About a year ago the nation was finally in collective shock over the actions of an abortionist. Kermit Gosnell, of Philadelphia, was arrested after police revealed that he had been running a late-term abortion mill that came to be known as a "house of horrors". But while everyone watched Gosnell get charged with violations of various criminal counts in Pennsylvania, we started an investigation to see if this horrific genocidal butcher of a man would have actually committed any crimes had his abortion mill be operating here in The Abortion State of Washington.
We can now report the results of that investigation.
The shocking answer is pretty much "no"!
Now we know no-one likes reading the details of what Gosnell was doing, but it's crucially important. Here is the summary straight from the Philly District Attorney:
Now we know that you want to take it for granted that here in Washington a man who did these same things could and would be charged with violations of similar laws on the books in this state, and that the county prosecutor/DA would actually bring such charges. Well, we consulted with the office of the Attorney General (who, in case you haven't heard, is running for Governor). The only thing Gosnell did as far as we can tell that would have been a prosecutable felony is the accidental death of the 41-year-old patient. Let's look at the other charges in detail.
Illegal abortion after 24 weeks? There's no such law in Washington. The closest you will get is RCW 9.02.110 and 120. It deliberately avoids any mention of weeks and instead leaves the definition of an illegal abortion vague, subjective, and hard to prosecute. (The attorney general and the association of county prosecutors could not give us any examples of charges ever having been brought under this statute.) An abortion at any stage of pregnancy including the 6th, 7th, and 8th months like Gosnell was doing is legal in Washington as long as a single licensed doctor in his or her arbitrary, subjective, biased, self-serving "judgment" says the pregnancy was "not viable" or "a threat to the health" of the mother. There are no requirements for independent second opinions, supporting paperwork, medical tests, documentation. In other words, a "Washington State Gosnell" can make his own abortions legal by fiat.
It could actually be even worse than that. The statute, from an initiative passed by a vote of the people of the Soviet of Washington, says:
"A physician may terminate and a health care provider may assist a physician in terminating a pregnancy."We asked the AG's office if this horribly vague language meant that meant that the determination of gestation, viability, or threat to the mother's health could be delegated to a "health care provider". Janelle Guthrie, spokeswoman for Rob McKenna's office, said that "it could be interpreted this way", though she cautioned that this would be stretching the language and a non-standard interpretation. We would note, however, that stretching statutes is what lawyers do for breakfast.
Note also that there is no legal definition of a "health care provider" in the R.C.W. that we could find. Gosnell was delegating things like this to untrained and unlicensed family members, a crime in Pennsylvania. In the case of abortion in Washington, he could just claim these untrained individuals were "providing health care". If that sounds crazy, one must remember that when Christine Gregoire was Attorney General, she provided a formal opinion allowing certain kinds of nurses to do (chemical abortions) based on an extremely liberal reading of the state's existing (and minimal) abortion statues.
Also, note that Gosnell was never trained as an Ob/Gyn. Surely it's illegal for someone in Washington to do abortions unless they are a trained and licensed Ob/Gyn. Wrong again! You can be a podiatrist or a urologist; all you need is to be a (licensed) physician and you can do abortions all day long without violating a jot or tittle of Washington law. Ms. Guthrie did point out that you might expose yourself to some civil damages with malpractice insurance if you 'practice' outside your training, but that's far from a criminal charge, which is our focus.
So what about Gosnell's practice of having babies be born alive and then "snipping" their spinal cords with scissors? Well, while there is a federal law against partial-birth abortion, there is no state law against any kind of abortion technique. And there is no requirement to minimize the suffering of the baby you are murdering. Since Washington State law specifically says that "Any regulation promulgated by the state relating to abortion shall be valid only if ... of the available alternatives, the regulation imposes the least restrictions on the woman's right to have an abortion" it's completely possible that an abortionist who prefers to kill babies in this way would have the law on his or her side.
Next, what about Gosnell's practice of keeping aborted baby remains around his Auschwitz-like office as trophies of private holocaust? We consulted with Ms. Guthrie and her colleagues about this and the applicable law is a little vague. She did tell us that once a baby has been murdered, if it was 20 weeks or more, it is suddenly considered to be human. (How nice for the baby, he's a blob of tissue before he's murdered, then as soon as his life is brutally ended by Planned Parenthood's finest, Washington State suddenly recognizes his humanity!) There are regulations governing how "human remains" are dealt with, but any violations are misdemeanors, or at worst, a gross misdemeanor.
Finally, one might think that the filthy state of Gosnell's facility would have been discovered during routine inspections of abortion facilities in Washington State and caused the facility to have lost its license. No again. Because in Washington, abortion clinics are completely unlicensed, unregulated, and not subjected to any form of inspection ever. The Department of Health told us that monitoring of medical facilities is done on a complaint basis, which they supposedly take very seriously. Well, we saw how seriously the Pennsylvania Department of Health took the routine complaints they received: they ignored them for years. Gosnell was only discovered when he violated narcotic regulations. And Washington's DoH is known for being even more sympathetic and deferential to the abortion industry. They even recently passed new rules letting late-term abortion clinics regulate themselves with respect to administering anesthesia. (Imagine if your two-year-old asked if he could "regulate himself". Gosnell was "regulating himself".)
We have filed a couple of complaints with the DoH regarding abortion clinics employing unlicensed nurses. The result? Crickets...
So what we have discovered is that it is perfectly possible that this state is littered with a network of Kermit Gosnell's running their own houses of horrors with absolute impunity. You would think that on discovering this shameful outrage that Christine Gregoire, Jay Inslee, and our legislators would be running to Olympia to fix the situation immediately. You would think Rob McKenna would be making this a centerpiece of his campaign for Governor. You would hope that the Seattle Times and other media outlets that obsess about "human rights" would be editorializing about it. You would hope that Bill & Melinda Gates would be crying out for their home state to fix this outrage before he goes around the world telling of his compassion.
But the reality is that Seattle Leftists could care less. They seem to love abortion with all their hearts, regardless how it is done, to whom, or under what conditions. The Washington State Democratic Party and all its subsidiaries can fairly be declared monsters and barbarians. And the Republican Party is devoid of any moral conviction and can't even figure out how to take advantage of this situation as the political opportunity of the century.
As we say in Washington, Welcome to Hell.