See the Part I report on this video interview – Crisis pregnancy centers under heavy assault by authorities in ‘abortion capital’ NYC
NEW YORK CITY, May 22, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On the heels of recent reports showing that New York abortion facilities are inspected less frequently than McDonald’s or Taco Bell, the owner of nine crisis pregnancy centers in the New York City metro area is crying foul about what he sees as a double standard when it comes to women’s safety.
In a video interview with LifeSiteNews, EMC Frontline Pregnancy Centers owner Chris Slattery complained that city and state officials have made it a top goal to regulate pro-life pregnancy centers out of existence, while allowing abortion facilities to operate largely without oversight. This, despite the fact that crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) provide only information and charitable assistance to women facing unplanned pregnancies, while abortion centers perform surgeries and other medical procedures.
Slattery told LifeSiteNews he was concerned that lack of enforcement by pro-abortion state officials is likely to lead to another situation like Kermit Gosnell – the late-term abortionist in Pennsylvania who was sentenced last year to three life terms in prison for murdering babies born alive after botched abortions, killing at least one woman under his care, and illegally selling prescription narcotics. Several Pennsylvania officials were fired or stepped down in the aftermath of that investigation, after it was revealed that Gosnell’s clinic had operated for nearly two decades without an inspection.
“The fact is, New York is a one-party state controlled by the Democrats,” Slattery told LifeSiteNews. “The governor is rabidly pro-abortion and it was just disclosed by the New York Post that New York City abortion clinics have been virtually given a free pass on inspections.”
“We saw what happened through lax regulation of abortion clinics in Pennsylvania, where it was disclosed that over fifteen years, there was no regulation, no inspection of Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s facility there,” said Slattery. “You would have thought that might have perked up the abortion clinic inspections in New York State. There may be a number of Gosnells in New York City, absolutely, and yet we’ve seen the vast majority of places where abortions are performed have never been inspected ever in New York State, and the licensed clinics have averaged one inspection for every 33,000 abortions performed.”
Slattery summed up the state’s oversight of the abortion industry as “pathetic” and slammed it for its lack of transparency.
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“Every restaurant in New York City … has a grade, a letter on their door,” Slattery said. “Are they an A, B, C, D, have they failed inspection, et cetera. And of course a diner can find out the health of a restaurant, and they’re frequently inspected, but abortion clinics, most of which rarely get inspected, if they do, the public has no idea what happens in those facilities because [the results are] kept secret.”
Slattery contrasted New York’s relaxed approach to abortion facilities with its aggressive stance toward CPCs, which New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio calls “sham clinics” because they don’t perform abortions.
In recent years, the state and city have tried to force CPCs to post disclaimers on their doors notifying potential clients that they won’t perform abortions, as well as disclosing whether they have a licensed physician on staff and informing women that the city recommends they seek out a “licensed medical provider” such as Planned Parenthood if they believe themselves to be pregnant. They argue CPCs should be regulated by the Department of Consumer Affairs, although CPCs are charities and do not sell any products or services. State officials have also accused CPCs of practicing medicine without a license because they offer free ultrasounds – something that New York does not require any medical licensing to do.
“You know, of course, if you’re going to get into regulation, at least have it done by the Department of Health,” Slattery said. “But the fines for non-disclosure of the medical arrangements, of supervision in a pregnancy center, $2,500 fines, and yet we see over decades, pregnancy centers harassed, but abortion clinics left alone – a free pass.”
There is some evidence that New York might have been shamed by recent reports into taking some action when it comes to oversight of abortion clinics. In April, Health Commissioner Nirav Shah stepped down after a Freedom of Information Act request by the pro-life Chiaroscuro Foundation revealed that the state health department had inspected only 17 of the 25 abortion offices it oversees between 2000-2012, and of those, only eight had been inspected more than once.
“The State Department of Health vigorously and aggressively investigates any and all allegations of physician misconduct, or complaints against a facility under its direct supervision,” State Department of Health official Bill Schwarz said at the time. “This includes 22 complaints since 2005 against the 25 DOH-regulated facilities that provide reproductive health services -– all of which will also be subjected to re-inspection within the coming days.”
However, the DOH regulates only 25 abortion facilities out of 225 estimated to be operating in the state. There is no word on whether the remaining 200 facilities will also face inspections.