No one in the pro-choice movement supports dirty
healthcare clinics and doctors who practice irresponsible medicine. Women
deserve safe abortions performed in sterile environments, as do all who seek
any kind of medical care. Which is why the story this morning about the troubled
case of a Philadelphia clinic is particularly heartbreaking. The Associated
Federal agents raided a
clinic where abortions are performed and found "deplorable and
unsanitary" conditions, including blood on the floor and parts of aborted
fetuses in jars, according to the state agency that shut it down and suspended
the license of the doctor in charge.
In the order suspending
Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s license, the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Board of
Medicine said investigators found numerous health and safety risks at Gosnell’s
abortion and pain-management clinic, including a preoperative and recovery area
that consisted of several recliners grouped together.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
was told that federal and state drug agents were investigating Dr. Gosnell on
suspicion of illegal distribution of prescription painkillers and his medical
license was suspended on suspicion of a patient dying under his care.
The likely victim has been
identified by the Inquirer and her story reminds us that she only turned to
a clinic like Dr. Gosnell’s after being turned away from clinics in both Virginia and
Maryland. Her struggle to get the abortion she and her family desired is
exactly why outlawing abortion will never make it disappear and precisely why
it should be legally practiced in safe, clean medical facilities.
remembers seeing his unconscious sister on an ambulance stretcher, being taken
out the back door of the West Philadelphia clinic where she had undergone an
Ghalley and his niece -
the woman’s daughter – were stunned.
"I asked the
doctor, ‘What happened?’ " Ghalley recalled yesterday during a phone
interview. "He said: ‘Her heart stopped. The procedure went well, but her
heart stopped.’ "
Karnamaya Mongar, 41, developed a fatal heart arrhythmia after being given
painkillers and other drugs at the clinic at 3801 Lancaster Ave., which is
owned and run by Kermit B. Gosnell, according to a state order suspending his
The Inquirer reports
that according the order, an unlicensed
employee may have distributed painkillers to Mongar. If the anti-choice
movement had not been so successful in limiting abortion services the victim
should have been able to get an abortion at a clinic in her state of Virginia
or in Maryland. But reading about her case in the Philadelphia Inquirer
shows the lengths to which women will go to terminate a pregnancy if needed.
Ghalley explained that his sister;
her husband, Ash; and their three children were living with him in Woodbridge,
Va., a suburb of Washington. They had arrived in the United States only five
months earlier from their native Bhutan, a poor, mountainous, landlocked nation
between China and India.
Ghalley, who has been in the United
States for a decade and speaks English fluently, became their interpreter,
guide, and chauffeur.
He did not question his sister
when she asked him to drive her to an abortion clinic in Virginia.
"In our culture, they [the
couple] cannot talk about it with relatives," Ghalley said. "She was
depressed. I figured she has three children, she has grandkids also, maybe she
did not want another child."
Because Mongar was more than 12
weeks pregnant, the Virginia abortion clinic referred her to one in Maryland.
"They didn’t want to do it
either," Ghalley said. "They gave the name of the Philadelphia
Mongar was about 18 or 19 weeks
pregnant on that November night, Ghalley said. Her husband could not accompany
her because "he just got a job in a chicken factory."
Ghalley’s first impression of the
Philadelphia facility – a shabby, three-story brick structure with a two-story
annex – was not good.
"So dirty. Dirty, bloody, a
lot of people waiting," Ghalley recalled. "I was thinking at that
time, maybe he [the doctor] was cheaper."
Most reproductive healthcare clinics that provide
abortion services are professionally run. What Ghalley describes is almost like
the "backalley" abortions of the pre-Roe era. We don’t need to outlaw abortion in
order prevent deaths like Mongar. Instead we need to make sure that abortion is
always save and legal.
Yesterday South Dakota killed a bill that would have required
insurance companies to cover birth control. And Bristol Palin will appear on The
Secret Life of the American Teenager as
February 24, 2010
A death after abortion at
suspended medic’s clinic Philadelphia Inquirer
Decision will expand local access
to abortion pill The Register-Guard
medication to be offered in our area Mail Tribune
February 23, 2010
Planned Parenthood’s move stirs
secularists Worcester Telegram
Family Planning service in
Pacific is patchy says spokesperson Radio New
Bishops slam condom campaign Healthcare
Bristol Palin to play a teen mom on
TV The Money Times
New Studies Renew Sex Education
Debate District Administration
Reject Obama’s Compromise Health Care Plan Christian Post
oppose new Obama plan for health-care reform Catholic
Fetuses First Feministe
Dramatic Pro-Life Rescue in
Pa. abortion doctor’s
license suspended after raid Houston Chronicle
Miller Attacks Marshall For Abortion Comments Loudoun
manipulating women to promote cause, warns population expert Catholic News
have agreed to disagree for 10 years Los Angeles
Perennial Feud Remains on Abortion Wall Street
Why be pro-choice and oppose
the death penalty? Wednesday Journal
The GOP’s misguided hunt for
heretics Washington Post
SD House kills contraceptive
coverage bill Daily Republic
Beefed up maternity health
insurance bill sails through the House The Colorado
Sexually confused The Guardian
Commons backs sex education move BBC News