Policy: Health Care

Report: New York inspects its tanning salons more than its abortion clinics

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,New York,Health Care,Abortion,Ashe Schow

New York's state Health Department is more concerned with the safety of tanning salons than the safety of abortion clinics, according to a report in the New York Post.

And not every abortion provider in the state is regulated. Of the 225 providers that pro-abortion advocates claim are in New York, health inspectors regulate only 25, and of that 25, none were inspected regularly.

“Eight of the 25 clinics were never inspected over the 2000-12 span, five were inspected just once, and eight were inspected only twice or three times — meaning once every four or six years,” the Post said.

Just 45 inspections were conducted among the 25 clinics in the 12-year period. Meanwhile, tanning salons are required to undergo inspection every other year.

The report only came to light following a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit from the Chiaroscuro Foundation, an organization dedicated to reducing abortions. Chiaroscuro's interest in abortion-facility inspections came following the grisly discovery of Kermit Gosnell's “house of horrors” in 2013 in Pennsylvania.

“New York has one of the highest abortion rates in the country. More oversight is needed. Abortion clinics are as much a public concern as tanning salons. There should be regular inspections of all licensed abortion clinics,” Chiaroscuro’s executive director, Greg Pfundstein, said.

In response to the report, the state Health Department’s records-access official, Elizabeth Sullivan, seemed to shrug.

“Some facilities are not required to have ‘abortion services’ in their operating certificates in order to perform abortions,” Sullivan wrote in a letter. “The Department does not otherwise maintain a list of every Article 28 facility that performs abortions.”

But anytime a conservative tries to regulate or put restrictions on abortion providers, the Left claims it will lead to “back-alley abortions.” But if New York doesn’t even know how many abortion facilities there are in the state, and doesn’t regulate all of them, how do they know that women aren’t being forced into back-alley abortions disguised as safe places?

Last year, the pro-life organization Live Action released undercover video of a Bronx abortion clinic that performed live-birth abortions. In the video, an abortion counselor told an undercover investigator that if a baby survived an abortion and was still moving, they would put him or her in a jar of “solution.”

“The solution will make it stop,” the counselor said. “It’s not going to be moving around in the jar… that’s the whole purpose of the solution.”

In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Live Action President Lila Rose said that she was “disturbed, but not surprised” by the New York report. Rose also condemned Sullivan’s statement as “defiantly careless.”

“They don’t care about women,” Rose said. “They certainly don’t care about the children of New York if they’re allowing these abortion clinics in their state anyway.”

Rose explained that the purpose of Live Action’s campaign to expose the horrors of the abortion industry is to “call for state authorities and local authorities to do their jobs.”

“And part of that job is to do basic inspections of abortion facilities in order to ensure safety for women,” Rose said.

“The fact that tanning salons are inspected more than New York abortion clinics — it’s completely unacceptable, it’s unjust for, of course, children that are killed but also for women who are in danger,” Rose added. “And it just goes to show that there’s this code, this conspiracy around protecting abortion clinics.”

Rose said that her organization is currently investigating abortion clinics across the country, and has already released reports on clinics in New York, the District of Columbia, Arizona, Nebraska and New Mexico — with more to come.

When asked about the Left’s insistence that any attempt to restrict or regulate abortion clinics is a “war on women,” Rose scoffed.

“Their position is totally false and it’s offensive against the dignity of women and what is really going to help and be supportive to women,” Rose said.

“The Left has created a whole empire about what is supposedly good for women — what they claim is good for women — on really shaky ground,” Rose continued. “It’s not going to stand because the concept that abortion is somehow empowering to women is a false one, the idea that an unregulated, bloodthirsty, money-hungry abortion industry without any oversight is somehow empowering to women is an outright lie and those lies are being exposed.”

“The truth is emerging,” Rose said.

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