Senate Resolution Calls for Nationwide Inspections of Abortion Facilities

CongressWashington, D.C. — A resolution introduced in the U.S. Senate on Monday recommends that abortion facilities nationwide be inspected and investigated.

Senator Mike Lee of Utah is the main sponsor of the resolution, and is joined by ten co-sponsors, including Senators Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas.

While it does not hold the same weight as a federal law, the resolution serves as a statement that “[e]xpress[es] the sense of the Senate that Congress and the States should investigate and correct abusive, unsanitary,and illegal abortion practices.” It cites the egregious procedures of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell as one of the motivating factors for the measure.

“[T]he Declaration of Independence sets forth the principle that all people are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” the document begins. “[T]he people of the United States believe that every human life is precious from its very beginning, and that every individual, regardless of age, health, or condition of dependency, deserves the respect and protection of society.”

The resolution proceeds to decry what it calls the “grossly unsanitary and dangerous conditions, violations of law regarding storage of human remains, and, above all, instances of willful murder of infants born alive by severing their spinal cords” at Gosnell’s abortion facility. It also notes the Planned Parenthood in Delaware that was recently in the news after two former employees blew the whistle against the conditions and practices of the abortion provider.

“[A]bortion clinics in a number of states, particularly Michigan and Maryland, and including 2 clinics at which Dr. Kermit Gosnell performed or initiated abortions and 2 Planned Parenthood facilities in Delaware, have been closed temporarily or permanently due to unsanitary conditions, and the Planned Parenthood facilities in Delaware have been described by former employees as resembling a ‘meat market,'” the resolution laments. “[T]he imposition of criminal and civil penalties on individuals and corporations involved in the deplorable practices described in this preamble is appropriate, but is not the only necessary response to such practices.”

The Senators then outline the assertion that the federal and state governments need to be proactive in handling such matters, as “women and children in the United States deserve better than the 56,145,920 abortions that have been per-formed in the United States since the Supreme Court rulings in Roe v. Wade.” Among the list of recommended actions are that both Congress and the states should collect information about abortion facilities that violate the law, as well as interstate schemes where women are sent to separate facilities to obtain a third trimester abortion.

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The five-page resolution also focuses on “protecting the lives of unborn children beginning at least from the stage at which substantial medical evidence indicates that they are capable of feeling pain,” stating that it is “separate from and independent of the compelling governmental interest in protecting the lives of unborn children beginning at the stage of viability.”

The Senators remark that such measures are “long overdue” and must be enacted now “for the sake of women, children, families and future generations.” Lee told reporters the he believes the resolution will pass Congress, but it is too soon to predict any actual outcome.

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