Column: It’s time to revoke the legal immunity of the abortion industry

Michael Schuttloffel is the executive director of the Kansas Catholic Conference.
Michael Schuttloffel is the executive director of the Kansas Catholic Conference.

by Michael Schuttloffel

If sanity is ever to be restored to our nation’s approach to the issue of abortion, legislation like the clinic licensure bill currently before the Kansas Legislature will be key to the process.

The bill would apply common-sense regulations to abortion clinics, including unannounced inspections.

Supporters of abortion insist that it is just another health care procedure and should be treated as such. Yet they have nonetheless succeeded in ensuring that abortion is treated differently — radically differently — than any other procedure in health care. Indeed, there is no analogy in American life to the abortion industry and how it operates outside of the normal moral and legal universe inhabited by the rest of society.

Look no further than the fact that veterinary clinics in Kansas are more strictly regulated than abortion clinics. No veterinarian, nor barber, nor shortorder cook could have escaped severe penalization had they maintained anything like the work environment found at the abortion-providing Affordable Medicine Clinic in Kansas City, Kan., in 2003. There, Kansas City police discovered filthy facilities, infested with cockroaches, with dried blood on the floor. According to employees, Dr. Krishna Rajanna failed to properly sterilize equipment and even kept aborted fetuses in the refrigerator next to food. But because Rajanna killed unborn children for money, he was long exempt from penalty. Only after the application of sustained political pressure did he eventually lose his license.

Remarkably, the stomach-churning details of that police report are surpassed by the 281-page grand jury report in the recent case of Pennsylvania abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell:

[H]e regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy — and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors. . . . [H]e overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels — and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths. . . . Furniture and blankets were stained with blood. Instruments were not properly sterilized. Disposable medical supplies were not disposed of; they were reused, over and over again. . . . And scattered throughout, in cabinets, in the basement, in a freezer, in jars and bags and plastic jugs, were fetal remains.

In what other industry would such a scenario even be possible? Where else is such madness allowed to go unscrutinized in our very midst? Perhaps most telling was the Philadelphia district attorney’s comment that there was “more oversight of women’s hair salons and nail salons” than there was of abortion facilities.

The fact that abortion clinics function outside even a minimal regulatory scheme is a symbol of the moral lawlessness of abortion itself. The time has come for what has effectively served as legal immunity for the abortion industry to be revoked.

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