Committee Leaders Comment on Gosnell Verdict
WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee leaders commented on the guilty verdict in the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell. Last week, full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX), Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), Oversight and Investigations Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA), and Vice Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations and Health Subcommittees Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) sent a letter to public health officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to examine how each state regulates and monitors abortion clinics and protects the health and safety of women. Gosnell’s trial raised troubling questions about the practices of abortion clinics, and whether state health departments are appropriately monitoring these facilities.
"Today is a sad day. It has now been proven that Kermit Gosnell put a price tag on innocent human life and perpetrated merciless violence against women and babies," said Vice Chairman Blackburn. "Gosnell’s conviction is not only an indictment of the abortion industry at large, but it’s also a wakeup call for Congress to re-evaluate the inhuman conditions and the late-term abortion attitudes and practices which have recently come to light in many states." Read more here.
Chairman Pitts (R-PA) added, "Kermit Gosnell deserves the fullest penalty of law. This case is a reminder that we must do more to protect the lives of women and children, especially the youngest babies who haven’t yet been born. If Gosnell had severed the spines of those babies before delivering them, many of their deaths would have been legal. America needs to think long and hard about the morality of that." Read more here.
In the letter to the state health officials, the committee leaders requested details on state licensing of abortion clinics and providers, information on revoked licenses, state inspections of clinics, whether states monitor complaints or adverse health events related to the procedures, disciplinary action, and rules and regulations on facilities and providers. The committee leaders set a May 22, 2013, deadline for the states to respond.
Click here to read a copy of the letter.