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July 31, 2011

MD to watch abortion clinics more closely

Abortion clinics in Maryland will have to apply for a state license, provide a 24-hour hotline for patients, show that they have qualified anesthesia providers and develop emergency plans should procedures go awry according to new draft regulations the state's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released Friday.

Clinics failing to comply would face a $1,000 penalty -- or have their license revoked. The department is seeking public comment on the regulations until mid-August.

In a statement, the health department said the draft regs "reflect the right balance of preserving both safety and access."

The regulations were issued in response to a high-profile incident last fall when a woman was critically injured at an Elkton clinic run by Steven C. Brigham, a man who did not have a license to practice medicine in Maryland. His unorthodox approach involved initiating abortions in New Jersey and instructing patients to drive to Maryland where he completed the surgery.

Revelations about the Elkton clinic led lawmakers and religious groups to call for tighter rules governing the state's approximately 40 abortion providers. But abortion rights activists worried that that overly onerous regulations could shut down most or all clinics in the state.

Both sides are expected to comment on the draft rules.

In drafting the regulations, Maryland's health department researched other times when abortions have gone awry. They found that in the past 20 years the five doctors have been disciplined for harming patients. Three of the 5 incidents stemmed from poor administration of anesthesia.  
Posted by Annie Linskey at 11:11 PM | | Comments (1)
        

Comments

There goes the psychotic Tea bag folks again blaming the U.S. credit rating drop on Obama. They need to look in the mirror and they will see where the problem lies. I hope the American people wake up and see what these folks are prepared to do to this great country just to have things their way. God help us all if we don't vote them all out of office in 2012!!!

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Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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