Pa. plan for more regulation of abortion clinics has bipartisan support

    Pennsylvania legislators are touting bipartisan backing of tighter regulations on clinics that perform abortions.

    House and Senate lawmakers, largely Republican, said Monday new license and inspection requirements will put facilities providing abortions on the same footing as other outpatient surgery centers.

    State Sen. Jane Orie of Allegheny County, who referred to the 2008 effort to regulate commercial dog breeders, said the health of women and children health should at least get as much scrutiny.

    “We went to great lengths to do the puppy-mill legislation, to ensure that whatever you do in regards to these puppies, that it’s regulated and that there’s safety and welfare,” Orie said. “For God’s sake, this is about children and women.”

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    The proposal was spurred by a January grand jury investigation into a clinic run by Dr. Kermit Gosnell in West Philadelphia. The probe found his clinic performed abortions in a reckless and illegal manner, causing unnecessary deaths.

    Gosnell ws charged with murder in the deaths of a woman and viable infants during procedures carried out in squalid conditions. At the time of the 2010 raid on Gosnell’s facility, it had been years since the last inspection from state officials.

    The House is slated to take up the issue up next week.

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