CHARLESTON, W. Va.– The West Virginia ACLU says state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is over-reaching and being political with his letters to a pair of abortion clinics asking them to answer a number of questions.
“These services are providing women with safe and good care and I’m just concerned that it is politically motivated and not truly about the well-being of West Virginia women and families,” said ACLU Board President Sara Bird.
In a prepared release, Morrisey stated that a recent lawsuit filed by the Family Policy Council of West Virginia against the Women’s Health Center in Charleston and a doctor there raised some concerns. The lawsuit alleges medical malpractice.
“The merits of that lawsuit must still be resolved in court, but it does raises serious questions about how such clinics in West Virginia are inspected and reviewed to ensure patients are safe,” said Morrisey in the release.
He continued by adding that the state regulates professions from doctors to cosmetologists but not abortion clinics.
Bird said for Morrisey to claim the clinics are unregulated is untrue.
“It’s preposterous. There are health care personnel, doctors, physicians who have to be licensed,” she said. “There are nurses and physician assistants and other healthcare personnel, they all are regulated by laws.
She adds that the medical personnel in these clinics are subject to both state and federal regulations.
On top of thinking Morrisey’s actions are politically motivated, Bird also doesn’t believe he has statutory authority to regulate these clinics.
Morrisey’s letters ask a series of questions of the clinics concerning their regulations and the elective abortion procedures.
The ACLU isn’t the only group suspicious of Morrisey’s motives. Executive Director of WV FREE Margaret Chapman Pomponio stated in a prepared release that they believe it may be political as well.
“It is clear from Mr. Morrisey’s campaign statements that he does not believe a woman should have access to abortion at all,” said Pomponio. “Given his philosophical opposition to this medical procedure, his motivations are suspect.”
In addition, Pomponio wonders if this will become a regular thing for Morrisey’s office to question all medical facilities that are undergoing litigation.
“This kind of politically motivated inquiry is a threat to the practice of health care in West Virginia,” she stated in the release. “This is an insult to the doctors and women of our state.”
Morrisey wants answers from the clinics by July 1st.