GOP House Members Plan Investigation of State Abortion Regulation

Image: GOP House Members Plan Investigation of State Abortion Regulation Kermit Gosnell's former facility, the Women's Medical Society in Philadelphia.

Thursday, 09 May 2013 04:41 PM

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Top members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to state health agencies Wednesday asking for a thorough record of regulators' dealings with abortion clinics since 2008.

The inquiry comes in light of the trial of Philadelphia abortion provider Kermit Gosnell, who is accused of killing babies who were born alive during attempted abortions.

The congressmen say Gosnell's case raises "troubling questions" about state supervision of abortion providers, The Hill reports.

The committee is curious "whether state departments of health are aware, or even conducting appropriate monitoring, of these facilities," the letter states.

The letter asks for hundreds of documents describing rules that oversee abortion procedures, providers, clinics, and the reporting of health problems stemming from abortions.

The letter writers include Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich.; Vice Chairwoman Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; Oversight subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy, R-Pa.; Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., chairman of the Health subcommittee; and Texas GOP Reps. Joe Barton and Michael Burgess.

Gosnell was able to "operate dangerously and illegally for years . . . because oversight of such clinics was virtually non-existent," Pitts said, according to The Hill. "Other states should be aware of what happened in Pennsylvania and should take strong measures to protect women's health."

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