Olympia…Sen. Val Stevens, R-Arlington, today said she was dismayed and disappointed that the Medical Quality Assurance Commission exempted abortion clinics from the same accreditation requirements as other office-based surgical clinics administering sedation and anesthesia.
“The new rule makes all other office-based surgical clinics meet standards set by a nonaffiliated, nationally recognized accrediting agency,” Stevens said. “Abortions clinics can be accredited by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America or the National Abortion Federation. It’s like asking the fox to guard the henhouse.
“This decision clearly isn’t about patient safety; it springs from some misguided ‘hands-off’ attitude when it comes to Planned Parenthood.”
The decision to exempt abortion clinics was made during the regularly scheduled June meeting in Tumwater yesterday. The nationally recognized accreditation agencies include The Joint Commission; The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care; The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities; and The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Stevens had written to the commission earlier opposing the exemption. The following are excerpts from her letter:
“I asked the Commission to strike this exemption and retain the strongest possible patient safety standards for all office-based surgical settings,” Stevens said. “I admonished the Commission for not following the intent of the law authorizing this rule-making authority.”
The legislative authority was given in House Bill 1414 adopted in 2007.
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Sen. Stevens represents the 39th Legislative District,
which includes part of rural King, Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties.