Expressing shock and anger over the gruesome details concerning Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society in West Philadelphia, state Sen. LeAnna Washington is calling for a full investigation of the state and local agencies that failed to fully investigate the doctor and his clinic.
“I was shocked and enraged as the horrific details unfolded concerning Dr. Gosnell’s clinic,” Washington said. “We cannot allow those in charge of inspecting facilities like these to walk away unscathed. There is no way those involved should still be employed by the state or city.”
Dr. Gosnell, who provided abortions for minority, immigrant and poor women, is being charged with killing seven babies who were born alive and one adult female who died as a result of a botched abortion. Before his arrest, there were 46 alleged lawsuits and numerous complaints against him.
Washington said she was stunned that even the death of a woman did not create urgency from those responsible for oversight.
“This place was last inspected by state officials in 1993, with no follow up,” Washington said. “Most frightening of all, there may be other doctors and clinics like this that escaped oversight for years.”
Washington is calling for public hearings immediately, to further investigate those agencies responsible for oversight.
“People need to be held accountable,” Washington said. “The public deserves answers and transparency in the process. I echo the grand jury in stating that race, socioeconomic status and politics were among the reasons why no action was taken.”
Washington said she will also discuss her concerns with Gov. Tom Corbett and all of her colleagues in the General Assembly to ensure that these atrocities are not happening in other clinics across the state.
“This is not a partisan issue. Under both Democratic and Republican administrations the Pennsylvania Department of State and state Health Department failed to do their basic duty to protect citizens,” Washington said. “I am calling on Gov. Corbett, the secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of State who oversees individual physicians, and the secretary of the state Health Department to step up and offer concrete steps they plan to take to ensure that this is not happening in other places as we speak, and to prevent future failures in the oversight process.
“The public deserves answers from all involved and every step possible should be taken to restore public confidence in the safety and viability of all Pennsylvania medical facilities and health care professionals.”