Opinion

Here’s another reason judicial nominees matter

Mariza Reulas is in trouble. The California single mom faces a year in jail for selling an “illegal substance.” What substance was that?

Food.

Reulas belonged to a Facebook group where members planned dinners and sold homemade dishes to one another. According to San Joaquin County deputy district attorney Kelly McDaniel, that’s a problem. She insists “food prepared in a facility that does not inspect it creates a risk to the public.”

As National Review’s Katherine Timpf pointed out, it’s not clear how the public at large would be endangered. After all, sales were only made to folks who visited the page and it was known that all offerings were homemade. Those wanting a meal prepared to government standards risks could visit a restaurant instead.

Of course, a restaurant isn’t the only place you’d expect strict regulations to be enforced–an outfit calling itself a “clinic” would be another. That’s why Texas passed a bill requiring abortionists to have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of where they operate. Another provision held abortion centers to the same safety standards as other surgical facilities.

That makes sense given how admitting privileges are required at medical clinics of all kinds and that women have died while awaiting care for botched abortions. Raising standards makes sense too considering the unsafe conditions uncovered at abortion centers around the country. Still, not everyone agreed.

Whole Woman’s Health didn’t, and it launched a legal challenge. While the abortion chain promises “fabulous” care, state inspectors found something else: suction machines with “numerous rusty spots,” something that “had the likelihood to cause infection.” The potential for “rodents to enter the facility” was also noted.

whole-womens-health-abortion-clinic-inspection-oct-2013

Additional inspections documented “infection control issues” from staff failing to “perform the correct procedure for the sterilization of the surgical instruments.” The outfit was also fined for lacking “a midlevel provider, a registered nurse, or a  licensed vocational nurse”:

Of Whole Woman’s Health’s five centers in the state, four of them incurred multiple violations.That might seem like evidence for why Texas’ legislation was needed, but the Supreme Court felt otherwise, overturning the law this spring. Yet while the Court’s decision didn’t protect women, it did help prove an important point.

Judicial appointments matter.

Tell President-Elect Trump you’ll be watching the nominees he puts forward. You should also tell your senators that who they confirm is something you aren’t going to forget. Because as it stands, a mom selling a home cooked meal is getting more scrutiny than the abortion industry.

That needs to change.

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