Neglect of West Philly Abortion Victims Was 'By Design'

By Tara Murtha
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 12 | Posted Feb. 2, 2011

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Fault Lines

The day before the grand jury report on Gosnell was published, Gov. Tom Corbett, endorsed by Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and LifePAC of Southwestern PA on previous campaigns, put his hand on William Penn’s bible and was sworn in as governor.

A week later, Jan. 25, the Pennsylvania Senate Banking and Insurance Committee approved Senate Bill 3. If signed into law, the bill will restrict private insurance companies planning to participate in the 2014 state healthcare exchanges from covering abortion. Since many women currently un- or underinsured or working at smaller companies will obtain health insurance coverage through the exchanges, this law will translate into less access to abortion services for women, and disproportionately affect poor women.

Pennsylvania was ground zero for the abortion debate before the Gosnell case and will continue to be as much in its aftermath. Whatever the specifics of the legislation that will be passed in the near future, what’s clear is that the trend will be to restrict access, not protect it.

It’s also clear from the data that more restrictions will result in both delayed abortions and women forced to carry to term simply because they can’t afford it.

The real fault lines in the abortion debate don’t lie between pro-lifers and pro-choicers anymore. It lies between rhetoric and reality. Gosnell operated in the wide-open darkness that lies between.

Click here for a timeline of events, including inspections and complaints that led to nowhere, leading up to Gosnell's arrest.

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Comments 1 - 12 of 12
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1. Anonymous said... on Feb 2, 2011 at 11:35AM

“inspecting clinics is a barrier to women? wow, how did that end up working out”

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2. Allen said... on Feb 2, 2011 at 11:37AM

“I think that public employees investigating or otherwise overseeing professionals of any type and decide to cover-up violations OR "let them slide" should share in the punishment by being sublect to TRIPLE DAMAGES at their sentencing.”

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3. Anonymous said... on Feb 2, 2011 at 11:38AM

“I don't see how not inspecting abortion clinics was supposed to give women better access to abortion. The DoH should be inspecting the cleanliness, file-keeping and quality of care given at every medical facility in the state once a year regardless of whether its an abortion clinic, a pediatricians office or even a bloodbank. The way to make abortions safer in Pennsylvania is to make sure that all insurances, particularly CHIP and AdultBasic, cover abortions. These women who went to Gosnells clinic went there because they had no choice. Because they went to Planned Parenthood and were told "you're more than 15 weeks along, we can't do it here, you have to go the Philadelphia Womens Center." When they get to the womens center they're told that their insurance doesn't cover abortion and that the procedure will cost about $1000. What if they don't have that much money? Well they can have some time to try and get the money together, but they need to be aware that if they wait more.....”

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4. Anonymous said... on Feb 2, 2011 at 11:54AM

“....than a few days the fetus will be bigger, which means it will be a more complicated procedure and will cost even more. And if the girl seeking the abortion is a minor who can't involve her parents, she'll have to obtain a judicial bypass, which can take almost a week sometimes, forcing her to be pregnant even longer and driving up the costs and possible dangers of the procedure. Our current laws are forcing the poor to either have a child which they might not be able to support or end up in a clinic like Gosnell's. Also, if there was better funding for sex ed and better access to the simple things like birth control we wouldn't have such a large population of girls who are too young and financially unstable to be thinking about starting a family ending up needing abortions. My question to those who say " I don't want my tax dollars funding abortions through CHIP and AdultBasic" would be what do want then? That these women who simply cannot get the money in time give birth....”

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5. Anonymous said... on Feb 2, 2011 at 12:09PM

“... to these children for whom you will now have to fund WIC, foodstamps, free school lunches, CHIP and a whole host of other things right on up to when they become adults, and if they make it to college you'll be funding their Pell Grants and their PHEAA grants and if they don't you'll be funding their Adultbasic care and foodstamps and on and off unemployment checks. I really hope that this case serves to show the dangers of restricting womens access to safe, affordable and early abortions, and reminds people that with easy access to and information about birth control many of these younger women would not be in this situation to begin with.”

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6. cooke said... on Feb 2, 2011 at 04:10PM

“this is a horrific story and it occurred in Philly and Wilmington. You have done a significant effort in identifying institutional neglect by these agencies. If there is a hell this guy is going and god bless those born/unborn children who were murdered by this satanic f*ck. I really have a hard time reading this and I imagine it was difficult to research and write - kudos to you Tara Murtha!”

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7. pete hoge said... on Feb 2, 2011 at 07:31PM

“We can only pray now. There can't be any blame or
revenge. A situation like this is in God's hands.,
because the secular state failed to protect mother's
and their children. God did not permit this, it is the
will of selfish people that made this happen and now
God will make something beautiful out of all this as
He always does.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is
the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary mother of
God, pray for us sinners, ( all who are involved in
the abortion clinic tragedy), now and at the hour of
our death.


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8. Amary said... on Feb 4, 2011 at 04:40AM

“Situations like this are a result of the push to have abortion as common and accessible as possible, rather than a result of not having enough abortion providers. In fact, just this week Planned Parenthood was exposed as actively encouraging underage prostitution by advising undercover 'pimps' how to get around federal regulations designed to protect 13-14 year old girls from being exploited.

So a more 'mainstream' clinic that still chooses to place unfettered access to abortions higher than the welfare of the women (and girls) they are supposed to protect still doesn't seem like that great of an option.”

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9. brendancalling said... on Feb 7, 2011 at 11:28AM

“amary is lying about planned parenthood. that was a "sting" set up by pro-life zealots and it failed miserably.
stop lying. You're bearing false witness.”

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10. backwoodsterrorist said... on Feb 15, 2011 at 11:05PM

“im one hundred percent pro-choice, but would never seek one. i really believe that and am not a church goer. there is no god, but there is the act of murdering a child. thats what it is. call a spade a spade already. im only pro choice in the sense that i don't think its my job to tell other people their business. im sure there are instances that make this a complicated topic, but i cant believe how lightly some people take it. all women should have the best access to contraceptives and quality medical care. but once you have a kid in the womb, thats what you have. if a few months is the difference between doing it early or waiting til it comes out and sticking a pillow over its head i think we're splitting hairs”

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11. What is the object of this reporting? said... on Mar 3, 2011 at 11:59PM

“It's disturbing to me that there is so much graphic detail in articles about this case. The descriptions are written as if they were literature. I hope people do not take pleasure in reading these passages. A few sentences that state the offenses matter-of-factly should be enough to make anyone sick.

A taste for violence and a tolerance for horror are things that are developed.”

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12. Anonymous said... on Mar 9, 2011 at 04:06PM

“To commenter #11...

I think the details in this case, though very gruesome, were necessary. I'm sure many people who are against abortion clinics also read the Philly Weekly, and they need to see the horror of what was certainly NOT a REAL abortion clinic! So many people think that all abortions are the same as murdering babies. This was not an abortion clinic--this was a clinic committing infanticide and practicing sickening disregard for the lives of women who thought they were protecting themselves by going in for an abortion.

Abortion is so stigmatized in our culture that some people probably expect to walk into a horror movie if they enter an abortion clinic. This case needs to be made an example to show that abortions themselves are safe, but clinical conditions, as well as the mental conditions of providers need to be monitored.

This case is as back-alley as it gets.”


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