Troubled Maryland Abortionist Receives Only a 3-Month Suspension for Operating an Unlicensed Facility, Egregious Behavior

Offenses included using the dangerous, outdated Saline abortion method on a patient who then suffered an “explosive, unattended delivery.”

By Cheryl Sullenger

Forestville, Maryland – Maryland abortionist Harold O. Alexander has once again had his medical license suspended for three months, according to a consent order issued by the Maryland Board of Physicians (MDBP) on April 16, 2014. The suspension is Alexander’s second in two years and is related to his operation of an illegal unlicensed abortion facility. He will also have to serve three years of probation.

The Board found Alexander was found guilty of “unprofessional conduct” and violating a previous consent order. The first year of his probation, Alexander is barred from the solo practice of medicine and must only work under the supervision of a Board-approved physician, who must file monthly reports on Alexander’s medical practices with a disciplinary panel of the MDBP.

“The fact that Alexander will be back in business in three months is ludicrous. This man has proved again and again that he is not fit to practice medicine and has no regard for the laws and regulations that govern the practice of medicine in Maryland, much less the safety of his patients,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

Operation Rescue has complained about Alexander’s shoddy abortion practices several times and was the first to make the formal accusation that he was conducting an illicit abortion business in an unlicensed facility.

2011 Late-term abortion scheme

In 2011, Operation Rescue discovered that Alexander was involved in a shady late-term abortion scheme with disgraced Florida abortionist James Scott Pendergraft, IV. Alexander’s Integrated Ob/Gyn abortion clinic in Forestville, Maryland, acted as a secret late-term abortion location for patients of Pendergraft’s seeking extreme late-term abortions that are illegal elsewhere. Even though Pendergraft never held a license to practice in Maryland, he offered to in inject the lethal drug digoxin into the preborn babies’ hearts for a hefty fee that was to be wired directly into Pendergraft’s Florida bank account.

Operation Rescue filed a complaint against Alexander for his part in Pendergraft’s dangerous bi-state abortion racket. When the MDBP subpoenaed medical records related to his business with Pendergraft, Alexander reported that he had shredded the records.

2012 Suspension

On August 22, 2012, the MDBP found that Alexander had committed unprofessional conduct when he shredded the medical records engaged in a host of abuses including sexual boundary violations, multiple botched abortions, shoddy or non-existent record keeping, and the illegal prescribing of large amounts of Viagra and other drugs to himself and non-patients.

That 2012 order placed Alexander on a three-month suspension and two years of probation.

In fact, Alexander was on probation when the MDBP confirmed through their own investigation that Alexander was operating an abortion clinic without a license to do so.

Unlicensed abortion facility

Last June, Operation Rescue urged the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality to close Alexander’s Integrated OB/GYN abortion clinic in Forestville after publishing an exposé documenting the fact that Alexander was conducting an illegal surgical abortion operation out of an unlicensed abortion facility in violation of Maryland regulations.

Four months later, on October 21, 2013, the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality (OHCQ) conducted an inspection of Alexander’s abortion facility and discovered that in fact Alexander had in fact failed to obtain either an abortion facility license or hospital privileges as required by law, according to the newly-released MDBP documents.

That inspection also found additional disturbing admissions and violations.

150 illegal abortions

While being interviewed under oath by the OHCQ, Alexander admitted that he had performed approximately 150 abortions at his unlicensed Forestville abortion clinic between June and October, 2013.

Those abortions were done illegally and under dangerous conditions that risked the lives of his patients.

Alexander admitted and his employees confirmed that he had no registered nurse on staff as required by law.

Unqualified workers sedate patients

Alexander employed only two workers, neither of which were licensed or qualified to perform medical duties. Nevertheless, Alexander instructed one of them to administer sedation to patients even though they were unqualified to do so. One of his employees, who was only hired in June and had no formal medical training whatsoever, became his surgical assistant. His only other employee, who was hired as a receptionist, also assisted in patient care – if you can call it that.

In the ten abortion records reviewed by inspectors, they found that patients’ vital signs were taken once prior to surgical abortions and were never taken after the abortion. Women were left unattended and unmonitored during recovery with the exception of a pulse-oximetry meter attached to the patients’ fingers for the first 15 minutes after surgery.

Patient B’s dangerously outdated saline abortion

One of the records indicated that a woman referred to as “Patient B” underwent an outdated “saline with cytotec instillation for a mid-term abortion” and suffered “curettage following an explosive, unattended delivery.”

Saline abortions fell out of favor years ago due to high risks of complication and death for the mothers and was first replaced by the now-banned Partial Birth abortion method. Today, most late-second and third trimester abortions are done using the Induction abortion method perfected by George Tiller.

Cytotec was developed as drug to treat ulcers, but is frequently used by abortionists because it induces uterine contractions. The drug’s manufacturer has issued warnings not to use Cytotec during abortions because it causes unpredictable and sometimes violent contractions, which could have accounted for Patient B’s “explosive” delivery of her dead child, alone and unattended.

No medical records

In addition to Patient B’s horrific experience, inspectors found that Alexander continued to keep inadequate medical records, a substandard practice that contributed to his 2012 license suspension. In fact, when the inspectors requested to review medical records for two abortion patients seen by Alexander the previous week, he could not remember their names and could provide no medical records whatsoever for the two women.

Violations found by the OHCQ were so egregious that it lodged a complaint against Alexander with the MDBP.

Cease and Desist

On October 25, 2013, the MDBP issued a Cease and Desist Order against Alexander, barring him from doing surgical abortions or administering certain drugs, including sedation.

However, on December 19, 2013, the Board modified its cease and desist order and allowed Alexander to resume providing surgical abortions as long as he did them only at licensed facilities and prescribed drugs in a manner consistent with DEA regulations.

“The Board’s decision to allow Alexander to resume surgical abortions in light of the fact that he routinely employed practices that showed a complete disregard for the lives and safety of his patients was more than curious. It was appalling,” said Newman. “It was hard to believe that the Board would willingly place the lives of women in this quack’s incompetent hands. Yet, we knew he faced an upcoming disciplinary hearing and fully expected his medical license to be revoked.”

Civil judgement

Also contributing to the hope that Alexander would soon be barred from the practice of medicine was a million-dollar civil judgment levied against him in 2013, which was reduced by a judge in March to the still-significant amount of $650,000. A jury found that Alexander was negligent in the case of Shannon Hall, a 21-year old college student who went to Alexander in 2008 for an abortion of what she was told was a 10-12 week pregnancy.

Instead, Alexander failed to diagnose the fact that Hall suffered from a molar pregnancy that later invaded her lungs and turned cancerous, requiring extensive treatment. As the result of Alexander’s negligence, Shannon Hall will never have children and will suffer health effects for the rest of her life.

Negotiated agreement

However, yesterday, the MDBP released Alexander’s new suspension order that noted Alexander’s discipline was agreed upon after the Board conducted negotiations with him, which will allow him to be back inside an abortion clinic in three short months.

“While we are grateful that disciplinary action was taken, we are disappointed and upset that the discipline is woefully inadequate and only ensures that women will continue to be subjected to Alexander’s shoddy and dangerous abortion practices,” said Newman. “We have to wonder what it takes to get this incompetent man’s license revoked after all the harm he has caused.”

Pro-abortion political agenda?

Newman wonders if a pro-abortion political agenda might be at work within the liberal state government. Could the fact that the number of abortionists and abortion facilities continues to decline has somehow contributed to the MDBP’s willingness to put a substandard abortion provider with a documented history of shoddy practices and disdain for the law back on the street?

Newman continued, “It is as if making sure that he is out there doing abortions is more important than the safety of women to these people. Aborting babies appears to trump women’s lives, and that is a betrayal of the trust the people place in medical boards who have a duty to protect the public and leave political ideology out of it.”

Operation Rescue vows to continue monitoring Alexander for future abuses.

“I have a feeling that the Maryland Board of Physicians hasn’t heard the last of us or of Alexander,” said Newman. “It’s just too bad that more women will have to suffer before the Board finally does the right thing and completely bans him from the practice of medicine.”

Buffett Foundation Tied to Cleveland Abortion Clinic Where Woman Died

By Cheryl Sullenger

Cleveland, OH – Operation Rescue has uncovered links between the Cleveland abortion clinic, Preterm, where a 22-year old African-American woman suffered a fatal abortion last month, and a foundation managed by the Warren Buffett family. This connection raises concerns that third-world-style abortion practices are being taught to hospital residents that will further endanger the lives of poor urban women of color.

On March 21, 2014, Lakisha Wilson was “not breathing at all” when she was transported by ambulance to the University Hospital Chase Medical Center where she was pronounced dead after suffering late-term abortion complications at Preterm.

Preterm, a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation, became the official training site for the University Hospital Chase Medical Center Ryan Residency Program in Abortion and Family Planning in 2011, according to Preterm’s 2011 Annual Report. University Hospital is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University, which is listed on the Ryan Residency Program’s website as a program location.

An article published in the New York Times in 2010 revealed that the Ryan Residency Program is funded by “one foundation and one family,” the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, named for the former wife of Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett.

“In a very real way, the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation is making sure that substandard abortion practices, such as those that took the life of Lakisha Wilson, are all that are being taught in the U.S. This has the effect of making sure that abortion clinics, especially those like Preterm that target minority communities, offer no better than the dreadful standards akin to those found in third world nations,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

“We have to wonder if there isn’t a racial component to the Buffett family’s funding of abortion training that is costing the lives of African-American babies and mothers at a rate many times higher than any other racial group.”

The Ryan Residency Program springs from the extremist Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California San Francisco, the same group that created a “study group” of non-physicians then trained them to do abortions to see if the complication rate went up when abortion were done by the less qualified group. In fact, the non-physician complication rate was found to be twice as high as that of licensed physicians, nevertheless, this study paved the way for the enactment of a radical California state law last year that lowered abortion standards so that non-physicians can now conduct abortions in that state.

In 2010, Preterm, which is located in a predominately Black community in urban Cleveland, added Lisa Perreira to its staff as part of a collaboration with University Hospitals. The addition of Perriera enabled Preterm to expand into the more risky later abortions through 23 weeks of pregnancy even though at that time she had little experience, having been licensed to practice medicine for just one year. Preterm proudly noted that it was now among “less than a quarter of providers [that] offer abortion services beyond 20 weeks.”

Not surprisingly, that year, the number of abortion-related medical emergencies appeared to increase. Local pro-life activists began to document these incidents, including that of a 26-year old Preterm patient that suffered “serious” uncontrolled hemorrhaging. At the time the call was placed to 911, the woman was still under anesthesia and had not regained consciousness.

Just months after Preterm’s official affiliation with the Ryan Residency abortion training program in 2011, another ambulance was called to the abortion facility in early 2012 to care for an overweight high-risk abortion patient suffering from hemorrhaging after an abortion who had to be carried down from the clinic’s third floor due to a broken elevator. The decision to conduct an abortion on a woman with such high risk factors, knowing that emergency responders could not easily reach her in the event of an emergency, reflected poor judgment at best and was more likely an example of gross negligence and reckless endangerment of this woman’s life.

Then last month, Lakisha Wilson died from a late-term abortion at Preterm.

The abortionist who witnesses say followed Wilson’s ambulance to the hospital was 79-year old Mohammad Rezaee, who had been medically trained in 1950′s Iran where standards lagged behind American medical practices.

Operation Rescue has confirmed that two of Rezaee’s children, Roya and Rod Rezaee on staff at University Hospital Chase Medical Center.

“Who was responsible for Wilson’s fatal abortion? Was it Rezaee, as we initially thought, or was it Lisa Perriera, Preterm’s youngest and least experienced late-term ‘specialist’ who was also on duty at Preterm that day? If Perriera conducted the abortion, why did Rezaee go to the hospital? Was it to use his relationships with his son and daughter to keep Wilson’s death quiet? Was one of the Buffett-funded Ryan Program trainees involved? These are all questions that deserve answers,” said Newman.

The fact that Ryan Program abortion students are being trained at a facility with a history of abortion-related life-threatening injuries and death is troubling, especially since the medical complications that have been documented by pro-life activists are likely a small fraction of what actually occur.

“If Preterm’s abortion trainers are engaged in substandard practices that are endangering women, those who are being trained will only perpetuate those dangerous habits,” said Newman. “That does not bode well for vulnerable women who are preyed upon by abortion businesses that are in stiff competition with each other for every abortion dollar and aren’t afraid to cut corners to maintain their profit margins.”

Operation Rescue continues to join with pro-life leaders from around the nation in calling for the closure of Preterm in light of Wilson’s death.

“A young woman and her pre-born baby has died and we do not want anyone else to follow them to an early grave,” said Newman. “The fact that a billionaire’s foundation, a multi-million dollar hospital, and a radical out-of-state abortion program are involved doesn’t diminish the fact that the ‘coat hanger’ abortion groups say they deplore is actually at work in the abortion clinic today. The only way to protect women and their babies is to close the Preterm abortion business for good.”

Pattern of Botched Abortions Surfaces At Cleveland Abortion Clinic Where Patient Died

Cleveland, OH – Operation Rescue has released two videos featuring 911 call recordings showing a pattern of botched abortions at Preterm abortion clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, where Lakisha Wilson suffered a fatal abortion last month.

These new revelations take place as the pro-life community prepares to conduct a memorial service for Wilson and her aborted child. Wilson’s death was first discovered by Operation Rescue through an open records request for 911 records after being tipped off by Pastor Dale Henkel, who photographed the ambulance at Preterm on March 21, 2014.

The memorial will take place Friday, April 11, 2014, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. at Perfect Peace Baptist Church, located at 12001 Shaker Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44120. After the service, mourners will walk to the Preterm Abortion Clinic across the street from the church to continue their vigil. The service is being organized by Pastor Walter S. Moss of Cleveland.

The two additional medical emergencies took place on March 31, 2012, and on June 26, 2010. Both incidents give indications of negligent and substandard practices. The recordings were provided to Operation Rescue by local pro-life activist Frank Kosmerl who also photographed both events.

On March 31, 2012, an ambulance was called for a 32-year old patient weighing approximately 300 pounds who was hemorrhaging after an abortion due to uterine atony, a condition in which the uterus fails to contract enough to seal off blood vessels after an abortion. The woman’s estimated blood loss was 600 cc’s, or in American measures, over 20 ounces.

However, the facility’s elevator was broken and the Preterm caller had to request additional responders to help carry the woman down from third floor in order to extricate her from the building so she could get the emergency help she needed.

“I question the judgment of the Preterm abortionist that was responsible for the abortion on this high-risk patient,” said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue. “With the elevator down, emergency help was delayed for this patient. It was irresponsible to conduct a surgical procedure on this high-risk patient under those circumstances in a facility that isn’t equipped to handle complications in the first place. It showed complete disregard for the life and safety of this patient.”

A complaint was filed with the Ohio Medical Board by local activist and witness Hugh P. Gaughan, who received written confirmation that the Board would investigate the incident. However, that was the last Gaughan ever heard from the OMB. No disciplinary action was ever taken.

The second video released by Operation Rescue involves an emergency that took place on June 26, 2010. It involved a 26-year old woman who was suffering “serious” uncontrolled hemorrhaging on a woman who was under anesthesia and had not regained consciousness. An ambulance was summoned and instructed to go to the back door of the facility.

“It is clear that medical emergencies that endanger the lives of women take place on a routine basis at Preterm, but that so far they have been swept under the rug. I can’t help but wonder if the Board had taken action on the 2012 complaint whether Lakisha Wilson and her baby would be alive today,” said Sullenger. “We have to make sure that other women are not harmed by Preterm’s practices by seeing to it that this time those responsible are held accountable.”

The Wilson death remains under investigation and her official cause of death and autopsy report are still pending.