W. Philly ‘House of Horrors’ the focus of Harrisburg hearing

When District Attorney Seth Williams released the grand jury report into Dr. Kermit B. Gosnell’s squalid West Philadelphia abortion clinic last month, he said, “There’s more oversight for women’s hair salons.”

Yesterday, Williams and several DA’s office representatives spoke before a joint session of the state Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, and Health and Welfare committees in Harrisburg. They testified to countless systemic failures on the day state Sen. Vincent Hughes said he’ll introduce legislation to increase state oversight. The grand jury itself cited dismissive attitudes of state agencies who failed to take notice before investigators stumbled onto a “house of horrors.”

“This is not a third-world nation. This happened just blocks away from some of the greatest medical facilities in the country,” Williams said. “I’m hopeful things will change so another place like this is never permitted to operate.”

Preliminary hearings for Gosnell, who has claimed he can’t afford representation, and eight co-defendants who worked at the Women’s Medical Society are scheduled for noon today.

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