Originally published April 26 2014
Priorities: NYC tanning salons inspected more often than abortion clinics
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) It was one of the reasons cited as a contributing factor to abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell's decades-long reign of sick violence and murder committed against the most helpless members of American society -- lack of regulations requiring regular inspections of clinics that provide his kind of services. If abortion clinics were required to be inspected as regularly as other medical facilities, it has been argued, then disturbed abortionists like Gosnell wouldn't be able to get away with things like collecting grisly samples of body parts from his tiny victims in jars in their offices, let alone deliver them alive only to kill them by shoving a sharp pair of scissors into the base of their skulls.
And yet, to this day, lack of inspection of abortion clinics remains a reality, even though, in ultra-liberal enclaves like New York City, taxpayers spend plenty to send government inspectors instead to places like tanning salons and restaurants, which got much more scrutiny over the past decade.
As reported by The New York Post:
The state Health Department is failing to inspect many of New York's abortion clinics -- with some facilities escaping scrutiny for more than a decade, bombshell documents obtained by The Post reveal.
Health inspectors regulate 25 diagnostic and treatment clinics and surgery centers that provide abortion services -- though pro-choice advocates say there are 225 abortion service providers in New York state.
Eight of the 25 clinics were never inspected over the 2000-12 span, five were inspected just once, and eight were inspected only twice or three times - meaning once every four or six years.
'House of horrors'
In all, the paper said, just 45 inspections were conducted at all 25 facilities during the 12-year period. By comparison, city restaurants and eateries get inspected annually and then graded, while a new law requires tanning salons to undergo inspection (and resultant licensure, which costs money, of course) at least every other year.
At the same time, the Post said, state officials hid behind the excuse of prior threats and violence against abortion providers in refusing to identify the names and locations of clinics they said have been inspected (so much for the "public's right to know").
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Chiaroscuro Foundation, a conservative think tank that works to reduce abortions, health officials did admit to the lack of inspections. Greg Pfundstein, the group's executive director, went in search of the inspection data following the scandal in Philadelphia involving Gosnell, who was convicted on three counts of murder for cutting the spinal cords of delivered babies, as well as 21 counts of performing late-term abortions and additional medical rules violations.
More from the Post:
Gosnell's clinic hadn't been checked for 15 years before inspectors raided his facility in an unrelated prescription investigation and stumbled upon a house of horrors.
In New York City, 73,815 pregnancies were aborted in 2012. There were over 130,000 abortions statewide.
'Some facilities not required to admit they perform abortions'
"New York has one of the highest abortion rates in the country. More oversight is needed. Abortion clinics are as much a public concern as tanning salons. There should be regular inspections of all licensed abortion clinics," Pfundstein said. "Right now, New York is only inspecting a fraction of abortion providers, and only very rarely. It's hard to know which facilities are safe."
In response to the FOIA request, the state Health Department said it only inspects a limited number of abortion providers, and those it does inspect are not checked with any regularity or frequency, according to data provided.
"Some facilities are not required to have 'abortion services' in their operating certificates in order to perform abortions," Health Department records-access official Elizabeth Sullivan wrote in a letter to explain why other abortion providers are not inspected.
That, in and of itself, should be a red flag for regulators and state lawmakers, but apparently it isn't.
"The Department does not otherwise maintain a list of every Article 28 facility that performs abortions," Sullivan added.
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