A while back, in a land far away, something bad happened at a pair of clinics in Pennsylvania, and some people died there. It was pretty horrible. The clinics did not have qualified staff, charged for procedures that were illegal, made millions of dollars on abusing their patients and the system. Pretty much everything that happened at those clinics that shouldn’t have happened was illegal or against existing regulations. The owner of the clinic and others were arrested and charged with several crimes. The system failed in letting this happen, but succeeded in eventually noticing and doing something about it. The clinics ran in poor areas and for this reason may have been under the radar of the MWJS.
This story, which is probably mostly true but also labors under the confusion of hyperbole and political wrappings linked to the whole abortion debate, is being used now in Minnesota to prop up anti-women’s health legislation that is sure to be vetoed by our governor. Legislators admit that nothing even close to this has ever happened in Minnesota, but insist that the legislation addresses things that could happen at any moment. The truth is, the legislation does not address the Pennsylvania issues at all, because they are already addressed by existing statute, regulation, and practice. What happened in Pennsylvania seems to have been a breakdown in the system, not a failure to regulate.
From our local CBS affiliate:
The House measure requires a physician to be in the room when a woman takes an abortion-inducing drug, like RU486. Supporters are calling it a women’s health issue.
“If the argument is that we are going to let women take a drug and all of a sudden this will go away, this is a very serious and dangerous drug and we just don’t want to take this lightly,” said Rep. Joyce Peppin of Rogers.
Experts tell us that RU486 does not require this kind of management, and that this legislation is clearly an attempt to step on women’s reproductive and health rights. In an increasingly popular form of legislative stupidity shaming, an amendment was introduced to require the presence of a doctor while a man takes a pill for erectile dysfunction, and that men be required to undergo counseling before being vasectomized.
Having no sense of humor, legislative Republicans defeated those amendments.