Opinion

Bonus offer: Have an abortion, get a free staph infection, too.

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New allegations about substandard abortion facilities have just come to light. An individual claims to have “seen really rampant, rampant problems with bacteria in certain clinics.” That includes the presence of staphylococcus–a bacteria which can lead to life threatening infections.

So who’s making these accusations? Is it some fanatical, right-wing ideologue? Nope. It’s Planned Parenthood’s former business partner. And the evidence suggests that she knows what she’s talking about.

In July, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) began releasing a series of videos. Shot with hidden cameras, the footage documents meetings between Planned Parenthood executives and people claiming to be fetal tissue buyers. Over the course of these meetings, officials admit to multiple felonies, including the sale of human organs, illegally altering  how abortions are done, and performing partial-birth abortions.

Also recorded were meetings with Cate Dyer, CEO of StemExpress. StemExpress is a company that supplies human remains to researchers, and had (until recently) a close relationship with Planned Parenthood.

Release of the videos featuring Dyer was blocked by a court order, an order that’s now been lifted. In response, CMP has put some transcripts up on its website before the footage is shown in full. While much of the exchange revolves around selling heads, hearts, and livers, clinic safety also comes up:

SE: We’ll do testing on our side, so we’ll be able to see, you know. And sometimes we’ll find that it can be clinic-specific. I’ve seen really rampant, rampant problems with bacteria in certain clinics. [laughter] Some where you’re kind of in question of should they really, you know, [laughing]

Buyer: Right.

SE: I’ve seen staph come out of clinics.

Buyer: Wow.

SE: So, I mean, I’ve seen all sorts of things come out of clinics, so.

Dyer is hardly the first to reveal how the abortion industry treats its customers. In 2013, two nurses with Planned Parenthood of Delaware came forward about what they saw on the job.

Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich and Joyce Vasikonis said the Planned Parenthood center they worked at was run like a “meat market” where women were exposed to bloody tables and unsterilized instruments. They later spoke of those facts before a state legislative hearing,  as did ex-clinic director Melody Meanor. Meanor pointed to multiple instances of drugs being mishandled, records not being updated, and patients not being told of positive STD tests.

Similar conditions were discovered in neighboring Maryland. That’s where Dr. Steven C. Brigham had been performing abortions without a medical license and storing dead bodies in a freezer. None of that came to light until 2010 when a woman suffered serious injuries during a botched abortion.

And of course, there was Kermit Gosnell’s clinic in Pennsylvania. In addition to killing multiple newborns and one patient, Gosnell was found to have subjected countless women to filthy, septic conditions.

What do all these states have in common? None of them conducted regular abortion clinic inspections when the events in question occurred. The Gosnell  grand jury report pointed out that nail salons were receiving more state oversight than abortion clinics got.

In response, pro-lifers have tried to protect women with common sense measures like surprise inspections. Unfortunately, the abortion lobby is standing in the way, with groups like NARAL Pro-Choice America smearing these laws with the acronym  “TRAP” (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers).

The abortion lobby should really listen to what Cate Dyer had to say about clinic safety. Because as much as they want to paint  inspection laws as some kind of threat to abortionists, right now it’s their patients who are the ones at risk.

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