Steve Ertelt of Life News reports that the National Abortion Federation, the professional association of abortion providers, has voted to suspend the membership of clinics in Delaware and Louisiana which employed Kermit Gosnell, the indicted abortion doctor who turned his Philadelphia clinic into a horror show, and has been charged with killing seven live babies and one woman.
Both of these clinics are part of the Atlantic Women’s Medical Services network, and both are owned by the same individual, Dr. Leroy Brinkley. A pro-life group called the Delaware Family Policy Council has been calling for further investigations into Dr. Brinkley.
The suspension doesn’t actually close the clinics, but it does mean the NAF will no longer refer women to them. The National Abortion Federation has been under fire because they gave Gosnell’s clinic in Philly unsatisfactory ratings – in fact, it’s “the first and only abortion center ever not allowed to join” the federation, according to Life News – but they did not refer their findings to state or local officials. The NAF’s website says their mission “is to ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care, which promotes health and justice for women.” Apparently that involves quietly ignoring clinics that don’t meet sanitary standards, run by a doctor whose idea of “justice” was tying a woman up and forcing her to have an abortion.
This isn’t the first time the NAF has been late to the party in condemning an abortion ghoul. They helped a slightly lower-key version of Kermit Gosnell, Dr. Steven Chase Brigham, regain his medical license in New Jersey after it was suspended in 2004 for malpractice that included transporting women across state lines to evade state restrictions – something Gosnell has also been accused of doing. In another similarity to Gosnell, Brigham employed unqualified medical assistants at his clinics.
The New York Medical Board assessed Brigham as having “inexcusably bad judgment” and having “repeatedly exaggerated his medical training, experience, and skill.” Nevertheless, Michael Burnhill, VP of medical affairs for Planned Parenthood and an NAF board member, testified in his defense. The NAF finally turned on Brigham when the Pennsylvania Department of Health shut down four of his clinics last July, and the IRS went after him for tax evasion.
It should be noted that the NAF actively opposes efforts to improve the lax regulation of abortion clinics. They refer to such efforts as “TRAP bills,” and describe them as bills which “are often introduced by abortion opponents who claim that abortion is an unsafe and unregulated procedure. By implying that abortion clinics are uniquely dangerous and in need of special regulation, such bills recklessly promote an unfounded fear of abortion.” Their website assures visitors that “abortion is, in fact, one of the safest medical procedures in the United States.” Apparently Pennsylvania seceded from the union when nobody was looking.
An article in Delaware Online notes that the Philadelphia grand jury’s report recommended suspending the other clinics Gosnell worked for. It also says that “state agencies in Delaware do not require or conduct regular sanitary or safety inspections of abortion clinics, and state officials this week could not say whether Atlantic has any of the same deficiencies that were documented at Gosnell’s West Philadelphia Women’s Medical Society clinic or at the Delta Clinic.”
The Gosnell saga is the most baroque of many horrors quietly perpetrated by an industry the media tries very hard not to pay much attention to. He’s not an exception, he’s a mutation. Any reporter looking for background information on the Philadelphia horror is in luck. The pro-life movement has already done the research for them. Few political movements have been so utterly validated in their assessment of the forces which oppose them.