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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Supreme Court weighs health and safety requirements for women in abortion clinics

The Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a case to decide whether or not legislators can require abortion clinics to adhere to the same safety and health requirements of similar clinics.
The following op-eds by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) and Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) address what's at stake:

Rep. Black -

Before I came to Congress, I served as a registered nurse. During my time in the emergency room, I cared for a young woman who came to my hospital after undergoing a botched abortion at a clinic that was not properly regulated. When her complications occurred, there was no answer at the after-hours number that she called and by the time she entered my care she was dying and there was nothing that the doctors or I could do to save her.
That young woman lost her precious life; a life that could have been saved if proper regulations were in place to protect her safety and to hold the abortionist accountable. This is what is at stake at the high court.
Sadly, my story is not the only one of its kind. Americans were awakened to the dangers of unregulated abortion clinics on a grander and more sinister scale with the grisly murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell in 2013 – which served as the genesis for the Texas law in dispute today.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler - The Hill:

In the Grand Jury report regarding Gosnell, the jurists stated, “There is no justification for denying abortion patients the protections available to every other patient of an ambulatory surgical facility, and no reason to exempt abortion clinics from meeting these standards.” They went further to say that abortion clinics “should be explicitly regulated as ambulatory surgical facilities, so that they are inspected annually and held to the same standards as all other outpatient procedure centers.”
Overturning the Texas law, on the other hand, endangers women’s health, allowing facilities like the Women’s Medical Society to go uninspected and unaccountable. Adding to this danger, ruling against this law could place other reasonable regulations on abortion in jeopardy as fringe groups, aiming to make unregulated abortion the norm and not the exception, use this as a precedent to overturn laws around the country.
To this end, joined by 173 other members of Congress, I led an amicus brief in support of this Texas law. Further, over 3,300 women injured by abortion have signed a similar amicus brief in support of these regulations. Simply put, medical procedures as serious and consequential as abortion should not be allowed to go unregulated. The infamous abortionist Kermit Gosnell was not an outlier—we must protect women and children from other Gosnells.

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