A new national survey by Operation Rescue, the pro-life organization that once bought a building that had been an abortion business so that it could not reopen, has discovered that some half of the states and the District of Columbia exempt abortion facilities from regular inspections.
The organization said in its report that it found 19 states and D.C. “exempt abortion facilities from regular inspections. This means that, except for the possibility rare inspection based on a complaint, these facilities are never inspected.”
That affects nearly one-third of all abortion businesses in the country.
Further, four states do not conduct inspections, with some exceptions, and three states have only one abortion facility that qualifies for inspection. One state inspects only if an undefined “adverse event” is reported, leaving 77 abortion businesses in those states that are not subject to inspection.
Only 27 states allow regular inspections of their 417 abortion businesses, but 17 of those states “do not appear to follow statutory inspection requirements.”
“Only 10 states with a total of 54 abortion locations appeared to follow statutory inspection requirements,” the report says.
Operation Rescue officer Cheryl Sullenger explained in the document the issue arose back in February of 2010 when a routine police raid turned into the shocking Kermit Gosnell murder case in Philadelphia.
What police found, she explained, “was an illegal late-term abortion business where viable babies were gruesomely murdered after having been born alive during appallingly shoddy abortions amid the most squalid conditions imaginable.”
The following year a grand jury unveiled a 282-page report that blamed part of the problem on “a political climate that took a ‘hands off’ approach to abortion facility oversight. For years, no abortion facilities were inspected, and complaints were ignored. In fact, Gosnell’s abortion business had not been inspected by the Department of Health for 17 years, despite numerous complaints and two patient deaths during that time,” she reported.
The result was that several states decided to require inspections, and provided that the details be available to the public.
But in the years since, “it appears that the urgency to ensure that abortion facilities are regularly inspected has passed,” she documented.
So it asked states for copies of inspections regarding 709 abortion businesses, and it got reports from just 17 states related to 117 facilities.
“Abortion facilities in three states may have been inspected, but we were denied access to those reports. Oklahoma denied our request because a new state law prohibits releasing information about abortion facilities to the public. Arkansas denied our request because it only releases public records to state residents. Ohio simply ignored our repeated requests without comment. This three states account for 16 total abortion facilities, or 2 percent of all abortion locations,” the report said.
“Allowing abortion facilities to be inspected only when complaints are filed is almost useless. The California example is a case in point. While complaints allowed for eight abortion facilities to be at least partially inspected, it left another 141 abortion sites to evade inspections, which can lead to the deterioration of the facility and practices, as it did Gosnell’s case and many others,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue. “We know there are still abortion clinics out there that are dangerously cutting corners and placing women at risk. Regulators are either missing them or ignoring them.”
The survey found, essentially, that “a shocking 92 percent of all U.S. abortion facilities have the potential of not receiving inspections.”
Further, several states suspended their inspections because of COVID-19.
“These states are allowing the fox to guard the hen house. It is dangerous and a dereliction of their duty to protect the public,” said Newman.
Common violations found when inspections are done include a failure to properly sterilize equipment, wash hands, or keep the facility clean. Other common deficiencies include the failure to properly label drugs or discard them after expiration, failure to keep the crash cart adequately stocked and functioning, failure to monitor women in recovery, and failure to ensure women are stable before being discharged, Operation Rescue confirmed.
“A few abortion facilities even have been cited for failure to report suspected child sex abuse.”
“We are facing a dire health crisis created by a massive regulatory failure across 40 states of the kind condemned by Kermit Gosnell’s grand jury. When abortion facilities are not inspected, no one knows what kind of corners are being cut or what laws are being broken,” said Newman. “Regulatory failure on this scale is a national disgrace. For all the talk about women’s rights, there appears to be little concern for their health and safety – and no regulatory concern whatsoever about the lives of the babies in the womb.”
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