Some lawmakers in Illinois are saying enough is enough with the state’s dirty, uninspected abortion clinics. The news that abortion facilities in the state were not subject to health inspections, leaving the lives of many women in danger, prompted the filing of HB 3274 on Wednesday. This bill would require licensing of “pregnancy termination centers,” defined as places that provide 50 or more surgical abortions per year.
The bill also requires the Department of Public Health to “conduct at least one unannounced inspection of each pregnancy termination specialty center.” Generally, abortion facilities in Illinois were inspected once every nine years.
In fact, it’s worse than that. The report noted that the five Planned Parenthood clinics in the state are not licensed; therefore, no Planned Parenthood clinic was inspected from 2000-2014.
An alarming report from Illinois Right to Life revealed these flaws and more, which clearly are medically unsafe, jeopardizing the health of all the women who venture to these unlicensed, uninspected facilities.
As Live Action News reported in January, some of the situations found in these abortion facilities are so disturbing that no sane person would receive any other sort of medical treatment at such facilities. Among the findings in the 66-page report:
- Reportedly gynecological cannulas were stained with a brown substance.
- Suction machine in the operating room contained clear water with specks of floating debris in it.
- Nine cups with medication in them also contained crumbs.
- Two boxes of Nuva Rings (inserted contraceptive medication) were stored in the refrigerator with a liter of cola.
- The facility failed to ensure a pre-anesthesia evaluation was conducted prior to administration of anesthesia on some patients.
- Biohazard laboratory refrigerator contained fetal tissue alongside medications and food.
The bill was filed by Representative Sheri L Jesiel, but she is joined by co-chief sponsors: Jerry F. Costello, II (D) – Patricia R. Bellock (R) – Barbara Wheeler (R)- Jeanne M Ives (R). In addition to the licensing and inspection requirements, the bill also requires that if a health inspection finds a violation that could threaten the health of a patient, that the abortion facility notify the patient in writing of the threat. If the abortion clinic has closed, the Department of Public Health will issue the warning. The warning must include the nature of the violation, as well as the risk to the patient.
Further, if the inspection reveals a violation, then the Department of Public Health must also issue a public announcement, which includes the date and location of violation, so that all patients will be aware of the risk to their health and be able to act accordingly.
Put in simple terms, this bill is a basic patient protection and safety bill that is many years overdue. Being an abortion clinic should not exempt a medical facility from commonsense inspections and notifications. Yet that’s exactly what’s happened in the state where tanning salons and restaurants are inspected annually but these clinics which do surgery on women are not. These state assembly members hope to change that with HB3274.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the bill would require licensing of pregnancy termination centers if they performed more than 50 or more abortions per month. The correct figure is 50 or more abortions per year.