Planned Parenthood More Trustworthy than Other Medical Practices?
Every day in Washington State, people have surgery in office-based facilities. Hundreds of offices perform procedures like oral surgery, foot surgery, and plastic surgery outside hospital facilities.
While I am not personally aware of any crisis, there is apparently concern about lack of regulation of these facilities. Enough concern, in fact, that within the Washington State Department of Health, the Medical Quality Assurance Commission (MQAC) is drafting new rules to create standards for office-based surgery centers.
Among the provisions is an accreditation requirement for the office in which the surgery takes place.
Somewhere along the way, the abortion industry realized that they were going to be included in these regulations. And that’s where this story gets interesting, because that’s when the MQAC started treating people differently. After working for nearly two years to create uniformity for all office-based surgery centers, the MQAC inserted language that would discriminate against medical facilities simply because they do not provide abortions:
“In lieu of accreditation or certification by one of the above-listed entities, facilities limiting office-based surgery to abortions or abortion-related services may be accredited or certified by either the Planned Parenthood Federation of America or the National Abortion Federation.”
Yes, you read that correctly. The MQAC was explicitly telling the abortion industry that they could be self-accredited. The commission charged with assuring quality in medical care was telling the abortion industry, and only the abortion industry, that they could police themselves. If that doesn’t sound right, that’s because it isn’t.
The doctors I have spoken with say there is no precedent in medical practice for self-accreditation, nor should there be. Can you imagine the state giving builders the authority to issue their own permits? Can you imagine the Security and Exchange Commission giving Goldman Sachs the authority to hire their own auditors and report to themselves? If you are accountable only to yourself, you are not accountable.
Every other hospital in Washington is accountable to a third party. If the industry is as concerned with the health and safety of women as they say, they should not want a lower standard.
This situation is particularly troublesome because Planned Parenthood receives more than $23 million a year from taxpayers. Typically, organizations that receive taxpayer funds are subject to more oversight, not less. Then again, Planned Parenthood is not your father’s lobby group.
This is the same Planned Parenthood that, in 2009, was fined $700,000 for habitual illegal billing practices. The Washington State legislature responded in 2010, not by creating oversight and accountability for Planned Parenthood, but by working on behalf of Planned Parenthood to make pregnancy resource centers subject to complaints under the Consumer Protection Act and restrict their first amendment rights. Significantly, pregnancy resource centers do not receive a single penny of taxpayer dollars, but do encourage women not to have abortions.
The conflict of interest intentionally created by this rule raises serious questions about the Medical Quality Assurance Commission’s commitment to public health and safety. If the state believes, as they apparently do, that public safety requires these office-based surgery facilities to be regulated, what possible public benefit could be served by allowing only the abortion industry to policy itself?
One of the challenges in responding to this issue is that the rule is not being created by legislators but by a committee appointed by the Governor. That means legislators do not have official input. However, they do have oversight of the Department of Health and their awareness of this issue is important.
Therefore, we urge you to contact your legislators and tell them you do not want the Medical Quality Assurance Commission creating exemptions from health regulations for the abortion industry. You can also contact the MQAC here and ask them to make sure they apply the law equally and don’t intentionally create conflicts of interest.
As always, please be respectful but please be heard.
Your support of our efforts to stop this from being enacted is greatly appreciated.