Abortion Scandal: Corbett Crafts Policy to Prevent Recurrence

By Whitney Roper, Contributing Writer

After a West Philadelphia abortion clinic scandal that sounded more like something out of a bad dream than reality, Governor Tom Corbett is taking necessary steps to ensure such complete disregard for public health and safety doesn’t happen again.

Last Tuesday at a Capitol news conference, Governor Tom Corbett expressed his disgust over the case in which Dr. Kermit Gosnell, along with his staff of untrained and uncertified employees, were responsible for the deaths of countless infants and at least two mothers.

The doctor had described himself in an interview with Philadelphia daily news as someone whose intentions were helping the poor and those of minority backgrounds. Gosnell was charged with eight counts of murder along with other charges.

Corbett had called the matter “despicable” and said that it wasn’t poorly working government but rather that it was government not working at all.

An attorney of one of Gosnell’s many victims told reporters that he applauds Gov. Corbett’s determination to provide provisions to the current way regulations and procedures are done.

Corbett flexed his executive power when he crafted a new policy for the Department of State and how filed complaints are handled along with a requirement for more thorough reports.

Yearly inspections of 20 clinics as well as random checks whenever something out of the norm happens are now state mandated; Failure to act upon any violations will result in a hefty fine. It is also so, that agencies involved in the oversight of such medical facilities will share monthly data and have joint investigations when necessary.

In addition, abortion clinics are now required to hang posters displaying a 24 hour, toll free phone number for any complaints.

Along with the newly implemented policy for abortion clinics, four attorneys and two supervisors at the departments of Health and State who allegedly knew about the clinic’s inspection violations have either been fired or resigned since January 18th, when Gov. Corbett took office. Furthermore, another eight employees remain under investigation.

A report by Brad Bumsted of Pittsburgh Tribune-Review named Department of State supervisory lawyer Chuck Hartwell and Basil Merenda, former secretary of state as having been fired and Mark Greenwald (Dept. of State attorney), Kenneth Brody (Dept of Health senior counsel), Stacy Mitchell (deputy secretary for quality assurance), and Christine Dutton (chief counsel) as either resigned or dismissed.

February 23rd, 2011 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, Playbook | No Comments