Monday, January 31, 2011

State Dems Wade Deeper Into Controversy by Misleading Constituents on Bill to Crush Pregnancy Centers

Another Washington State Democrat is in trouble over blatantly false claims she has been making to constituents about current law in a desperate effort to rationalize her support for SB5274, the bill widely condemned as clearly crafted by the abortion lobby to destroy the state's network of non-profit pro-life pregnancy clinics (known as HB1366 in the House).

Democrat Senator Rosemary McAuliffe was responding to a Mountlake Terrace resident who is deeply opposed to the bill. Firstly, McAuliffe said she had spoken to the prime sponsor, who "assured" her that "this legislation has no intention of closing down" pro-life pregnancy centers. Yet she completely failed to address the fact that the penalties prescribed in the bill for failing to use proper font size, offer sufficient documentation in enough languages, and uttering exact verbiage mandated by Olympia are completely without any precedent in state law.

Numerous legal experts who have analyzed the bill are in complete agreement that these ludicrous mandates would sink the state pregnancy centers -- who survive on a shoe-string budget of donations with a staff of volunteers -- in fines and legal bills.

But it gets worse. Much worse.
McAuliffe's letter continues, filled with grammatical errors.
"Medical Centers" regardless of their stance on pro-life or pro-choice are not licensed. Without being licensed these facilities do not have to participate in patient confidentiality laws, proper release of medical records, or the standards of care. This legislation will ensure unlicensed centers are held to the same standards as licensed centers, while continuing to give needed patient care.
There are almost as many errors as there are words.

Medical centers are not licensed by the state of Washington. Medical providers (i.e., physicians and nurses) are. There are two kinds of pro-life pregnancy center: Pregnancy Resource Clinics (PRCs), which are counseling offices, and Pregnancy Medical Clinics (PMCs), which have doctors and nurses on staff either full or part time. PRCs do not practice medicine, because they do not have medical staff working there. Consequently, they do not produce medical records. Consequently it is utterly nonsensical to talk about enforcing medical record regulations, like HIPAA, etc.

In the case of PMCs, the medical staff are licensed and regulated as medical professionals under exactly the same regulations (HIPAA, etc.) as they are when they practice at their regular offices.

We contacted McAuliffe's office to try to understand how she could make such an enormous gaffe in an official piece of correspondence in defense of her position on an upcoming piece of legislation of such import.

"Is the Senator incompetent, or was she deliberately misleading her constituents?" we asked.

Alas, we never did get an answer to that question. Instead her staff whined about "being nice" for minutes on end. Eventually we were able to explain to her that the Senator was clearly misleading her constituents with false information about this bill. The staff member informed us that they were given information by the bill's prime sponsor, Senator Keiser -- which they apparently chose to believe, for whatever reason -- that the bill would only regulate the PRCs, i.e., the non-medical clinics.

We explained that non-medical clinics have non-medical staff, and produce non-medical records, and therefore it's hogwash to talk about them complying with medical record regulations. We also explained that the part about facilities being licensed showed complete ignorance of the law in Washington state.

McAuliffe's staff quickly ran out of answers and instead retreated into immature and unprofessional protestations about the necessity of being "nice" to politicians, even those seeking to strip away your fundamental human rights, or deceptively enact laws designed to bring about more dead babies.

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