Abortion Clinic Safety Regulations
Abortion Clinic Safety Regulations
Written By David E. Smith   |   02.23.12
Reading Time: 2 minutes

We want to draw your attention to another important pro-life bill that our state lawmakers will be considering this session. HB 4117, sponsored by State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine),  would require abortion clinics that perform more than 50 abortions a year to meet basic safety regulations of other similar outpatient treatment centers. (They have never been regulated.)

HB 4117 passed of a House Committee on Tuesday afternoon (February 21st) and will now be considered in the Illinois House. Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups are working overtime trying to stop this bill.

Take ACTION: Click HERE to send an email or a fax to your state representative to urge him/her to support HB 4117 or even sign on as a co-sponsor.


Patients undergoing abortion procedures have just as much right to expect the State of Illinois to apply health and safety standards to their health as to the health and well-being of patients undergoing other types of outpatient treatment.

The bill applies to ambulatory surgical treatment centers where abortions are performed and any other facility where 50 or more abortions are performed in any calendar year.

The measure is intended to provide health and safety protections for patients undergoing abortions in non-hospital settings. It reaffirms the intent of 1979 amendments to the Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Center Act (ASTCA) — that it apply to abortion facilities — notwithstanding a federal court settlement imposed on the state in the Ragsdale case in 1989, by which a Rockford abortionist settled a lawsuit challenging application of the ASTCA’s provisions and regulations to his abortion clinic, which could not meet the state’s safety standards for his patients.

The 1979 amendments which applied the ASTCA specifically to abortion clinics were sponsored by lawmakers whose records reflected a consistent “pro-choice” perspective. They were filed in response to a November, 1978, expose of unethical, unsafe practices in Chicago abortion clinics, published by the Better Government Assn. and the Chicago Sun-Times in a noteworthy series of articles titled “The Abortion Profiteers.” The shocking reports disclosed the deaths of at least a dozen women following abortions in the Chicago clinics, revealed unsterile conditions in the clinics, documented abortions performed on women who were not pregnant and others performed without anesthesia, showed premature dismissals from recovery rooms and falsifications of medical records and uncovered kickbacks paid for abortion referrals.

Because of the Ragsdale settlement, Illinois is notorious for its inability to regulate health and safety in abortion clinics. Given the number of scandals breaking across America related to shocking practices in under-inspected abortion clinics, it is only a matter of time before scandals break out in the uninspected abortion clinics here.

Illinois women deserve better. Illinois women deserve protection of their health and safety when they undergo abortions in non-hospital settings. Illinois women need enactment of HB 4117.

Please take a moment to contact your state representative to urge him/her to vote “yes” for HB 4117.

David  E. Smith
Dave Smith is the executive director of Illinois Family Institute (501c3) and Illinois Family Action (501c4). David has 30 years of experience in public policy and grass-roots activism that includes...
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