Friday, March 15, 2013

Governor Deal Refuses to Help Women in Georgia!

On Tuesday March 12, 2013, history was made in Georgia. Men and women, Black, White, Latina, and Asian, young and old came together, united for the cause of making Georgia safe for women entering abortion centers around the state. They came to make the Governor aware that twelve to fourteen of the eighteen to twenty abortion centers are not licensed as surgical centers, yet perform thousands of surgeries each year. They came to remind the Governor that these unlicensed centers have no government oversight unless a patient complaint is filed and even if a complaint is filed, the state has not taken action against the abortionist.

They came to let the Governor know even those that are licensed are not made to comply with the dictates of the license, instead they are allowed to operate outside the law. They came to inform the Governor that women are entering some of these centers disease free, but are leaving with infections, bacterial and others, that are sometimes impacting their ability to bear children in the future. They came to let the Governor know that women still die in abortion centers in Georgia, to tell him of the death of Shirika Mayo after her uterus was perforated when the abortionist “departed from and failed to conform to minimal standards of acceptable and prevailing medical practice". These citizens of Georgia came together to make a difference asking the Governor to protect women from the trail of botched abortions and unsanitary conditions plaguing abortion centers in this state because Governor Deal has done nothing.

Before we left the Capitol that day, the Governor’s spokesperson, Katie Rogers, Health Policy Adviser who described her responsibility as the Governor’s designee for working with the Department of Public Health and Department of Community Health, assured us Governor Deal is fully aware of the concerns we have related to health care for women in Georgia. She assured us that each issue had been reviewed and was understood. She then informed us that Governor Deal cannot instruct his direct reports to “faithfully execute” the ambulatory surgical center laws. She never assured us the Governor would uphold his constitutional responsibility, instead saying he cannot give his staff, department heads who work at his pleasure, directives. She was so strong in her delivery, we wondered out loud why he would not protect the women of this state. Some believe it is because the number one customer of the abortionist is the black woman. I reject that notion at this point but do think he is shamefully ignoring his responsibility to protect those that are vulnerable,and blindly entering these centers believing they are safe.

Governor Deal’s appointees/department heads, have gone to some lengths to begin camouflaging abortion in Georgia. In January of every year until he took office, the Department of Public Health published the numbers of abortions by ethnicity and facility. Georgia averages between 30,000-36,000 abortions every year. Since the Governor took office, those numbers have not been published or provided when requested through the Georgia Open Records Act, asking for the records required to be collected under Georgia Code - Health - Title 31, Section 31-10-26 or Georgia Code - Crimes and Offenses - Title 16, Section 16-12-141. No other Governor including Democratic Governors, has denied these records, so why is this one and why now?

Whether the woman is a member of the nearly 60% African American, 23% White, or 17% Latina/Asian population that have entered the abortion chambers, she should be assured that the laws of Georgia are being enforced to guarantee a sanitary environment or to ensure that facility will be closed down if it is not. Every woman should be assured that the abortion center’s physical environment meets code standards and if needed emergency medical personnel can safely and quickly get them out of the facility and to a hospital. Every woman should be assured that if a fire were to occur, there are sprinkler and other fire abatement equipment available in each facility. There should be qualified medical personnel and equipment available should CPR or other emergency medical assistance be needed. We expect licensed personnel to administer anesthesia or complete sonograms as is the standard in other medical offices where surgeries are provided. These conditions and more are prevalent in Georgia’s abortion centers and we invite you to join us in demanding these facilities be made to comply with the longstanding laws of the state.

Governor Deal should not expect to remain Governor if he will not fulfill his constitutionally outlined duty to faithfully execute the laws of the state. Please call 404-656-1776 and remind him that the voters that elected him have the expectation that he will enforce these laws. Enlist the aid of your neighbors and friends to call on the Governor to keep Georgia women safe. Someone's health, someone's life depends on it.