When West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey began looking into policies and practices at the state's two abortion clinics, "pro-choice" organizations came down hard on him. In August, after a few legislators said abortion clinic regulations should be reviewed, demonstrators descended on the state Capitol.
Morrisey and concerned lawmakers had to be stopped to protect the health of Mountain State women, the protesters insisted.
Morrisey and legislators have ample cause to be worried about the well-being of women treated at abortion clinics. Though the attorney general refuses to disclose details about any investigation involving his office, contents of a troubling letter he received in June have been made public.
Dr. Byron Calhoun, vice chairman of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at West Virginia University Physicians of Charleston, wrote to Morrisey about the abortion clinics, both located in Charleston.
"We commonly (I personally probably at least weekly) see patients ... with complications from abortions at these centers," Calhoun wrote. Care provided at the clinics is substandard, he added.
If that is so, it may be because the state lacks comprehensive regulations for abortion clinics. There is no licensing process for them and the state Department of Health and Human Resources has admitted it does not inspect the facilities.
Clearly, there is reason to be concerned about whether the state does enough to safeguard the health of patients at abortion clinics.
Legislators should resist pressure from pro-abortion groups and look into the situation. If additional regulations are needed - and it seems they are - lawmakers should not hesitate to enact them.