by Ian Frith
April 6, 2011
Ambulatory Surgical Centers exist in all 50 states across the US. They are health care facilities that perform surgical procedures not requiring overnight hospitalization. They can also be known as outpatient facilities, performing pain management, diagnostic, and other minor surgical procedures. Under this definition it makes sense that an abortion facility would fall under the category of an Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) and should thus be regulated as one, however, prior to the 2011 legislative session only one state, Missouri, defined and regulated their abortion clinics as Ambulatory Surgical Centers. This lack of regulation of a procedure that has been documented to pose health risks to women is a dangerous oversight which needs correcting.
Fortunately, we are now starting to see this course-correction happening across the states. Since the horrific discovery of Kermit Gosnells House of Horrors in Philadelphia which facilitated the death of at least seven infants after they were born alive and two women, there has been a push in many state legislatures to further regulate abortion clinics.
In Virginia, Governor Bob McDonnell recently signed legislation that causes abortion clinics to be regulated like hospitals and instructs the Department of Health to create specific regulations to that end. The language for those regulations has yet to be finalized.
Delaware, also home to clinics where Kermit Gosnell performed his gruesome abortions, recently passed legislation through the House of Representatives (HB 47) that would further regulate abortion clinics (thought they are not mentioned by name).
In Arkansas a bill requiring clinics that perform ten or more surgical or chemical abortions a month to be licensed with the Department of Health (HB 1855) has been sent to the governors desk. Other measures regulating abortion clinics are also moving through the AR legislature.
The Illinois House voted yesterday on an amendment to a bill (HB 2093) that would require child abuse to be reported by more workers in centers that provide reproductive health care than currently required. Planned Parenthood and other organizations are opposing this bill, as well as another bill, HB 3156, that regulates abortion clinics as Ambulatory Surgical Centers.
Other state efforts to further regulate abortion clinics or define them as Ambulatory Surgical Centers can be seen in the second figure below and their corresponding state bill numbers can be referenced as well.
Gosnells House of Horrors is by no means the only place where deaths and other tragic abortion abuses have occurred. Amazingly, despite the publicity following Kermit Gosnell, abortion giant Planned Parenthood continues to lobby against such regulations just as they did against similar regulations that were designed in Pennsylvania to stop butchers like Gosnell.
Note: Information for the above map was gained from Americans United for Life.
DE (HB 47), IN (HB 1474), MD (HB 18, HB 19, HB 20, HB 187, and HB 746), MI (HB 150, HB 4119, HB 4120, SB 54 and SB 55), MO (HB 483), ND (HB 1297), NM (SB 225), OK (HB 1970), TN (HB 435 and SB 642) and TX (HB 2555 and HB 3446)