Sen. Hughes plans to 'fix holes' in abortion clinic rules

Posted: February 08, 2011

No amount of political hand-wringing will ever undo all the alleged botched abortions and murders of living, breathing infants that allegedly occurred for decades inside the walls of Kermit Gosnell's West Philly medical practice.

What local elected leaders can do is to try to prevent another abortion clinic from becoming a crimson-coated chamber of revolting nightmares.

With that goal in mind, state Sen. Vincent Hughes yesterday said that he plans to introduce a package of legislation that will, among other things, require abortion clinics to be inspected annually and make it easier for people to file complaints against crummy clinics.

Hughes, whose West Philly district includes the site of Gosnell's office, released a statement that said in part: "We must fix holes in the system that allowed this type of activity to occur, and we must ensure this never happens again."

Hughes' legislation also aims to: increase the statute of limitations for infanticide and abortions performed after 24 weeks; ensure that the state Department of Health investigates clinics where "serious events" have occurred; and increase penalties for unauthorized practice of medicine.

Gosnell, 69, faces a preliminary hearing at the Criminal Justice Center at noon tomorrow, along with his co-defendants: his wife, Pearl, and former employees Adrienne Moten, Lynda Williams, Tina Baldwin, Madeline Joe, Elizabeth Hampton, Eileen O'Neil, Sherry West and Steven Massof.

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