WASHINGTON, D.C., April 15, 2013 ( – Ed Rendell, who was governor of Pennsylvania for eight of the 17 years Kermit Gosnell ran his “house of horrors” abortion clinic, denied allegations that the Pennsylvania Department of Health stopped inspecting the state's abortion facilities due to political pressure.

“I can guarantee it wasn't political pressure,” Rendell said on MSNBC's Morning Joe program this morning. He added that had “never heard anything about” pro-abortion organizations pressing the state to lighten its oversight and regulatory regime.


He chalked up the lack of effective state oversight to “bureaucratic incompetence,” saying inspectors at “the Philadelphia regional office…just didn't do their job.”

The Gosnell grand jury report contradicts the apolitical explanation offered by Rendell, a Democrat who served as governor of Pennsylvania 2003-11 and was closely aligned with Hilary Clinton.

The report, which runs more than 200 pages, calls the department's actions “ineffectual.” 

After 1993, says the report, “The Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all.”

The report noted, “Even nail salons in Pennsylvania are monitored more closely for client safety,” and accused the Department of Helath of showing an “utter disregard” for the safety of women and their unborn children.

“Most appalling of all,” said the Grand Jury, “the Department of Health’s neglect of abortion patients’ safety and of Pennsylvania laws is clearly not inadvertent: It is by design.”

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The report faults the Pennsylvania Department of State's Board of Medicine for dealing with a detailed complaint from an ex-Gosnell employee “almost a decade” before the death of Kanamaya Mongar, who died after an overdose of anaesthesia at Gosnell's clinic, with an offsite interview with Gosnell.

A representative of the National Abortion Federation also failed to report Gosnell after visiting Gosnell's clinic. The organization refused Gosnell's petition for membership, but took no steps to alert authorities to the appalling conditions.

“Whenever somebody wants to go in and investigate an abortion clinic or do tough regulations on it, suddenly, people start screaming and yelling that somebody is trying to take away their constitutional rights,” MSNBC host and former Congressman Joe Scarborough said.

He told Connecticut State Senator Chris Murphy, a pro-abortion Democrat, “Don't fight an open investigation here. Don't fight safeguards at abortion clinics. Don't fight tougher regulations at abortion clincs.”

Murphy rejected the notion that his party's position on abortion was extreme.

The segment on Gosnell, the network's first, follows the successful “tweetfest” organized by pro-life leaders to break through what they call a “media blackout” of the Gosnell trial.


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