One of many complaints abortion supporters have against clinic regulations, which they call TRAP laws – Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers – is a requirement for wider doors and hallways than clinics apparently usually have.
“At no point does the width of doorways have any bearing on the medical treatment that’s being administered,” griped Planned Parenthood of Indiana Executive Director Betty Cockrum to jconline.com.
“Abortion proponents mocked the idea that the architectural standards would actually translate into better health care,” noted the Washington Post.
RH Reality Check’s Robin Marty listed “the size of doorways” as one of several “onerous new regulations” in Virginia.
NARAL Virginia’s deputy director agreed, grumbling that the real agenda behind mandating wider halls and doors was “restricting safe, legal abortion access,” according to MSNBC.
SocialistWorker.org protested that “larger hallways and doorways… serve no apparent medical purpose – nor do they make any logical sense.”
You could try telling all that to Kermit Gosnell’s patient Karnamaya Mongar, except she’s dead, in part due to the inability of paramedics to negotiate the halls. According to the grand jury report:
[T]here might have been some slim hope of reviving Mrs. Mongar. The paramedics were able to generate a weak pulse. But, because of the cluttered hallways and the padlocked emergency door, it took them over twenty minutes just to find a way to get her out of the building.
She wasn’t the only one. When Gosnell’s clinic was raided three months later:
Ambulances were summoned to pick up the waiting patients, but… emergency personnel… discovered they could not maneuver stretchers through the building’s narrow hallways to reach the patients….
Access from procedure rooms to the outside by wheelchair or stretcher was impossible, as was evident the night Karnamaya Mongar died….
Clinics must have doors, elevators, and other passages adequate to allow stretcher-borne patients to be carried to a street-level exit. Gosnell’s clinic, with its narrow, twisted passageways, could not accommodate a stretcher at all.
So, you see, the reason behind mandating that doorways and halls be 36 inches wide is to allow for gurney access. This doesn’t seem to me to be too much to ask of abortion providers, particularly since they say they are so concerned about “safe and legal” abortions. Some clinic regs go further to mandate that hallways be five feet wide, but this is simply to allow for simultaneous passage of two gurneys, which doesn’t seem too much to ask either.
To be fair, all the aforementioned complaints were lodged before the Gosnell story started to get traction, when Kirsten Powers’ USA Today column was published.
So you would think after all the notoriety abortion proponents would back away from protesting common sense safeguards that might have saved Mongar’s life. But no. I was shocked by a frankly ignorant tweet last night by RH Reality Check’s Editor-in-Chief, Jodi Jacobson, in response to my question:
Really? I hardly know where to begin. Jodi apparently thinks legalization has made abortion so safe it is utterly impervious to human error or frailty.
But Jodi did qualify herself the word, “most,” meaning she acknowledges there may be medical emergencies at a few clinics, but she’s willing to roll the dice with women’s lives for the sake of access.
Like at the abortion industry standard bearer, Planned Parenthood?
Well, after Operation Rescue compiled the following video last October of 14 emergency calls to PPs across the country since January 2011, there have been a whopping 13 more, recorded at PPs in Colorado (x2), Delaware x5, Indiana, Missouri (same clinic 3x since Thanksgiving – make that 4), and New York, for a total of 27…
… and that’s just at Planned Parenthoods, which comprise 25% of freestanding abortion clinics in the U.S.
But Jacobson isn’t alone. Kate Michelman, former president of NARAL, complained in a piece blaming pro-lifers for Gosnell that the very state hosting his “House of Horrors,” as it’s now known, Pennsylvania, had enacted “volumes of costly regulations… designed to regulate abortion care right out of existence.”
This makes no sense. Gosnell would have been one of the abortion clinics regulated out of existence had state agencies or the National Abortion Federation bothered.
Don’t these people want that?
[Top photo, taken in January 2012, is of an ambulance crew having to hand-carry an emergency victim from New Woman All Woman abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, because the mill could not accommodate a gurney.]