remains, and above all, willful murder of infants born alive by severing their spinal cords.”
Instead, a substitute resolution expresses the sense of the Senate that “abusive, unsanitary, or illegal health care practices should be … prevented.”
The original cited Gosnell by name; the substitute only references “a physician at the Women’s Medical Society of Philadelphia.”
It was Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Barbera Boxer, D-Calif., who stopped consideration of the resolution by dismissing the reports of infanticides that took place at Gosnell’s business.
The senators successfully substituted SR 133 with SR 134, a resolution that all medical facilities that commit abusive activities be investigated and prosecuted. The Blumenthal-Boxer resolution cites several cases of apparent malpractice and says “incidents of abusive, unsanitary, or illegal health care practices should be condemned and prevented and the perpetrators should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
The original resolution, authored by Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee and co-sponsored by 20 other senators, would have encouraged Congress and all 50 states to “gather information about and correct abusive, unsanitary, and illegal abortion practices and the interstate referral of women and girls to facilities engaged in dangerous or illegal second- and third-trimester procedures.”
It cited the nation’s belief “that every human life is precious from its very beginning” and also said:
- “No women should ever be abandoned, by policy or practice, to the depredations of an unlicensed, unregulated, or uninspected clinic operating outside of the law.”
- ‘The report of the grand jury … of the policies and practices of Dr. Kermit Gosnell … found multiple violations of law and public policy.”
- “The report … documented a pattern, over a period of two decades, at the Women’s Medical Society of Philadelphia of untrained and uncertified personnel performing abortions.”
The resolution also noted that “Planned Parenthood facilities in Delaware have been described by former employees as resembling a ‘meat market.’”
The nation, the resolution said, must prevent such situations.
Catholic Association President Maureen Ferguson, in cooperation with other pro-life groups, denounced the Democratic senators’ actions and said the resolution properly exposes the reality of what went on in Gosnell’s clinic.
“The Gosnell trial has given us a rare window into both the legal and illegal abortion practices in the United States,” Ferguson said. “It’s horrifying, looking on the inside at what we know. It’s heartbreaking. It (the Gosnell trial) sheds great light on the practices that have been hidden from the eyes of Americans for so long.”
Lee’s press secretary, Brian Phillips, said the purpose of Lee’s resolution was to draw attention to the unregulated abortion facilities that operate like Gosnell’s Philadelphia business, which reportedly brought him millions of dollars.
“The first step is to highlight these atrocities and let the American people know that they’re not rare and that it does go on in a number of places around the country,” Phillips said. “Many of the states have laws against these practices. So, we need to alert the people that the laws governing these places are not the same as the laws governing other health care facilities.
“It’s possible that people have a misconception about that (that abortion clinics are regulated like other health care facilities), so you need to educate the people as to what’s really going on in their state,” Phillips said.
The bill would make it illegal to perform abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks of gestation.
Gosnell allegedly performed abortions on babies that were past 24 weeks in violation of Pennsylvania law. Phillips says Lee is aware that passing a law does not automatically ensure compliance.
However, Phillips says Lee’s bill would provide necessary regulation of abortion clinics in the District of Columbia, which he believes is the first step towards ending late-term abortions.
“You can have a law saying that abortion should not be performed past 20 or 24 weeks, but if those clinics are able to get around the law, because no one is checking up on them, and there are no regulations requiring the states to do so, then the law is effectively meaningless,” Phillips said.
“So the first thing we need to do is to educate people as to what the laws really are and that just having a law saying you can’t do an abortion after 24 weeks isn’t enough. There needs to be more regulation on these clinics,” Phillips said.
Ferguson says that even though Lee’s bill S886 will only cover Washington, it’s a solid first step.
“Congress has jurisdiction over D.C. because it’s a federal enclave, so it’s appropriate for them to regulate abortion in that instance,” Ferguson said. “Congress does have an oversight role. We know that from the testimony, Gosnell is not an outlier, and is not alone in these practices. Sadly, this is the reality of abortion in the United States.
“Congress should be commended. Just today, the House Commerce Committee and the House Judiciary Committee sent letters to all 50 states’ attorneys general and health departments seeking information on the enforcement of the various regulations,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson says it’s been medically proven that babies can feel pain at 20 weeks.
“Protection is a basic human right, and these women, too, they need to be better protected than the protection they’re getting at these abortion clinics,” Ferguson said.
Phillips said Lee would like the states to follow the 20-week ban.
“The senator very much believes this is an issue that should be handled at the state level. It is not his position at the moment to write some federal legislation that would require all 50 states to follow,” Phillips said.
“All abortion doctors talk about stopping the beating heart of the unborn child. In every abortion, there’s a beating heart. There’s a living and developing human being and we need to educate our fellow citizens about that fact,” Ferguson said.