How TRAP Laws Work In Practice

The Rockford Clinic of Illinois is a good example of how targeted regulations can work to shut down or immobilize an abortion provider.

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So how do TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws really work to cut off access to abortion clinics for women seeking pregnancy terminations?  A good example is a clinic in Illinois, which has been closed since September due to violations, and will still be required to pay almost $10,000 in fines before it can reopen.

The violations that shut it down?  Administrative “necessities” that have very little to do with the actual services that it provides.

Last year the Department of Public Health cited the abortion clinic for health and safety violations after a three-day inspection in June.  Arnold told the Rockford Register Star that the abortion clinic was given a plan of correction for its violations of the Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Center Licensing Requirements Code and Illinois Administrative Procedure Act, and informed that its progress would be monitored.

When the abortion clinic was re-inspected September 15, most of the violations observed in a June inspection report had been corrected, according to records from the state. But not only were some violations not corrected (such as failing to have a registered nurse in the operating room and directing patient care) new ones were noted, “like doctors not having surgical privileges with a licensed Illinois hospital and not having a written agreement with a local laboratory to perform certain tests,” according to Corina Curry of the Rockford Register Star.

The clinic, which has fixed the issues, now has a choice — pay an additional $10,000 in fines to reopen, or pay just $1000 and stay closed.  Permanently.