PA Abortion Clinics Forced to Upgrade or Risk Closure

A new bill that was enacted into law on June 19th. It’s called Act 122 and mandates that abortion clinics must upgrade their facilities. House Majority Leader Mike Turzai—who recently made news when he suggested that Pennsylvania’s voter ID law will allow Mitt Romney to win the state in the upcoming presidential election—has referred to Act 122 as “pro-life legislation.” A clinic associated with the University of Pittsburgh has already closed since the bill became law. Philadelphia Weekly‘s Tara Murtha breaks down what the law means for the remaining 14 freestanding clinics providing surgical abortions in Pennsylvania.

Of those 14, only one clinic—Hillcrest Women’s Center in Harrisburg—is fully licensed under Act 122. A spokeswoman from Hillcrest said while they don’t have exact figures yet, the Center spent a “considerable” amount of money on renovations and upgrades in order to earn accreditation.

The rest of the clinics, she writes, have been granted temporary licenses as Class A (can use local anesthesia) and Class B (can use full anesthesia) facilities.

According to the Health Department, five clinics—one each in Lehigh, Berks, Bucks, Chester and York counties—have been granted three-month provisional Class A licenses. The remaining eight clinics—two in Allegheny, one in Lehigh, one in Chester and four in Philadelphia—have been granted six-month provisional Class B licenses.

Murtha writes that it will be difficult to cut down on the number of infections, though, as there were only 12 cases of infection of the 36,778 abortions performed in Pennsylvania in 2010. [PW]