New York State Skipping Abortion Clinic Inspections

Monday, 07 Apr 2014 09:34 AM

By Courtney Coren

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Many of the abortion clinics in New York are going without inspections – some for as long as 10 years.

According to documents obtained by The New York Post, out of the 25 clinics the health regulators have on its list to inspect, eight were never inspected between 2000 to 2012, five were only inspected once, and eight were inspected two or three times, in the same time period.

By contrast, restaurants in New York City are inspected and graded every year. Tanning salons are required by law to be inspected every two years.

The information was revealed by a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by the conservative pro-life think tank, the Chiaroscuro Foundation.

Greg Pfundstein, the group's executive director, said that he was prompted to seek the information following the Kermit Gosnell trial, in which it was revealed that the abortion doctor's clinic had escaped inspection for 15 years. It was finally inspected due to concerns about illegal prescriptions.

Gosnell was convicted on three counts of first degree murder because he snipped the spines of babies born alive as well as other charges.

There were 73,815 abortions in New York City and 130,000 in the state in 2012.

Pfundstein told the Post that the lack of inspections in the state and city pose a safety concern.

"New York has one of the highest abortion rates in the country. More oversight is needed. Abortion clinics are as much a public concern as tanning salons," Pfundstein said. "There should be regular inspections of all licensed abortion clinics."

While only 25 abortion-service providers are regulated in New York, pro-choice groups claim, there are 225 providers in the Empire State, the Post is reporting.

"Right now, New York is only inspecting a fraction of abortion providers, and only very rarely. It's hard to know which facilities are safe," Pfundstein added.

The health department in New York said that many of the abortion service providers likely go unchecked because "some facilities are not required to have 'abortion services' in their operating certificates in order to perform abortions," Elizabeth Sullivan, the records official at the Health Department wrote in a letter.

So there is not a full "list of every Article 28 facility that performs abortions," she added.

According to court papers, legal action was only taken against one clinic in 12 years, due to safety concerns.

Following the Gosnell revelations, House members sent letters to health officials and attorney generals in every state asking for documentation about the monitoring and licensing practices in their states.

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