Plan to revamp abortion clinic regulation stalls in Pa.

    A bill that would reclassify clinics providing abortions has stalled in the Pennsylvania House.

    State lawmakers are still negotiating the terms of a proposal to require clinics that perform abortions to adhere to the same regulations as ambulatory surgical facilities.

    Twice, the state House was expected to vote on a proposal, which has been reworked since it was introduced in the Senate.

    Terry Madonna, a political scientist at Franklin and Marshall College, said something’s amiss with the new language or else it would have gone to a vote already.

    “Which further illustrates, I think, the problem with sort of what we might call the unruly majority, meaning, the difficulty in getting Republicans on the same page,” Madonna said.

    The measure is a response to the deplorable conditions at a clinic run by Dr. Kermit Gosnell in West Philadelphia.

    But Sari Stevens with Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates, which is against the bill, said it’s been so thoroughly changed that it seems to be giving the state Senate and Gov. Tom Corbett pause.

    “Gov. Corbett’s initial response to the Gosnell tragedy in Philadelphia was, this is a failure of government, this is not a failure of regulation,” she said. “We’ve gone through 10 months of hijacked bills and it appears now that Matt Baker has so overreached.”

    Republican Rep. Matt Baker said he thinks his latest amendments will result in an agreement on the bill.

    Opponents of the proposal say similar regulations in other states have resulted in clinics shutting down because of the cost of quickly getting up to code.

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