The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced this week that 14 abortion clinics across the state have been given a reprieve from compliance with Amendment 122, a Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) law. The amendment, passed in December 2011, went into effect yesterday. Under the law, clinics must comply with strict ambulatory surgical facility regulations which could potentially shut down all 22 clinics in the state. According to Essential Public Radio, one clinic has already closed, and eight are restricting services because they are unable to afford to comply with the mandated changes.
As reported in the York Daily Record, clinics have had to renovate buildings, buy new equipment, and re-train staff at high costs. In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania CEO Kimberlee Evert said of the changes, “Planned Parenthood Western Pennsylvania’s doors are open today and they will be open tomorrow. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our patients. Even in the face of burdensome, medically unnecessary regulations, we will do what it takes to be there for the women counting on us.”
Clinics were awarded either a three or six month reprieve from compliance, depending upon the classification of the clinic. Under the law, Class A clinics perform surgeries with local anesthetic, while Class B clinics perform surgeries with stronger anesthesia. According to the Guttmacher Institute, TRAP laws were introduced in 19 states in 2011 and in 14 states in 2012. As reported by the Feminist Daily Newswire, TRAP laws in Virginia were voted on last week.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 6/19/2012; York Daily Record 6/18/2012; Allentown Morning Call 6/18/2012; Essential Public Radio 6/19/2012; Feminist Daily Newswire 6/18/2012