Safety First for Abortion Clinics

Maintaining strict medical standards for abortion clinics isn't a war on women.

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The Washington Post editorialized recently, "Safety in abortion clinics is a legitimate concern, but these regulations probably will have little effect on patient safety. Many of the requirements are costly and cosmetic, requiring clinics – without financial assistance from the state – to widen hallways, doorways and even entrance awnings." So not being able to get a gurney to a woman in trouble is a "cosmetic" problem, not a safety concern? Women's health advocates told the Post that as a result, all but one clinic in North Carolina "would probably close" because of associated costs, all but five clinics in Texas "would probably" close, and at least one clinic in Ohio is "already feeling the pinch." Similar predictions followed the restrictions on Pennsylvania clinics after the Kermit Gosnell verdict; yet news reports show that only five had actually closed, most voluntarily.

Since these clinics also offer mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, contraception and other preventive services, the reproductive-rights lobby argues that women will lose access to all of these health services because of "cosmetic," "costly" changes required by "extremist" politicians. But if they really were committed to women's health, wouldn't clinics remain open for all other services? Instead, they prefer to threaten an all-or-nothing shutdown of services to all women because they don't want to meet higher standards for just one service. It makes you wonder which is more important to so-called women's health advocates: women's actual health or abortion politics.

Mainstream public opinion is moving in one direction, toward more restrictions, not fewer – and the left is moving in the other direction. If you ask me, that's extremist.

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