Las Cruces Abortion Facility Uses Semantics to Illegally Sidestep Zoning Law

“It’s time for the City to call a duck a duck. They must reconsider their decision to accept Whole Women’s Health’s bogus designation as a doctor’s office and shut down this illegal abortion clinic.” — Troy Newman, President, Operation Rescue

By Cheryl Sullenger

Las Cruces, NM – Last month, Operation Rescue published a report with documentation that showed a new abortion facility in Las Cruces, New Mexico, operated by the Texas-based Whole Women’s Health abortion chain, had opened illegally and was conducting abortions in an area that was not zoned for clinics.

Now the Las Cruces Code Office has confirmed to reporters what Operation Rescue reported on October 29. When the Whole Women’s Health abortion facility opened quietly on October 13, it did so without having obtained the necessary business license. When a code officer warned that they had until October 21 to make an application, the abortion business simply ignored him.

Finally, on October 23, Whole Women’s Health, operating under “William H. Richardson, MD, P.C.” finally applied for and received a license – but only after the Code Office issued a citation.

Furthermore, public records provided to Operation Rescue from the Thomas More Society, who made the request on behalf of local pro-life activist Martha Beasley, shed additional light on what happened.

In a series of e-mails involving several Las Cruces city officials, the issue of zoning was discussed, noting that the property the clinic has occupied is zoned with the “O-2” designation.

That zoning designation would not mean much but for an e-mail sent on September 17 by Robert Kyle, Building & Development Services Administrator for the City of Las Cruces.

Kyle’s message was addressed to Ceil Levatino, City Councilor for the district in which the clinic is located, in response to her queries about the clinic. This conversation took place just two days after Whole Women’s Health’s planned opening that had failed to materialize.

“Although it may be an issue of semantics as proposed a health care “clinic” is not a permitted land use within the O-2 zone. A doctor’s office is allowed and of course procedures can be performed at a Dr.’s office but as a “clinic it is prohibited,” Kyle stated.

Councilor Levatino, who opposes abortion, responded, “You have just made me a very happy person. Thank you!!”

But Kyle responded, “Don’t get too happy. They will revise the request for a dr.’s office.”

And apparently that is what they did.

“The zoning code designation clearly prohibits a clinic, yet, by calling their clinic a ‘doctor’s office,’ Whole Women’s Health has been allowed to continue operating their abortion business, which they repeatedly and clearly refer to as a ‘clinic.’ The City is essentially allowing an illegal clinic to operate by calling it something it really isn’t,” said Newman. “This is just bad public policy and decision-making.”

An abortion clinic does not maintain long-term relationships with most of its customers. Abortionists may only see a woman for 5 minutes, then never see her again. This practice is completely different than the long-term doctor-patient relationships established at legitimate doctors’ private practices.

In fact, Whole Women’s Health’s Las Cruces abortionist, William H. Richardson, does not even live in New Mexico. Richardson resides in Tuscon, Arizona, where he operates his own abortion clinic. He only travels to Las Cruces on abortion days, leaving questions about follow-up care, especially for women suffering complications after Richardson has left the state.

Over and over, Whole Women’s Health refers to its offices as “clinics.”

On October 13, the first day of business for the clinic, according to a Facebook posting. Mary Frank, Project Manager for the Whole Women’s Health abortion business notified police via e-mail that they would be “holding our first clinic on Thursday 10/16 and Sat. 10/18.” [Emphasis added]

Frank then made an unusual request, given the publicity over Whole Women’s Heath’s previous and very public announcement that it had targeted September 15 as its original open date.

“We will not be doing a press release so I hope that it will stay under the radar for now,” Franks wrote.

That missive was sent ten days before they ever applied for a business license, and Whole Women’s Health clearly refers to their abortion business as a “clinic.”

When Whole Women’s Health finally got around to applying for a business license, they filled out one form referring to the facility manager as “clinic administrator.” Another form bore the note, “Please call on-site clinic admin [sic] first.”

Even the Whole Women’s Health web site states that its offices are clinics, not “doctor’s offices.”

Whole Woman’s Health is a privately-owned feminist organization, committed to providing holistic care for women. We are a group of women’s clinics providing comprehensive gynecology services, including abortion care. [Emphasis added]

So, if Whole Women’s Health in Las Cruces is not a clinic, but a doctor’s office, why do they keep referring to their own business as a clinic?

“It is very clear from the paper trail that Whole Women’s Health in Las Cruces is actually an abortion clinic deceptively masquerading as a doctor’s office for the purpose of evading zoning laws. While this seems like a distinction without a difference, in this case, it actually makes all the difference in the world,” said Newman. “Clinics cannot legally operate within the O-2 zoning designation. Therefore Whole Women’s Health continues to operate illegally in Las Cruces – but with the blessing of city officials who have had the wool pulled over their eyes. It’s time for the City to call a duck a duck. They must reconsider their decision to accept Whole Women’s Health’s bogus designation as a doctor’s office and shut down this illegal abortion clinic.”

But deception seems to be standard operation procedure with the Whole Women’s Health abortion business.

In September, 2011, two Whole Women’s Health abortion clinics in Austin and McAllen, Texas, were fined for illegally disposing of aborted baby remains. Operation Rescue has discovered that recognizable human tissue was being discarded in an open, overflowing dumpster behind the McAllen facility.

Nevertheless, Whole Women’s Health continues to blame Stericycle for their own non-compliance.

“I doubt that Stericycle made them dump the bloody remains of aborted babies in that back-alley dumpster,” said Newman. “It’s just more deception coming from a chain of abortion clinics known to cut corners on women’s health.”

Newman also pointed out that due to Operation Rescue’s 2011 investigation and complaints, two Whole Women’s Health abortionists, Alan Molson and Robert Hanson, were also fined thousands of dollars for failing to comply with patient care standards by skipping important practices such as examinations prior to abortions and regularly monitoring vital signs. In addition, Molson was cited for allowing unqualified workers to conduct follow-up exams and prescribe birth control without his presence.

“Shoddy, deceptive practices and an unwillingness to comply with even the most basic rules and standards makes the Whole Women’s Health abortion clinics dangerous,” said Newman. “Given this pattern of behavior, how can they be trusted to meet standards of patient care and safety? They can’t.”

Operation Rescue is calling on the City to reconsider its decision to allow Whole Women’s Health to operate in their current Las Cruces location as a “doctor’s office” and will make a formal request for reconsideration and closure of the abortion clinic in the coming days.

Ambulance Transports Salem Planned Parenthood Patient

By Cheryl Sullenger

Salem, OR – Activists in Salem, Oregon, have informed Operation Rescue that a woman was transported by ambulance from the Salem Planned Parenthood abortion facility on Friday, November 14, 2014.

Members of the Corban University Students for Life Club witnessed and photographed the incident.

According to one witness, the ambulance arrived with no lights or sirens and was greeted by a Planned Parenthood employee. Eventually, a woman on a stretcher was wheeled out of the Planned Parenthood office and loaded into the awaiting ambulance.

“They did not want us to see her, so they put up a screen as she was taken out of the building,” one of the students witnessing it said. “But it did not work. We could see the woman’s shadow through the screen.”

“While many state that we need legal abortions to protect women from unsanitary abortion conditions, this event is a simple reminder legal abortion clinics are not safe and legal abortion still hurts women. In Oregon, we have no health standards for our abortion clinics and this must change,” said Bethany Janzen. President of Corban University Students for Life Club.

Abortionist Mark David Nichols has known affiliations with the Salem Planned Parenthood.

“Once again, a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic has hospitalized a woman suffering a serious condition that the facility was not equipped to handle. This adds to the growing documentation that is painting a startling picture of abortion dangers, which completely contradicts Planned Parenthood’s ‘safe and legal’ mantra,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue. “The condition of the woman remains unknown, and with the veil of secrecy that surrounds abortion in this country, we may never know if that woman survived.”

Read about additional documented abortion-related medical emergencies.

Michigan Board Suspends License of “Michigan Gosnell” for Six Months, One Day

By Cheryl Sullenger

Lansing, MI — Abortionist Robert Alexander appeared before the Michigan Board of Medicine today for a final hearing on charges of gross negligence and incompetence after he was caught operating a squalid abortion facility in Muskegon that rivaled conditions found at Kermit Gosnell’s Philadelphia “House of Horror.”

Despite the fact that an administrative judge found that Alexander, who suffers from mental illness, was not fit to practice medicine and recommended his permanent license revocation, the Board voted to suspend Alexander’s license for 6 months and 1 day. The also told Alexander that he would have to re-apply to have his license reinstated, at which time he would be required to pay a fine of $75,000.

If Alexander does not reapply for licensing, his license would not be automatically renewed after his suspension and he would continue to be barred from practicing in Michigan.

It was Operation Rescue’s complaint, founded on a former employee’s testimony, which served as the basis for the disciplinary action.

The decision that allows Alexander an option to eventually petition for reinstatement of his medical license is disturbing given the fact that Administrative Law Judge Shawn Downey recommend permanent revocation for Alexander, stating concerns for his mental illnesses and lack of credibility during his testimony at a hearing on September 3, 2014.

In addition, Alexander’s medical license has twice been revoked in Michigan, first in 1990 and again in 1994. Both times, the Board reissued licenses to Alexander.

“Given the facts that Alexander suffers from mental illness, has a long string of documented botched abortions, and was operating in such squalid conditions that it made Kermit Gosnell look like ‘Mr. Good Housekeeping,’ it is unfathomable that this Board could even entertain the possibility that Alexander could soon resume his practice,” said Troy Newman President of Operation Rescue. “We can only hope that Alexander never has access to $75,000 to pay his fine and get his license back. If anyone should be permanently barred from the practice of medicine, it is Robert Alexander.”

Alexander had ridiculously claimed that the wretched conditions found at his Muskegon abortion facility in December, 2012, were staged by pro-life groups. He changed his story to shift responsibility onto a former employee who worked with Operation Rescue to blow the whistle on Alexander. Later, he blamed his own mental illness for the mess that included moldy, leaky ceilings, bloody surgical instruments, rusty equipment, and the contents of at least one abortion that was left to decompose in the abortion machine over a long Christmas break.

A former Medical Board Director, Dr. George Shade, enabled Alexander to continue his incompetent practices by improperly protecting him from further discipline by ordering that there be no investigation of a 2009 complaint filed by the obstetrician of two patients that suffered botched abortions by Alexander. The scandal created by that incident was the basis for a change in Michigan law that prohibits board members from acting unilaterally.

“Corruption has kept Alexander in business for years when he should have been banned from the practice of medicine years ago. Women suffered injury and illness as a result,” said Newman. “We doubt that Alexander will be financially able to petition to restore his license, but if he does, the responsibility for any misery he is sure to inflict will be shared by the Michigan Medical Board.”