Delaware lawmakers eye precautions against Gosnell-like embarrassment
DOVER, Delaware, March 22, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Spurred by the scandal of Kermit Gosnell’s filthy abortion business in neighboring Philadelphia, Delaware legislators are preparing to vote on a bill giving state authorities more authority to inspect health care facilities.
The Delaware House of Representatives could vote as early as Tuesday on House Bill 47, which was approved by a House committee on March 16.
House Bill 47 would help Delaware dodge the embarrassment suffered by Pennsylvania state officials, who a grand jury investigation found were grossly negligent in allowing Gosnell’s practice to continue without censure for years, despite several complaints.
A Philadelphia Inquirer article on Monday detailed the “complete regulatory collapse” of Pennsylvania’s Department of State, which was found to have neglected the most basic demands of oversight.
One Gosnell victim, Cassandra Barger, filed suit against the abortionist in September 2005 after she was left convulsing on the floor of the clinic for an hour before Gosnell called for help, the Inquirer’s Chelsea Conaboy reports. According to the complaint filed by her lawyer, Barger’s friend wasn’t even allowed to go for help and was locked inside the clinic. But after Barger stopped answering phone calls from her attorney Derek Layser, the latter suspected a payoff and contacted the Department of State, where lawyers took no action.
Layser also warned the state that it was likely Gosnell was illegally operating without malpractice insurance, since the abortionist had answered the complaint personally rather than through a lawyer. But the grand jury found that Department of State prosecutor David Grubb recommended closing the file without checking Gosnell’s insurance coverage, a move greenlighted by supervisor Andrew Kramer.
Five filings against Gosnell were made between 2002 and 2009, each of them closed without action. The abortionist only came under scrutiny by the state after the botched-abortion death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar in 2009, leading to his arrest in early 2010.
The abortionist is now being held without bail for Mongar’s murder as well as the murder of seven babies killed after being born alive, instead of in the womb.
“We really need to decide whether a system that lets a guy like this slip by doesn’t really need a serious overhaul,” Arthur Caplan, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Bioethics, told the Inquirer.
The grand jury had also noted that the department’s sloppy habits began after pro-abortion governor Tom Ridge took over the previously pro-life administration in 1995.
“With the change of administration from Governor Casey to Governor Ridge, officials concluded that inspections would be ‘putting a barrier up to women’ seeking abortions. Better to leave clinics to do as they pleased, even though, as Gosnell proved, that meant both women and babies would pay,” said the grand jury report released in January.