Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and ten colleagues introduced a resolution calling for the Senate to consider whether tighter regulations of abortion clinics are necessary in light of the Kermit Gosnell murder trial.
“Congress and States should gather information about and correct abusive, unsanitary, and illegal abortion practices and the interstate referral of women and girls to facilities engaged in dangerous or illegal second- and third-trimester procedures,” the resolution states.
Gosnell is charged with murdering one woman and four babies at his abortion clinic. Gosnell also allegedly infected women with diseases by failing to wash his instruments between procedures.
His clinic went 17 years without being inspected. “The lack of oversight at abortion facilities puts women’s lives at risk and leads to the kind of unconscionable practices we have seen recently,” Lee said in a statement on the resolution. “The Senate should formally recognize that this is a problem in our country and we have a responsibility to investigate the causes, review the effects of certain public policies, and determine what we can do to prevent any woman from being subjected to these reprehensible practices again.”
If no senator objects to the resolution, an process involving committee hearings and potentially legislation will begin.
“Congress has the responsibility to investigate and conduct hearings on abortions performed near, at, or after viability in the United States, public policies regarding such, and evaluate the extent to which such abortions involve violations of the natural right to life of infants who are born alive or are capable of being born alive, and therefore are entitled to equal protection under the law,” the resolution says.
The jury has not returned a verdict in the Gosnell case. The co-sponsors are Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., Sen. Roy Blunt, R-M0., Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., Sen. James Vitter, R-La., Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., and Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark.