Judge Betrays Public Safety, Allows Unsafe Abortion Mill To Reopen

Shreveport, LA – Yesterday, a Louisiana judge lifted the emergency suspension order issued by the Department of Health and Hospitals, (LDHH), last week allowing an abortion mill to reopen that was deemed to pose an immediate threat to the health, welfare, or safety of patients.

State Judge District Judge R. Michael Caldwell ruled that the Hope Medical Group for Women, a seedy abortion mill in Shreveport, can reopen for business even though it has not fixed the problems that made it a danger to the public. In doing so Caldwell chose to disregard a new state law that gives the LDHH the authority to close unsafe clinics on an emergency basis.

The abortion mill is opened today and taking patients.

Bruce D. Greenstein, Health Secretary for the State of Louisiana told reporters that he is disappointed by the ruling. He issued the following statement blasting the ruling:

The findings of the Department’s survey included several egregious safety violations and at least one resulting in immediate jeopardy. The Department’s conclusion was that women visiting this facility would have their health and safety compromised.

So, today, we are very disappointed that the judge would put the special interests of this abortion facility over the health and safety of women. This order was signed without any notification to us and without any effort to hear from medical professionals about the risk to the facility’s clients posed by the violations our inspectors found. We will continue to fight to protect Louisiana residents and to shut down activities that put women in harm.

A September 1, 2010, press release issued by the LDHH stated the following concerning the conditions at the Hope Medical Group abortion clinic:

Several violations were noted during a recent investigation of the facility, including the facility’s failure to ensure that a physician performed and documented a physical exam on each patient prior to a procedure, failure to properly monitor vital signs of patients under anesthesia, failure to have proper procedures in place for administering anesthesia and failure to have properly trained professionals performing certain medical procedures related to the administering of anesthesia.

“Judge Caldwell showed a gross disregard not only for the law, but for the lives and safety of women by allowing this abortion clinic to reopen under conditions that the Health department has already said presents an immediate health and safety threat,” said Operation Rescue spokesperson Cheryl Sullenger. “This ruling is a betrayal of his oath to uphold the laws of Louisiana.”

A hearing is scheduled for September 21, when a decision will be made on whether to uphold the clinic’s suspension.

Contact information for Judge R. Michael Caldwell
Voice: 225-389-4734