The Washington Post got just one thing right in its Monday editorial: the results of Virginia’s November 5th election will have widespread implications for the fate of abortion facilities – and women – across the Commonwealth. The next occupant of the governor’s mansion will be responsible for enforcing the abortion facility health and safety standards enacted by the General Assembly and the Board of Health last year.
The Democratic candidate, Terry McAuliffe, has already vowed to unilaterally help existing abortion clinics skirt the regulations. It is this unwavering loyalty to the abortion industry – which has likewise fought tooth and nail against being regulated – instead of the health and safety of women that should give every Virginian pause.
Governors indeed play a key role. They set the environment in which the abortion industry operates state to state. It was a governor turning a blind eye that allowed Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell to operate his house of horrors unencumbered for nearly two decades. That needn’t have been the case.
Under Pennsylvania’s pro-life Democratic Governor Bob Casey, abortion clinics were subject to yearly inspections. When pro-choice Republican Gov. Tom Ridge took over, clinic inspections were abandoned – for political reasons. The Ridge administration believed inspections would “put up a barrier” to women obtaining abortions. Consequently, Gosnell’s clinic went uninspected by state authorities for more than 17 years. Women – and estimated thousands of late-term babies – died.
Gosnell is now serving life in prison, having been convicted of the murder of three infants and the negligent death of one woman, a Virginia resident named Karnamaya Mongar.
According to the Grand Jury Report, Mongar “received repeated unmonitored, unrecorded intravenous injections of Demerol” – a dangerous and cheap sedative used unscrupulously by Gosnell. When she stopped breathing after a few hours, Gosnell tried to use a broken defibrillator to revive her.
When EMS were finally called and arrived on the scene, they were delayed another estimated twenty minutes in removing her to the ambulance from the scene. The filthy hallways were cluttered and the emergency exit was padlocked. Firefighters had to cut the padlock on the door.
It is these circumstances of Mongar’s death make that make the abortion industry and Terry McAuliffe’s resistance to regulation a slap in the face to Virginia women. Karnamaya Mongar might not have died in Philadelphia if abortion facility hallways had been regulated and those regulations enforced by the state’s executive office.
Mongar’s death seems to have gone tragically ignored by the Post – along with evidence that, yes, deeply unsettling violations have been discovered inside Virginia abortion facilities. The initial report to the Virginia Board of Health by Commissioner Karen Remley last June cited 80 violations in only the first nine inspections of facilities in the states.
These violations include blood-stained operating tables and operating equipment, staff performing procedures with unwashed hands, failure to maintain emergency equipment, improper storage and dispensing of drugs, improper or poor staff training, and failure to ensure that abortionists are licensed in Virginia – to name a few. Since the initial report, there have been at least 11 more inspections, with dozens more violations.