Puppies shouldn’t be dying in mills. Neither should human beings.

Puppies are adorable. Where a lot of them come from isn’t.

Dogs often begin their lives at “puppy mills,” places where animals are bred continuously in squalid, inhumane facilities. They’re routinely kept in cramped cages and sometimes get left to starve when they’ve outlived their usefulness.

Dog breeders are regulated under the federal Animal Welfare Act, but those regulations are minimal–when they’re enforced at all. A 2010 audit of the USDA’s inspection and enforcement practices identified serious flaws in the way the department operated. They included failing to take action against problem breeders, even when a pattern of violations had been identified.

While some states are working to crack down on the problem, others aren’t so proactive. Many, like Delaware, leave dog breeders largely unmonitored. Granted, a puppy mill isn’t the only place where you might see filthy, unsafe conditions; Delaware’s abortion clinics can look that way, too.

In 2013, two Planned Parenthood of Delaware nurses appeared before a state legislative hearing. Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich and Joyce Vasikonis testified that the group’s Wilmington center was characterized as a “meat market” environment, where women were exposed to bloody tables and unsterilized instruments. Joining the pair was former clinic director, Melody Meanor, who stated that there were multiple instances of drugs being mishandled, records not being updated, and patients not being told of positive STD tests.

Abortions were performed at the facility by abortionist Timothy Liveright. Liveright has faced repeated allegations of misconduct, and ultimately surrendered his Delaware medical license. He’s since been hired by a Panned Parenthood affiliate in California.

Delaware doesn’t conduct routine inspections of abortion clinics. Maryland didn’t either until Dr. Steven C. Brigham inflicted serious injuries on a patient in 2010 during a botched abortion. Authorities discovered that Dr. Brigham lacked a medical license and had begun storing fetuses in a freezer.

It wasn’t until Kermit Gosnell was arrested that Pennsylvania started taking clinic safety seriously. The Philadelphia doctor was caught running a vermin infested clinic, where one patient and multiple newborns were murdered. A grand jury report described how even the state’s nail salons were subject to more oversight than abortion clinics received.

In hopes of preventing future tragedies, some states have proposed legislation allowing surprise inspections of abortion facilities. Unfortunately, those laws are under attack. Legislation was introduced in Arizona this year to repeal its inspection law. Given how often abortion proponents talk about protecting women’s health, you would think they’d get behind rules making it easier to shut down death trap clinics – apparently not.

Puppies shouldn’t be dying in disgusting mills; neither should human beings. You can help address the first problem by supporting the kind of puppy mill legislation that’s being considered in North Carolina and Montana. You can help with the second by contacting your elected representatives, and demand that abortion clinics be subject to proper oversight and inspection. The truth is that abortion mills and puppy mills have something in common: they both need to close.

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