PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, January 20, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Upon entering the building, investigators were hit by the stench of cat urine and the sight of drugged and moaning women lying on blood-stained blankets. Flea-ridden cats defecated freely on the bloodied floors.
The abortion equipment itself was broken, dirty, and rusty; downstairs, the dismembered remains of newborn and nearly-born children were stuffed into jars, bags, milk jugs, and cat food containers. Others shared space in a refrigerator-freezer with employees’ lunches.
This, according to a description by the Philadelphia Inquirer this week, was the scene that met Philadelphia police investigators last February when raiding abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s late-term abortion clinic – dubbed the “House of Horrors.” Upon returning, the investigators wore hazmat suits.
But just two months before, according to a Grand Jury report released this week, an inspector for the National Abortion Federation (NAF) walked into the same clinic to vet the facility for inclusion in the federation. While clinic workers testified that Gosnell cleaned up for the inspection, the NAF representative nonetheless recalled being appalled by the vastly inadequate treatment provided there.
But despite witnessing numerous violations of basic standards of care, the inspector never reported Gosnell – who was arrested this week and charged with 8 murders - to authorities.
The inspector, watching a few first-trimester procedures in Gosnell’s clinic, “noticed that no one was monitoring or taking vital signs of patients who were sedated during procedures,” wrote the jurors. “She asked Gosnell about the pulse oximeter that should have been used for monitoring, but he told her it was broken. Apparently, Karnamaya Mongar’s death a month earlier had not caused Gosnell to obtain equipment that worked.”
During a November 19 abortion, Mongar had been given extra pain medication when she complained of severe cramping, after which she began turning blue and lost a pulse. She was pronounced dead at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania later that day.
The inspector also noticed that the clinic kept insufficient records of patients, and failed to provide patients with information of the risks of medications or of the procedure. Out-of-state patients were offered a bed to recover – unattended - overnight following an abortion in a facility where bathrooms and exits were difficult to locate.
The jurors expressed shock that these observations would not have prompted the NAF inspector to take more drastic measures.
“We have to question why an evaluator from NAF, whose stated mission is to ensure safe, legal, and acceptable abortion care, and to promote health and justice for women, did not report Gosnell to authorities,” they wrote.
Jill Stanek, a registered nurse turned top pro-life blogger, pointed out Thursday that the NAF inspector had been submitted to more than just filthy conditions, but clearly witnessed “profuse illegalities” such as non-physicians giving sedation, and other violations of the law. “I submit that along with several Pennsylvania state agencies, NAF should also face charges of some sort,” said Stanek.
National Abortion Federation president Vicki Saporta said this week that Gosnell’s practice was “a total outlier” to the “very high quality care” of other abortion clinics. However, while acknowledging that Gosnell’s application was rejected in 2009, the NAF has apparently not yet provided an explanation for failing to report the facility.
The jurors also pointed to other failures of oversight by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and other agencies, which could have nipped Gosnell’s dangerous practice in the bud. Although forty-six lawsuits were filed against Gosnell, no complaints submitted to state regulators concerning the abortionist ended in disciplinary action, according to the Associated Press.
“Had state and local officials performed their duties properly, Gosnell’s clinic would have been shut down decades ago,” they wrote. “If inspectors had looked solely for violations of Pennsylvania’s abortion regulations, there would have been ample grounds to revoke the approval of Gosnell’s clinic as an abortion provider — as was demonstrated when DOH inspectors finally entered the facility in February 2010.”
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams also accused the state’s Health Department of “utter disregard” for Gosnell’s patients, often impoverished and minority women.
While abortion supporters have distanced themselves from Gosnell’s appalling clinic conditions, the nation’s top abortion lobbies, as a rule, vigorously oppose regulations that subject abortion clinics to higher health standards.