Women’s safety: Another reason court appointments matter

Planned Parenthood KY

If a business promised “fabulous” service, what would you expect?

Luxury? Excellence?

How about getting rusty objects shoved in you? If it’s Amy Hagstrom Miller’s business, then that just might be on the agenda.

Miller is CEO and founder of Whole Woman’s Health (WWH), the plaintiff in the recently-decided Supreme Court case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. WWH promises “fabulous abortion care.” An inspection of its Beaumont, Texas facility found something else: “numerous rusty spots on the suction machines,” a hazard with “the likelihood to cause infection.” Also noted? The potential for “rodents to enter the facility.”


A previous inspection documented “infection control issues” as staff didn’t “perform the correct procedure for the sterilization of the surgical instruments.” WWH was also fined for not having “a midlevel provider, a registered nurse, or a  licensed vocational nurse” there either:

The discoveries in Beaumont aren’t exactly surprising: of WWH’s five centers in Texas, four of them racked up multiple violations.

To protect women from hazardous conditions, the state passed HB 2 in 2012. One provision required abortionists to have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of where they operated. Another held abortion centers to the same safety standards as other surgical clinics.

WWH closed its Beaumont facility rather than comply. But despite having a history of health violations, Miller might reopen it. That’s because the Supreme Court just ruled in her favor, deciding “the burdens” created by HB 2’s safety rules were excessive.

Thanks, SCOTUS.


The rationale is odd. After all, admitting privileges are required for physicians at all kinds of medical clinics. In fact, the National Abortion Federation (NAF) once recommended using abortion providers who “[i]n the case of an emergency,” can “admit patients to a nearby hospital (no more than 20 minutes away).” That makes sense considering how women have died awaiting care for botched abortions. Tightening standards also makes sense given what’s come to light around the country.

During a Delaware state legislative hearing in 2013, nurses Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich and Joyce Vasikonis compared their Planned Parenthood work environment to a “meat market” where women were exposed to bloody tables and unsterilized equipment. The site’s former director, Melody Meanor, testified that drugs were mishandled and patients weren’t informed of positive STD tests.

Three years earlier, Dr. Steven C. Brigham inflicted serious injuries on a patient in neighboring Maryland. Authorities discovered that Brigham lacked a state medical license and had been storing aborted fetuses in a freezer.

Karnamaya Mongar died from a Demerol overdose at Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s Philadelphia abortion facility. For years, Gosnell had used dirty equipment and employed unqualified personnel. Upon arrival, paramedics discovered the building’s elevator was broken and the emergency exit had been locked.

What links these cases? All occurred in states where the abortion industry was under lax oversight. The Gosnell grand jury report mentioned that even nail salons received more scrutiny.

Nevertheless, five Supreme Court justices weren’t convinced. They sided with the abortion industry this week and against women, demonstrating again how much judicial appointments matter. With one opening on the bench and more likely to come, the stakes are high. That’s a fact pro-lifers can’t forget, and it’s a message the presidential candidates need to hear.

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