CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- New Attorney General Patrick Morrisey evidently has accepted at face-value the allegations contained in a malpractice lawsuit against the Women's Health Clinic and its doctor. Morrisey, bless his heart, evidently saw no need to trouble himself with either the defendants' side of the story or the court's resolution of the case.
The AG sent the clinic a letter full of questions about its methods and procedures and has threatened to subpoena answers to his queries, although he has no legal authority to do so. I bear the AG no ill will. But the phrase "not ready for prime time" may be seen in dark clouds that presently gather above his office.
A citizen, finding himself unimpressed with Morrisey's slog into women's personal medical business, suggested that the AG may have run headlong over the state's ethical standards. In response, Morrisey threatened to come after the fellow for attorney's fees, should such an investigation occur.
Ironically, Mr. Morrisey had listed "ethics reform" as a priority during his campaign but now, in a head-snapping turnaround, he has threatened a citizen who did little more than express an interest in holding him to that promise. Morrisey remains mum on my suggestion (in an earlier column) that he promise to pay out of pocket for attorney fees, should an ethics investigation go against him.
I had posed several additional questions for the AG's midnight cogitations, including whether he has launched probes of the practices of any hospital wherein the CEO has contributed to his campaign. His silence speaks for him.
Now Morrisey is joined at the hip with abortion foe Jeremiah Dys who, according to his group's publicity, seeks to "illuminate the dangerous and secretive work" of abortions, which occur "without having public oversight."
Dys is misinformed. Abortion is medically safer than its alternative -- giving birth. What does Dys mean by describing abortion as "secretive." Maybe he prefers that it be done at the Lee Street Triangle.
Dys's publicity is wanting in another way. Abortions are done with a great deal of oversight. Doctors are heavily regulated by the state's medical licensing board. Nurses answer to their licensing board. The Food and Drug Administration regulates the medicines that may be administered in an abortion clinic. Various city and county codes apply as well. Perhaps somewhere on the path between thoughtful Christianity and mawkish sanctimony, Mr. Dys and Attorney General Morrisey have gone off the rails.
Mr. Dys terms abortion a "moral tragedy." All that is missing from that high-sounding analysis is an elementary understanding of the complexity of the matter. Abortion is deeply personal. Neither Morrisey nor Dys will walk in the shoes of a woman who must look after her well-being. Neither man will ever suspect that he is pregnant, and then learn that to be the case. Neither will ever experience what it is to be alone and frightened, wondering whether he has the physical health, emotional readiness or financial means to be a mother.
Evidently, Morrisey and Dys have little appreciation for the days when abortion was illegal and unsafe. They prefer to shame and judge women whose circumstances the men will never experience. The duo appear to have images of themselves as Sir Galahads, on white stallions, charging in to protect microscopic dots, while paying little heed to the implications of their Holier-than-thou posturing -- back alley abortions, children subject to neglect, the crushed spirits of the West Virginia women.
I humbly suggest that Mr. Morrisey keep his big government hands out of women's uteruses.
Wyatt is a Gazette contributing columnist and a Marshall University professor.