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Gosnell Case Adds Urgency To Pro-life Efforts, Say Legislators
WASHINGTON D.C., June 7 (CNA/EWTN News) .- Pro-life lawmakers said at a recent event that legislative efforts to fight criminal activity and fraud in the abortion industry have a renewed importance in light of the recent Gosnell trial.
"Life is a women's issue," said U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) during a June 6 briefing on Capitol Hill.
She criticized "big abortion" and what she described as a permissive attitude towards health violations, misuse of government funds and other abuses.
"The people looking for accountability are asking 'why?'" she said.
Blackburn was among the featured speakers at the briefing, which was sponsored by Americans United for Life, a pro-life organization that focuses on venues within the legal system to advance the pro-life cause.
She pointed to the recent trail of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted of murdering several babies who survived his abortions. The trial unveiled a filthy clinic with numerous health code violations and poor treatment of women.
The trial, Blackburn said, helped to highlight some of the health-related and economic abuses present in the abortion industry.
She charged that "Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania knew" about Gosnell's abuses and the unsafe conditions within the clinic due to patient complaints. However, she said, they "did not report that," but instead sent victims away to voice complaints to government officials by themselves.
"If they're getting federal funds, if abortion is to be safe, legal and rare, why did they choose not to report that?" the congresswoman questioned.
Noting that 15 states have reported severe violations of health laws by abortion clinics, she explained that the House Energy and Commerce Committee is now "asking every department of health what they're doing to oversee abortion."
Blackburn said she hopes the investigation by the committee, of which she is a member, will help in "holding Planned Parenthood accountable" for the millions of dollars it receives in taxpayer funds each year.
It is the role of "good government" to ensure that its funds are being well used, she explained, and defunding organizations that abuse this funding is not a "war on women" but a defense of them.
U.S. Rep. John Fleming (R- La.) also spoke at the briefing. He recounted his experience as a doctor, describing the numerous times patients would come to him following complications arising from an abortion.
In many cases, he said, the abortionist had left the state after performing the procedure, endangering the health of the patient when complications arose.
"When it comes to abortion, there are two victims," he said, noting that in addition to killing the unborn child, abortion also poses serious health risks to the mother.
He urged pro-life advocates to "continue incremental movement" in passing pro-life laws, such as state-level informed consent and ultrasounds legislation.
Fleming commented that in the Gosnell case, "government totally ignored the oversight role that it had," only discovering the unsanitary conditions and brutal practices taking place within the clinic during an investigation of an underground "pill mill" Gosnell ran.
"There's lots of things we can do in making doctors accountable for their practice," Fleming stressed.
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