San Antonio abortionists Alan Braid and Eduardo Aquino recently spent $3M to move their abortion practice into an ambulatory surgical center (ASC). With the passage of House Bill 2, the Pro-Life Omnibus Bill of 2013, Texas state law now requires that medical and surgical abortions be committed at ASCs rather than small, office-like abortion mills. The standards do not make abortion one iota safer for preborn children, but they offer crucial protections to pregnant women, especially in the case of an abortion-related emergency.
The Texas Observer ran a story bemoaning the common sense safety standards to which Texas abortion mills are now bound. The piece suggests that the strict regulations governing the construction of ASCs are trivial: “The standards dictate numerous structural details, down to the width of doors and hallways, as well as fire and safety features and administrative requirements.”
The real issue is not that ASC standards are overly burdensome to abortionists or pregnant women, as the Texas Observer repeatedly suggests; the issue is that abortion mills have consistently proven across the board that women’s health and safety are their very last priority. Without being legally mandated to provide basic health and safety standards to women, abortion mills simply will not. They will not clean dried, smelly blood out of procedure rooms; they will not replace or properly sanitize rusty instruments used to commit abortions; they will not fix broken elevators; they will not properly document patient information – and the list goes on.
The ongoing abortion-related deaths that could have been prevented by better equipped facilities remain an impetus for lawmakers wishing to protect other women from the same fate. In the past we have recounted the stories of women like Nepalese refugee Karnamaya Mongar, who died after a botched abortion in Kermit Gosnell’s Philadelphia abortion mill as paramedics could not navigate the dying woman’s stretcher through the too-narrow hallways of the decrepit building. There is undeniable evidence that Mongar could have been saved if crucial moments had not been lost in the fruitless endeavor to transport her to an ambulance.
Likewise, Lakisha Wilson died following a botched abortion in Ohio’s Preterm abortion mill where a malfunctioning elevator has caused delays for EMT personnel that were a matter of Life or death on more than one occasion. The staff there also used a pediatric oxygen mask on Wilson as she underwent cardiac arrest, which was only replaced with an adult mask when the emergency medical team arrived. The malfunctioning elevator at Preterm was too small to recline Wilson in order to intubate her as paramedics attempted to transport Wilson to the ambulance. These critical necessities would not have been lacking at an ASC.
There is absolutely no doubt that the “wider hallways” and “larger elevators” so often scoffed-at by abortion supporters as trivial and unnecessary are, in fact, the most basic safety provisions for women undergoing abortion.