The staff at the “mega” Planned Parenthood in St. Paul, Minnesota, claims: “We’re like the cool, older (and expertly trained!) sister that you can turn to — you can come to us in confidence, we don’t judge, and we have your very best interests at heart.” And yet, the not-so-cool reality is that this Planned Parenthood’s “expertly trained” staff has a documented history of sending some of its patients away on gurneys and in ambulances. Perhaps this should come as no surprise, given that the facility has no license and is never inspected. But that’s not unusual in the state of Minnesota. In fact, no abortion facilities in Minnesota are licensed or inspected — ever.
No oversight, but plenty of taxpayer dollars
By contrast, in order to operate as a freestanding outpatient surgical center in the state of Minnesota, doctors must first fill out a seven-page license application, then contact the Secretary of State and file a Certificate of Assumed Name. Then a Minnesota Department of Health engineer must review and approve the center’s construction plans. Next, there’s an inspection by the state fire marshal and a health supervisor. After one has successfully jumped through all of these hoops, a license can be issued, and the surgical center can begin to schedule patient appointments.
But aren’t abortion facilities essentially “freestanding outpatient surgical centers,” even if they aren’t officially designated as such? They are freestanding centers — in other words, they are not connected to a hospital — and outpatient surgeries take place there. Yet they aren’t subject to any of the same regulations as surgical centers devoted to healing rather than killing. There’s no seven-page application. And there are certainly no inspections — either initially, or on an ongoing basis. Nobody is checking to make sure expired medications aren’t being used (which is something abortion businesses routinely do), or ensuring facilities and equipment are sanitary (Planned Parenthood, in particular, is noteworthy for the number of its centers cited for dirty equipment and facilities nationwide), or enforcing HIPAA regulations (Planned Parenthood, again, is notorious for HIPAA violations).
Indeed, nobody is monitoring these facilities in any way whatsoever. They are operating completely without oversight.
What’s more, these businesses receive tax dollars in the form of Medicaid funding. In fact, they just received a record amount of money from Minnesota taxpayers. The Minnesota Department of Health’s newly released 2019 data shows a 5% increase in Medicaid funding for abortion compared to the previous year and a 32% increase since 2013. Planned Parenthood, the state’s largest abortion provider, pocketed the lion’s share — the government compensated them for 2,791 abortions in 2019.
Attempts to fix the problem
There is state legislation in the works that would change all of this, however. H.F. 1099 (or S.F. 1045 as it is known in the State Senate) would prohibit Medicaid from funding abortion procedures “except to the extent necessary for continued participation in a federal program.” Similar legislation passed in both 2011 and 2017, but was vetoed by pro-abortion Governor Mark Dayton.
Likewise, former Governor Mark Dayton vetoed a bill that would have required abortion facility inspections and licensing back in 2012, but that legislation has been resurrected in S.F. 1636, proposed by Senator Michelle Benson of Ham Lake.
“There are some things that we could do to make sure that the women who access these facilities are in a safe place. Our hospitals are licensed. Our nursing homes are licensed. Birthing facilities are licensed. So, why shouldn’t we license abortion clinics?” Benson said on KNSI radio’s “Ox in the Afternoon” show. “By licensing we can say, you know what, we don’t have to agree with what goes on, but we at least have to have it be a place where there is some respect for the babies who are killed there. And for the women who go and, this isn’t a trivial procedure, it’s an invasive procedure.”
S.F. 1636 would mandate bi-annual inspections for any facility which commits at least 10 abortions a month. In addition, the bill would require the facilities to be accredited by “a national organization that establishes evidence-based clinical standards for abortion care.”
Though this would unfortunately not put an end to abortion in the state, as the current situation in Minnesota now stands, it is essentially the Wild West for abortion providers — a dangerous situation that could prove deadly for both preborn babies and their mothers.
Minnesota is far from alone in this respect, however. In fact, only 23 states currently have licensing laws for abortion facilities.
Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading abortion profiteer, insists that it provides “health care,” but if this is true, why do the majority of states provide a loophole for abortion facilities when it comes to inspections and licensing?
The reality is, abortion is not health care; abortion deliberately takes human life. If it were truly health care, abortion businesses would be held to the same high standards that are required for even the most basic medical providers — not just in 23 states, but everywhere.
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