It is difficult, if not impossible, to have an honest discussion about the appropriate amount of regulation for abortion clinics.
The two sides that drive the debate are entrenched in their positions: the pro-choice movement fears a backdoor approach to outlawing abortion, while the pro-life side wants to roll back Roe v. Wade.
This debate has been rekindled in West Virginia because of two events: a lawsuit by a young woman supported by a faith-based organization claiming a botched abortion at Women's Health Center in Charleston (the center denies the allegation), and an attempt by state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey to get the state's two stand-alone abortion clinics to answer questions about their guidelines and standards.
The abortion clinics have refused to answer Morrisey's questions, saying only that they comply with all the appropriate rules and regulations.
One pro-choice advocate called Morrisey's request for information a "politically motivated inquisition." Another, in an op-ed piece in the Charleston Gazette, said Morrisey had "joined the nationwide GOP assault on women's health and freedom."
Is raising health and safety issues about nursing homes called an assault on seniors? When UMWA President Cecil Roberts questions mine safety is he assaulting the coal industry?
Why is it beyond the pale to ask about the safety procedures at medical offices that perform invasive procedures, especially since many of the patients are young and poor?
West Virginia law requires parental notification for a minor to get an abortion, unless the child can get a doctor (other than the abortion provider) or a judge to excuse that requirement. So if a child can get an abortion without her family knowing, there should be absolute assurance that she's receiving quality care.