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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Planned Parenthood is shutting down three abortion referral centers in Pennsylvania.
"These closings mean that fewer women will be referred for abortions, so this is a victory for pre-born babies and their mothers," said Michael Ciccocioppo, executive director of Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, speaking to Church Militant.
The Chambersburg, Gettysburg and Scranton centers will be shut down, according to Planned Parenthood Keystone CEO Melissa Reed. In a statement, she said, "This decision was made after careful analysis of where our patients live and seek medical care as well as an assessment of how best to ensure the longevity and strength of existing medical centers."
Reed went on to say, "After careful consideration, Planned Parenthood Keystone has made the difficult strategic decision to consolidate health services by closing three centers located in Chambersburg, Gettysburg and Scranton, to reduce the costs of duplication associated with running three sites in close proximity to others."
When it comes to legal restrictions on abortion, Pennsylvania is among the states with more regulations. According to Pennsylvania law, "A woman must receive state-directed counseling that includes information designed to discourage her from having an abortion and then wait 24 hours before the procedure." In cases concerning minors, a parent must provide consent before an abortion is carried out.
An abortion is illegal if any of the following elements are present:
(1) Failure to obtain informed consent of woman; (2) failure to meet standards for legal abortion; (3) using any means to cause the death of an unborn child but not meaning use of intrauterine device or the birth control pill; (4) solely for the reason of the child's sex; (5) without making diagnosis of gestational age; (6) use of public funds, facilities, or officials.
In Pennsylvania, abortion is legal under all circumstances in the first six months of pregnancy. However, in the final trimester, abortion is legal only when the mother's life is threatened, or "when pregnancy would result in irreversible impairment of a major bodily function."
In 2014, 32,126 abortions were performed in Pennsylvania, according to the state's Department of Health. Eighty-eight children are killed every day by abortion in Pennsylvania, according to Abort73.com, a pro-life advocacy organization.
In 2011, Pennsylvania was ranked #7 for abortions in the United States, as 36,870 abortions were carried out that year. That same year, legislators in the Keystone state passed Act 122, which "requires that abortion facilities be licensed as outpatient surgical centers and subject to regular inspections."
Act 122 was passed in the wake of Kermit Gosnell's arrest and imprisonment. Gosnell, a Philadelphia abortionist, was found guilty of murdering three babies at his abortion mill. In addition, his abortion mill was found to be in violation of numerous federal and state regulations. According to the FBI and the Pennsylvania Department of Health,
There was blood on the floor. A stench of urine filled the air. A flea-infested cat was wandering through the facility, and there were cat feces on the stairs. Semi-conscious women scheduled for abortions were moaning in the waiting room or the recovery room, where they sat on dirty recliners covered with blood-stained blankets.
The grand jury report described Gosnell's abortion mill as a place where "dirty facilities; unsanitary instruments; an absence of functioning monitoring and resuscitation equipment; the use of cheap, but dangerous, drugs; illegal procedures; and inadequate emergency access for when things inevitably went wrong, all put patients at grave risk — every day."
Pro-life advocates argued that lax abortion regulations allowed Gosnell to murder children with impunity, and therefore Act 122 was passed as a result.
According to the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, "Prior to Act 122, hair and nail salons in Pennsylvania were subject to greater scrutiny than abortion centers."