Reader: Oversight needed for W.Va. abortions

July 27, 2013

Dear Editor,

A great deal has recently been written about the events surrounding the Texas legislature’s passage of an omnibus abortion bill. There has been less discussion of the content of the bill, which has the overwhelming support of the people of Texas and most Americans nation-wide.

National polling indicates that most Americans support the principles that this bill would put into law. By putting restrictions on abortion after 20 weeks of gestation the Texas bill also reflects the now established scientific fact that at that age unborn children experience pain more intensely than they would later in life when pain-modulating mechanism have been established. (The scientific evidence is reviewed on the web site .) That, of course, is the reason why babies are anesthetized during fetal surgery while they are still in the mother’s womb.

A core aspect of the bill seeks to put abortion clinics under the same regulations that are required of any medical clinic, such as having admitting privileges at a nearby hospital in case of a medical emergency.

Since the Gosnell trial highlighted the horrors that can occur in unregulated abortion clinics, Pennsylvania (and other states) have resumed or instituted inspections of existing clinics and closed some of them due to unsafe conditions. Is it “pro-woman” to expect women to settle for unregulated health care facilities that wouldn’t be tolerated in general medical practice? Do the bill’s opponents want women to enter abortion facilities with fewer health care regulations than are imposed on their hair and nail salons?

According to West Virginia’s Attorney General, abortion facilities in West Virginia are “neither licensed nor regulated by the State.” (They are not inspected either.) Furthermore, on June 7, 2013, the Family Policy Council of West Virginia brought suit on behalf of Ms. Itai Gravely, alleging that the Women’s Health Center of WV and its abortionist, Rodney Stephens, committed medical malpractice by proceeding with the abortion against her wishes, and then leaving the baby’s head in her womb in a botched abortion attempt.

Not only is the practice of abortion unregulated in West Virginia, it is subsidized with tax-payer dollars through the state’s Medicaid program. It is time for West Virginians to demand some oversight of the programs we pay for with our tax dollars.

We have an opportunity to prevent state funding of abortion through the new health care exchange. Let our state leaders know that you support their efforts to prevent our tax dollars from paying for abortions in that health care program.

Wanda Franz

President of West Virginians for Life