House Bill 574
Abortion is legal. And facilities performing abortions should be held to basic standards that apply to physicians' offices and outpatient settings.
But a bill that has passed the Pennsylvania House is nothing more than a back-door attempt to limit abortions by limiting the number of facilities performing them and increasing the costs of those facilities that might be able to overcome government's overreach.
House Bill 574, adopted last week, would require the commonwealth's 20 free-standing abortion clinics to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers, facilities which provide more complicated and risky procedures. It's in response to the West Philadelphia "House of Horrors" abortion case in January.
Among the proposed new law's measures, however, are those that strike us as "slap measures," quite expensive and specifically designed not to enhance care but to eliminate abortion providers. Among them are requirements for medical-grade elevators, much larger procedure rooms and a full-time registered nurse being on staff even when abortions are not being performed.
A sound litmus test for the legislation is this: Had it been in place, would the rogue actions of the Philadelphia facility been prevented• No. Punishing safe abortion clinics because of one horrific bad apple exposes the real agenda of the 148 state House members who voted for H.B. 574.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.