Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett says he's removing a number of state employees as a result of an investigation into a Philadelphia abortion clinic where a doctor is accused of performing illegal abortions that resulted in the deaths of a patient and infants.
The state failed to properly oversee abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell’s house of horrors, in which a woman died and newly-born babies were allegedly murdered, Corbett said in a statement Tuesday.
“This doesn’t even rise to the level of government run amok. It was government not running at all. To call this unacceptable doesn’t say enough. It’s despicable,’’ Corbett said.
Corbett said Tuesday that the seven employees removed worked at the Department of Health and the Department of State, which licenses health care workers.
Corbett says that in some cases he's accepted resignations. Others have been dismissed outright. Some are suspended while his aides investigate.
A grand jury that investigated the clinic had scathing criticism for Pennsylvania's state health and medical regulators for allowing the conditions at the clinic to exist unchecked for years.
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams applauded the governor’s actions Tuesday.
“Governor Corbett’s leadership is holding people within state government accountable, and making critical changes to protect the health, welfare and safety of our citizens,” Williams said in a statement. “Hopefully women across the Commonwealth will be better protected because of his actions.”
Corbett also says his administration has drawn up agency protocols to better protect women.
Authorities say the West Philly abortion doctor’s regular method of getting rid of late-term, unwanted pregnancies was to induce labor and snap the spinal cord of a newly-born, writhing baby with a pair of scissors.
The grand jury report included a gory depiction of unsanitary conditions, blood-soaked procedure rooms, and botched abortions that left two women dead and countless injured and infertile.
Prosecutors also say that the untrained workers also performed illegal abortions, provided anesthesia and other medical services.
“It will be up to a jury to decide Dr. Gosnell’s guilt or innocence. It is up to me to decide how to stop such horrors from taking place again,’’ Corbett said.