Thursday, July 11, 2013


The New York Times notes that Maryland had a Gosnell-like case in 2010. Pay attention to how the state responded:
The 18-year-old woman arrived at Johns Hopkins Hospital by medevac helicopter in critical condition. Her uterus and bowel had been pierced during a late-term abortion that had started in New Jersey and ended at an unmarked, unregulated clinic in Elkton, in northeastern Maryland.

The surgeons were able to repair the damage, but they were appalled by the woman's tale of a procedure that spanned two states, a switch to an unfamiliar doctor who seemed to be learning on the job and a clinic unprepared for an emergency. They reported the case to the state medical board....

The near disaster in an Elkton mall led to something rare in this era of polarized abortion politics -- sharply tightened oversight of Maryland abortion clinics that came into full force this year and won praise from both sides of the political divide. The state's first system of licensing and inspecting the clinics has already improved patient safeguards without imposing costly burdens, defenders and opponents of abortion rights agree....
Yes, Maryland actually stepped up regulation without making it next to impossible to get an abortion in the state. Amazing, hunh?
The Maryland regulations are not as rigid as those in some states: they do not dictate the width of hallways, the size of janitors' closets or the number of parking spaces outside. Rather, they look at the goal: Is there a sound plan, for example, for rapid evacuation if a patient has a medical emergency?

The state also did not require abortion doctors to have local hospital admitting privileges, a measure that threatens to shut down clinics in several states. Officials concluded that in emergencies, hospitals are best equipped to provide care anyway, and the clinic doctor can advise the hospital staff without holding admitting privileges. Under the new rules, Dr. Brigham would have been required to seek a clinic license before operating his center in Elkton and his procedures would have been scrutinized.
And advocates on both sides walked away with good things to say:
Maryland officials of Planned Parenthood, a group leery of new regulations because, in its view, they are too often driven by politics, called the state's licensing rules reasonable and helpful.

Jeffrey D. Meister, the legislative director of Maryland Right to Life, said that while his group supported even stronger, surgical-center standards, the new rules had brought important gains. "After 20 years of not having any regulations whatsoever, it is a step in the right direction," he said.
What do you get in a situation like this in a state where Democrats control the governor's mansion and both houses of the legislature? You get a reasonable set of regulations intended to address the real problems. What do you get in states with Republican governors and legislatures? You get legislation intended -- solely intended -- to make liberals furious and women seeking abortions miserable, while making right-wingers pump their fists and do a victory dance.

If pro-choice Democrats approached the issue of unsafe abortions the way anti-abortion Republicans do, they'd treat abortion providers the way Republicans treat gun sellers: they'd make regulation of abortion providers even less strict, and make it next to impossible to sue an abortion provider for a botched procedure -- y'know, just to piss the wingnuts off, because what's the point of having a majority except to rub your opponents' faces in it?

But nobody on our side actually wants to do anything like that.

That means either (a) that we're reasonable or (b) that we're completely overmatched in a political environment that's become total war.


Phil Perspective said...

That means either (a) that we're reasonable or (b) that we're completely overmatched in a political environment that's become total war.

I'd be tempted to say both. But I don't really think Democratic politicians are overmatched. I think, thanks to the necessity of campaign cash, that most of them don't give a crap about the little guy.

Victor said...

Both - like Phil said!

Now, add gerrymandering, and the Republicans in many states are safe for a while.

Unless, of course, they piss off SOOOO many Conservative women, that they lose their votes.

To give the devils their due - a lot of Conservative women like Barbara Bush, and others, have been strong pro-choice supporters for decades.

Republicans need to be wary of losing them.
Because if they lose the non-Teabangelical white women, they're in deep, deep, doo-doo!

Unknown said...

Well, there can be may HOWS for which we want answers. you can read more at