Gov. Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania (R) fired six senior government employees Tuesday for failing to respond to complaints against an abortionist now charged with murder.
"It took a raid by drug enforcement agents to do what regulators should have done a decade ago," Corbett said. "This doesn't even rise to the level of government run amuck. It was government not running at all. To call this unacceptable doesn't say enough. It's despicable."
The governor also ordered major policy changes in the commonwealth's Department of Health and Department of State, the two agencies responsible for oversight of health facilities.
"Laws are already on the books that should have prevented this situation," Corbett said. "The correction needs to take place inside the two agencies assigned to oversee them, so my administration has drawn up a set of guidelines or protocols."
Corbett's actions came after a grand jury report found the health care oversight agencies ignored complaints against Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell.
Gosnell, who ran the Women's Medical Society, was indicted last month on eight counts of murder in the deaths of one woman and seven infants.
The grand jury report found that babies were born alive in the abortion facility, but were killed when their spinal cords were cut with scissors by Gosnell and other staff members. The clinic, where conditions were described as deplorable, had not been inspected by the Pa. officials in 15 years.
Gosnell currently is being held without bail on the murder charges. Prosecutors have said they will consider the death penalty. He is scheduled to be arraigned on March 2.