A grand jury report on the arrest of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell is prompting hearings and new bills in Harrisburg.
The report paints a picture of a dingy corner abortion clinic, filled with stray cats, dirty medical equipment and the remains of fetuses.
The Department of Health hadn’t inspected the site since 1993, and allegedly failed to act on complaints about the clinic.
In a response to what the grand jury calls a “total abdication” of the department’s responsibilities, Republican State Senator Pat Vance, who chairs the Public Health and Welfare Committee, is drafting a new bill.
"It would just make it mandatory for the Department of Health to immediately respond to any complaints, in addition to doing much more timely inspections, and just closer closer watch on those."
Vance says she’s equally appalled by allegations the Department of State never acted on complaints about Gosnell filed by other Philadelphia doctors.
Her committee will hold hearings on the matter this year.
Vance’s House Counterpart, Republican Health Committee Chair Matthew Baker, says he’d support her measure.
"It’s really not about the issue of the traditional debate about whether you support abortions or not. What this is about is public health safety for anyone going into such a clinic, and that public health safety protocols be adhered to."
Baker says he’ll draft additional bills of his own.