Terry McLaughlin: What’s going on inside, rather than outside, of Planned Parenthood clinic?
You have probably seen the video of Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims mocking a woman praying outside of a Planned Parenthood facility.
“Today’s protester” he says, “is an old white lady … What you are doing here is disgusting … Don’t convince yourself that what you are doing isn’t extremely racist.”
Rep. Sims has filmed himself on other occasions at this clinic, including an earlier video of him harassing a woman and three young girls quietly praying, whom he described as a “bunch” of “pseudo-Christians.”
“I’ve got $100 to anyone who will identify any of these three” young girls (minors), he said, in order to encourage protests at their homes. The practice of soliciting or publishing an individual’s address or personal information online in order to elicit harassment is known as doxing, and is illegal in many jurisdictions.
Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles Chaput publicly stated “Representative Sims spoke often of shame and there was plenty of that to be found in his action, which demonstrated a complete disregard for civility and basic human decency”.
As unbecoming as Rep. Sims’ behavior is for an elected official, what you may not know is that the Surgical Locust Street Health Center in front of which Rep. Sims was filming, is Planned Parenthood’s largest abortion clinic in Pennsylvania, and it has failed 13 of its last 23 state health and safety inspections.
Records obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of Health identify a wide range of safety and sanitation problems at the clinic between 2011 and 2018. Violations of safety protocols included issues relating to the training, supervision, and credentialing of staff, the failure “to determine a physical status on all patients before anesthesia or surgery,” and many health and sanitation violations such as:
“Failed to provide a safe and sanitary environment”; “Failed to properly sterilize surgical instruments”; “Failed to properly store human pathological waste”; “An unlocked, biohazard storage freezer located on a countertop revealed a heavy accumulation of ice and frost build up and several freezer bags containing red biohazard bags. The red biohazard bags contained ‘products of conception’ – aborted babies.”
Perhaps the most egregious failing at the clinic is its chronic noncompliance with the Pennsylvania Crimes Code and the Child Protective Service Law, which stipulates that “Sexual intercourse with a child less than 13 years of age is always a crime without regard to the age or relationship of the offender, and without regard to the ‘consent’ of the child. Under Pennsylvania law, a child less than 13 years of age is incapable of consent to sexual intercourse.” The code also states that “Sexual intercourse with a child less than 16 years of age is a crime if the offender is four or more years older than the child, and the child and offender are not married to each other.”
Inspectors detailed multiple instances in which clear violations of the law occurred and potentially criminal abuses of under-aged children were not reported to the proper authorities. In fact, inspectors found that the facility’s written policy incorrectly instructed employees that “statutory sexual assault is … a crime, however it is not a mandated reportable incident …”
In their reports, inspectors documented many individual cases in which potential criminal abuse of children as young as 11 years old was not reported to the proper authorities, as is mandated under Pennsylvania state law. Despite these failures, no information can be found to indicate that this location was ever fined, penalized, or temporarily closed until the failures had been remedied. The clinic did pass its most recent inspection, which was posted online in March of this year, but a spokesperson at the Pennsylvania Department of Health said that records regarding disciplinary or corrective action are not available, except by a Freedom of Information Act request.
Rep. Sims has been the subject of a state ethics commission investigation after questions were raised about a financial policy violation in 2017, and there is a bitter irony in his claims to be a champion for the rights of women, as well as his accusation that the women peacefully assembling in front of this Planned Parenthood clinic were participating in a “racist act of judgment.” Not only is the health of women visiting this clinic (both the born and unborn) being threatened by the unsafe and unsanitary conditions outlined in detail by the Pennsylvania Health Inspectors, but approximately one-third of the 60 million plus abortions that have been performed in America since 1973 have occurred in the African-American community. Dr. Alveda King stated “The leading cause of death in the African-American community is not gang violence, gun violence, heart attack, stroke, HIV, high blood pressure, diabetes … No, it’s abortion.”
Planned Parenthood’s new President Dr. Leana Wen asserts that the organization’s “core mission” is providing and expanding access to abortion. Their 2017-2018 annual report indicates the organization performed 332,757 abortions last year, in contrast to 2,831 adoption referrals. Planned Parenthood received $563.8 million from government sources, racked up $244.8 million in profit, and show net assets of $1,881,700,000 at the end of 2018.
Rather than harassing folks engaged in quiet prayer, perhaps Rep. Sims could demand that some of the profits from this lucrative business be spent safeguarding lives by cleaning up the Southeastern Pennsylvania facility and demand that the staff at this facility protect children from sexual abuse by complying with the law.
Terry McLaughlin, who lives in Grass Valley, writes a twice monthly column for The Union. Write to her at email@example.com.
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