Massachusetts Family Institute | Media Release


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Massachusetts Family Institute Weighs in on Today’s SCOTUS Abortion Hearing

Mass Family Institute:  The court should uphold Texas law requiring all surgical centers to be treated the same.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

WOBURN — Massachusetts Family Institute is proud to announce that its national ally, Citizenlink, has filed an amicus brief in one of the most important Supreme Court cases on abortion in over two decades.  Set for oral argument before the court today, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt revolves around a Texas law that simply holds abortion facilities to the same basic care standards required for every other out-patient medical facility.  The pro-abortion parties attacking this common sense law are seeking to continue giving substandard abortion facilities a pass when it comes to basic healthcare.  As Citizenlink rightly points out, the refusal to allow health inspections amounts to nothing more than the state subsidization of inferior care for women.

The Texas law was passed in the wake of a grisly investigation into the Philadelphia abortion clinic run by Dr. Kermit Gosnell.  His trial revealed that at least two women died at his facility and many more were harmed by unsanitary conditions.  The grand jury in the Gosnell case urged lawmakers across the country to close these abortion clinic inspection loopholes to ensure that such tragic deaths of women did not occur during an abortion procedure. In response to the grand jury’s recommendation, Texas passed its law in 2013.

Before the Gosnell story broke, Massachusetts had its own deadly experience with unsafe abortion facilities.  In 2007, 22-year-old Laura Hope Smith from Sandwich, MA died on the operating table at a Cape-Cod abortion facility. Investigators cited the lack of basic safety equipment, such as a defibrillator or hallways wide enough to fit a stretcher, as issues leading to her death.  Because Massachusetts does not subject abortion facilities to the same licensing and inspection requirements as other medical facilities in the Commonwealth, they are at risk of repeating Laura’s tragedy.

Planned Parenthood recognizes the risk inherent to abortions as they admit that “even though in-clinic abortion procedures are generally very safe, in extremely rare cases, serious complications may be fatal.”  States therefore have a legitimate interest in clinic inspections and reasonable requirements such as abortionists having admitting privileges at a local hospital.

Here in Massachusetts, a similar bill is pending in the legislature that would address the double standard of healthcare safety when it comes to abortion.  For example, tanning booths, hair salons and veterinary offices are all subject to licensure and inspection requirements.  Abortion clinics are not.  The Woman’s Safety Act (House Bill 2039) seeks to rectify this by holding all abortion facilities to basic health and safety standards.  Together with our national allies at Citizenlink, Massachusetts Family Institute will continue to promote this type of common sense legislation and work to ensure those laws are upheld in our nation’s courts.

Massachusetts Family Institute is a non-profit research, education, and public policy organization dedicated to strengthening the institution of the family and affirming the Judeo-Christian values upon which the family is based.