FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Mark B. Cohen
Cohen seeks governor's input on abortion clinic discussion
HARRISBURG, Sept. 26 – House Human Services Committee Democratic Chairman Mark Cohen is asking Gov. Tom Corbett to intervene in the legislative discussion over potential changes to the state's Health Care Facilities Act which could have a negative impact on a woman's right to have an abortion.
Cohen is requesting Corbett's intervention "to bring about a compromise which will end the counterproductive political debate and bring together all the parties of interest to ensure that (abortion clinic) inspections are conducted and procedures implemented to protect the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians."
The Philadelphia Democrat made his request in a recent letter to the governor. (Read letter here.)
"The Grand Jury in the Gosnell case found Pennsylvania's Department of Health had neglected its duty to enforce existing health and safety laws. If the Department had monitored abortion facilities for compliance and enforcement of existing regulations as you have proposed, the atrocities in Gosnell's clinic would never have happened," he wrote.
Cohen goes on to say that the Philadelphia District Attorney clarified the Grand Jury report by stating: "The Grand Jury did not recommend that the Legislature change the definition of an ambulatory surgical facility to include all abortion clinics. Nor did it recommend that abortion clinics be singled out for licensure under the Health Care Facilities Act simply because they offer abortions."
He said that legislation under consideration by the House and Senate would create unnecessary requirements on many doctors' offices.
"If either is signed into law, Senate Bill 732 or House Bill 574 would make abortion care in Pennsylvania inaccessible. I am certain that after careful consideration of the consequences, you will uphold your duty to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and refuse to enact either of these unconstitutional violations of a woman's right to choose," Cohen wrote.