Liberals have objected vehemently to suggestions of increasing regulatory scrutiny of the abortion industry. Apparently, the cost of sterilizing equipment to ensure that teen victims of forced abortion do not acquire sexually transmitted diseases while having their babies exterminated could potentially reduce abortionists' obscene profits, putting the whole industry in jeopardy.
Last year, while Dr. Kermit Gosnell was greedily raking in at least $1.8 million at his abortion mill in Philadelphia, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli provided his non-binding opinion on the power of the state to regulate the abortion industry:
It is my opinion that the Commonwealth has the authority to promulgate regulations for facilities in which first trimester abortions are performed as well as for providers of first trimester abortions, so long as the regulations adhere to constitutional limitations...The regulations at issue [concern] licensing requirements; staffing rules; specified drug, equipment and laboratory availability; detailed record keeping and reporting duties; maintenance, safety and emergency policies; sterilization procedures; and design and construction standards.
As noted by the Washington Times, this opinion ignited a brushfire that quickly engulfed liberal America:
Liberals usually want to regulate everything that breathes, moves, burns, flows or produces. When it comes to abortion mills, however, the same leftists scream bloody murder - not against killing babies, but against daring to regulate the practice even for the mother's safety. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has drawn fire merely for saying his state's Board of Health is allowed to regulate providers of first-trimester abortions...Morality demands that women be protected from unhealthy practices of licensed abortionists, who after all are in business to make money and frequently cut corners. Pro-abortion militants are against abortuary oversight for fear that some clinics will be shut down, thus preventing mothers from terminating their pregnancies...
True to form, lefties at The Atlantic were much more concerned about the profitability of the abortion industry than about the safety of mothers and their babies. Nichole Allan accused Ken Cuccinelli of making an "end run on abortion" when Cuccinelli said that Virginia has the power to regulate abortion in the same way that it regulates other procedures at outpatient surgical clinics:
In 2001, Mother Jones ran a story about the rise of what abortion rights advocates call TRAP laws, short for Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers. The article, written by Barry Yeoman and titled "The Quiet War on Abortion," detailed the anti-abortion movement's shift from targeting the legality of the procedure to applying pressure on its providers...If the [Board of Health] were to follow Cuccinelli's advice, the state's 21 abortion clinics would be subject to the same requirements as hospitals. In order to comply, they would have to undergo structural renovations and obtain staff members with new qualifications. The cost of these requirements would, Virginia abortion rights advocates estimate, put 17 of the state's 21 clinics out of business."We predict it's about $1.5 to $2 million per clinic in extra cost," Keene said. "It's just crazy. And the thing is, it's really just designed to shut these places down. It has nothing to do with medical care."
Maybe the folks at The Atlantic can be forgiven for their shortsightedness. This time last week, very few of us had any idea how dirty and unhealthy the abortion industry could be. The holocaust at Dr. Gosnell's flea-ridden charnel house has opened millions of eyes. Because Gosnell was operating his business in a state dominated by militant pro-abortion politics in both political parties, Gosnell was free to subject his victims to filth, disease and death while state regulatory agencies deliberately turned a blind eye.
Now we know how dangerous and reckless the abortion industry can be. The decades-long laissez-faire approach to the abortion industry hurt women and their families in Pennsylvania irreparably.