Since 2010, over 50 abortion clinics have closed nationwide due to a wave of abortion safety legislation in the states that has only intensified since the trial of abortionist and convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell earlier in May.
According to a Huffington Post nationwide survey of state health departments, abortion clinics, and local abortion advocacy groups, at least 54 abortion providers across 27 states have shut down or stopped abortion procedures within the past three years. Several additional clinics remain open only due to the actions of judges who have temporarily blocked safety legislation that would have made it difficult for them to continue operation.
“This kind of change is incredibly dramatic,” said Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager at the liberal Guttmacher Institute, whose mission, according to its website, is “to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights.”
“What we’ve been seeing since 1982 was a slow decline, but this kind of change… [is] so different from what’s happened in the past,” Nash said.
“This has turned into a nightmare,” said Kat Sabine, executive director of NARAL’s Arizona affiliate. “The kind of efforts the women have to take to get family planning or abortion services are just incredible, and you can only get care if you can get out of the community to do it.”
In Sabine’s state, Gov. Jan Brewer (R) signed a bill into law in April of 2012 that bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. In addition, the law ensures women have an ultrasound at least 24 hours prior to an abortion; establishes an informed consent website to demonstrate the facts about fetal development, risks of abortion, and services available; and requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic.
The law was praised by Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest, who said, “Arizona is leading the nation in enacting this new law that shows concern for both mother and child. The abortion industry’s war on women has left many injured people behind.”
According to pro-life organization Operation Rescue, 42 clinics that provided surgical abortions and two that offered chemical abortions have closed their doors this year alone.
“This is a wake-up call for abortion supporters,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue. “What they thought was a clinic that could meet high standards ended up being one with practices so shoddy and conditions so dangerous that it is not fit to operate. Many abortion supporters fought to oppose the new law. In reality, they were fighting to keep abortion clinics dangerous.”
Newman added, “This is the reality of abortion clinics today. We have yet to find one that complies with all laws and safety codes. The public health would be best served if they were all closed.”
Operation Rescue reports that at least 24 Planned Parenthood sites alone have closed in 2013.
“Abortion numbers are down so there is less demand for Planned Parenthood,” said Newman. “Couple that with recent scandals involving Planned Parenthood that have resulted [in] increased disapproval of their abortion business and it’s easy to see why these clinics are closing on such a large scale.”
Planned Parenthood has been ridden with scandals due to clinic conditions that have resulted in emergency hospitalizations for their patients as well as the discovery of fraudulent practices.
According to Operation Rescue, since January of 2012, 32 medical emergencies have been documented at Planned Parenthood clinics nationwide.
Though current legal abortion conditions have proven unsafe for women, abortion advocates have claimed that shutting down facilities that do not meet medical standards will force women to seek “back alley” abortions.
Following the conviction of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL, released the following statement:
Kermit Gosnell has been found guilty and will get what he deserves. Now, let’s make sure these women are vindicated by delivering what all women deserve: access to the full range of health services including safe, high-quality and legal abortion care.
However, in an email statement to Breitbart News, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, said:
The abortion industry’s unwillingness to improve their facilities to meet health and safety standards reveals their much-ignored priority: profiting from abortion even at the expense of women’s health. From Kermit Gosnell, to Douglas Karpen in Texas, to ‘meat market’ abortions in Delaware, horror stories have been uncovered nationwide. Every time one of these filthy facilities closes or an abortionist loses his or her medical license, women, babies, and communities are left better than they were before. These clinics are the front lines of the war on women – and women deserve better.
In a scandal of another sort, members of Congress announced in August that the General Accounting Office (GAO) would conduct an investigation of how Planned Parenthood is spending taxpayer funds after their Gulf Coast of Texas affiliate paid a $4.3 million Medicaid fraud settlement. The Texas Attorney General’s office charged the abortion industry giant with falsifying records to use government funds for abortion follow-up visits and charging for services that were never provided.
Regarding the clinic closings, Newman said, “While Planned Parenthood officials like to portray these closings as the end of the world for women, in reality, there are plenty of other competent health care providers who are not in business to sell them abortions that stand at the ready to assist women.”