Pennsylvania TRAP Law Will Close Down Most, If Not All, Clinics

In the wake of the allegations of illegal procedures, health code violations, and poor medical care in the late term abortion clinic run by Kermit Gosnell, Pennsylvania anti-choice activists and politicians jumped on the opportunity to push for their real goal — banning abortion all together.

Now, it looks like their bill could do basically that very thing.

Via Philadelphia Weekly:

SB 732 requires that clinics renovate their buildings to adhere to the architectural codes and staffing requirements of ambulatory surgical facilities (ASF).

These guidelines include renovations that are prohibitively expensive and/or logistically impossible, such as: doubling the square footage of procedure rooms and upgrading to hospital-style elevators.

In addition, new staffing requirements would require an RN in the room any time a patient is present. Most abortion clinics perform abortions one day a week; under new guidelines, clinics would need to pay an RN to be present for family planning services and routine gynecological care.

Pennsylvanians for Choice—a statewide nonprofit coalition of reproductive rights advocates—has concluded that if SB 732 passes, “most, if not all, of the 20 nonhospital-based clinics in Pennsylvania would either have to move or discontinue offering surgical abortion services altogether.”

Tellingly, SB 732 at one point included an amendment that called for a fiscal impact study to determine if it would indeed close clinics in Pennsylvania; the study was hacked out of the bill.

So how would these changes have affected what happened at the infamous Gosnell clinic?  It wouldn’t have.  According to the article, Gosnell was already not following current law.  All this does is shut down clinics that weren’t putting women in danger , providing nothing but illegal operations for those who are desperate to terminate a pregnancy.

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  • progo35

    Oh, please. If the clinics in PA don’t give a crap bout their patients, which is what they are saying when they fail to accede to certain standards, than they shouldn’t be in business. That has nothing to do with being “anti choice.” I may not agree with a woman’s choice to have an abortion, but I certainly don’t want her to die while she’s having one. What is your solution? Just let the system in PA that allowed Gosnell to operate his literal death factory remain in place, with no standards to protect patients from quack doctors? Honestly!

  • julie-watkins

    If the clinics are protesting the “certain standards” it does not necessarily follow they “don’t give a crap”. It depends on the “standard” and whether it is medically advisable or an unnecessary expense.

  • crowepps

    The system in PA that allowed Gosnell to operate was Failure to Enforce the Already Existing Rules.

    “under Ridge’s Democratic predecessor, Bob Casey, who was famously opposed to legal abortion, Gosnell’s clinic was inspected three times, and each time serious problems were found. Nothing was done.”

    How exactly is requiring legal clinics to have the physical plant of a surgical center going to prevent “quack doctors” from doing illegal operations?  Particularly if the inspectors who find that clinics are out of compliance just walk away and don’t do anything about it?

    It would seem to me it would be much more effective to investigate exactly why the inspectors failed to put padlocks on the places with “serious problems”.