Tuesday, April 08, 2014

From the noise machine

Another one of those rightwing firestorms, starting with a story in Rupert Murdoch's New York Post and almost instantly spreading to all the usual venues, is the story that the New York State Department of Health has been failing to inspect abortion clinics (as every single one of the stories notes, in that remarkable unison in which they always declaim their laments, like the chorus in a Greek tragedy, "tanning salons are inspected more often").

As far as I can tell it's complete bullshit. I've combed and combed through the NYSDOH website and found no evidence that the responsible department, the Office of Health Systems Management, conducts regular inspections of any health facility other than nursing homes; it's just not how they work. They'll inspect everybody over particular issues (especially with hospitals), or in response to a federal request, or if there's a complaint, but in general once you're certified you're certified. Clinics where abortions are performed are not inspected very frequently, any more than other clinics, and there isn't any reason why they should be. They're not as dangerous as tanning salons.

How do I know there are not dozens of Gosnell clinics operating in New York? It's not commonly understood but I think it's very important that the hideous Gosnell clinic in Philadelphia existed because, and only because, of the very harsh Pennsylvania law on late-term abortions. If late-term abortions are outlawed, as the National Rifle Association doesn't say, only outlaws will perform late-term abortions, and Kermit Gosnell was one. His patients didn't make complaints about the facilities because they were committing a Pennsylvania crime. This will not happen in New York, where late-term abortion is legal.

I don't suppose this particular strand of spaghetti will stick to the wall, but I do wonder why people can't defend themselves better against these absurd attacks. There was another one that just came down in Texas (h/t Karoli at Crooks & Liars), where young master James O'Keefe was rousing the wrath of Texas Republicans with a video purporting to show some electoral misconduct on the part of a voter registration program at the progressive Battleground Texas. O'Keefe got them to the point of appointing two count 'em two special prosecutors before the case was dismissed (at the request of the prosecutors, and on the grounds that there was no stated offense or any evidence that an offense had been committed); they did manage to hamper the organization's work, though.

[Cross-posted at The Rectification of Names]


Victor said...

The problem is, outside of sane Blue States, Gosnell's clinic in Philadelphia is the dystopian model of our future.

The problem is, Liberals looked at "The Handmaid's Tale," as a fictional look at a dystopian future.
Conservatives looked at it as an "Instructional Manual."

Yastreblyansky said...

But if Gosnell's dystopian, why are they doing everything in their power to duplicate it?.... Don't even answer that. Grrr...