Seven Planned Parenthood Facilities Permanently Close Today

By Cheryl Sullenger

Washington, DC – Seven Planned Parenthood facilities, six of which conducted medication abortions, are set to permanently close today in three states.

Planned Parenthood officials noted that the closures were primarily an attempt to remain solvent amid fears that Medicaid reimbursements would be halted by Congress.

“It isn’t very often we see seven Planned Parenthood facilities close in one day. This may have set some kind of record. It is great news for women and their babies who will no longer be preyed upon for profit by Planned Parenthood in these communities,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Many Planned Parenthood facilities survive only on on government funding. There are so many other reputable providers of legitimate healthcare for women out there. Even if every Planned Parenthood was shut down, no one would have to due without proper medical care. We should not be funding Planned Parenthood with our tax dollars.”

Medication abortion facilities that are closing as of June 30, 2017, include:

Atlantic City Planned Parenthood, Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Cited “security” reasons for closure.)
Burlington Health Center, Burlington, Iowa. (Financial reasons.)
Sioux City Center Planned Parenthood, Sioux City, Iowa. (Financial reasons.)
Central Richmond Health Center, Richmond, CA. (Financial reasons.)
Vacaville Health Center Planned Parenthood, Vacaville, CA. (Financial reasons.)
Pittsburg Health Center, Pittsburg, CA. (Financial reasons.)

Keokuk Health Center Planned Parenthood, in Keokuk, Iowa, a center that referred for abortions, will also permanently close on June 30.

Another Iowa medication abortion facility, Quad Cities Center Planned Parenthood in Bettendorf, is set to close once the building sells.

The closures continue a national trend of abortion facility closures that appears to have intensified since the election of President Donald Trump.

In order to prevent Planned Parenthood from expanding once again, please contact your Senators today and urge them to completely defund Planned Parenthood in the upcoming legislation to repeal and replace of Obamacare, which is expected to come up for a vote after the Independence Day break.

Contact Senators.

Abortionist Admits Planned Parenthood Requested “No Lights, No Sirens” to Hide Botched Abortions

Heller also admits as an abortionist he suffered from depression and alcoholism

By Cheryl Sullenger

Cooperstown, NY – As Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson relocates into their new $2 million office in Queensbury, New York, today, an interview of their former Medical Director sheds light on Planned Parenthood practices that place the lives of women at risk.

Marc Elliot Heller worked until very recently as Medical Director for Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson, Inc. at abortion facilities in Utica and Schenectady, New York. On November 19, 2016, a student from the Cooperstown Graduate Program, State University of New York-College at Oneonta interviewed Heller about his work conducting abortions.

During that interview, Heller discussed abortion complications that required emergency hospitalization. While he (unconvincingly) downplayed the number of times his staff would have to call an ambulance for an abortion patient, he admitted that he ordered his staff to request that ambulances run silently and go to the back door in order to avoid bad publicity.

Heller said during the interview:

Even if people didn’t like abortion, they would take care of my patient’s medical problems. There [at Planned Parenthood], it was always like you never knew. The transfers were very rare, but we always said to the ambulance, “Please come to the back entrance. Please don’t use any sirens or lights,” because we knew that the protestors that were there every day would call the press. And there would be a press thing about “another botched abortion.” So we went quietly out and then I drove along and sat there until either they were admitted to the hospital, which only happened a couple times, or they were discharged. I tried to be quiet and nice to people. Sometimes they were nice and sometimes they weren’t, but I was an outsider and I think being an outsider was characteristic of all doctors who performed abortions across this entire country. You lose your colleagues.

“It is obvious that this dangerous practice is still going on today at Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities, even though it means that response times will be slower,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “It really confirms that Planned Parenthood’s public relations are more important to them than the lives of women.”

Heller discussed an incident where one of his patients nearly died.

“There was a patient who had a complication—a serious one—and was saying to me ‘Dr. Heller, please don’t let me die. Am I gonna die?’ and we had to send her to the Intensive Care Unit.”

Heller also revealed that when he was trying to establish his own abortion clinic within a hospital setting prior to his employment with Planned Parenthood, he rewrote the bylaws in order to avoid having to submit aborted baby remains to a pathologist for examination, which could confirm whether or not an abortion was complete. Heller explained in the interview that he did it to save money.

There was a rule that all surgical specimens had to go to pathology, which would have cost 150 dollars in itself. So I quietly had to have the medical staff bylaws changed, which I wasn’t sure was going to go through. [I changed the bylaws] to say “dermatologic skin tissues and abortion”—I don’t know how we phrased it—“didn’t have to go.”

Heller described his feelings of isolation and ostracism as he moved from a hospital environment to Planned Parenthood’s outpatient abortion facilities.

When I decided to leave the hospital and be medical director, I became professionally completely isolated. There was no other doctor around when I worked mainly in Utica and Schenectady. There were virtually no sympathetic doctors in Utica and there was one in Schenectady, but I didn’t see them. At the hospital here there was a whole cadre of specialists and sub-specialists so that if there were medical problems I could turn to them. I could see my colleagues every day. One never knew at the clinic how one would be received when one called the patient’s primary doctor or specialist if they had a medical problem. So it was always sort of like a deep breath; give them a call. Some were fine. Some weren’t that nice at all.

Heller also described his struggles with depression and alcoholism while working for Planned Parenthood. Heller tries to downplay the seriousness of his mental health issues and alcohol abuse, as substance abusers are known to do. However, throughout the interview, Heller purposely attempted to make himself look good while wrongly depicting pro-live advocates as “violent.”

It was two months before my daughter was born. I had had all kinds of treatment. I had had individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, marital therapy and some psychoanalysis because I had a lot of emotional problems, which is why we didn’t have kids for such a long time. But two months before my daughter was born I really realized that I didn’t want to be a parent and drink. I don’t know. It was a gift. It was not so much difficult not to drink, but difficult in overcoming the shame of being a doctor that drank. It wasn’t complicated. I just didn’t drink and I went to AA [Alcoholics Anonymous] for twelve years. I just made that decision. I guess that’s the story of that. It wasn’t that complicated really. What it did for me was, besides it was a difficult thing, it also helped me to join the human race in a way that I never could have before.

Ironically, Heller credits his pre-born daughter for giving him the strength to stop drinking.

I didn’t drink at work. I drank at night to be able to sleep, because I think it was a treatment for my depression and not a good one, but it was what I used to sort of manage it. I used to get panic and anxiety attacks. [Laughter] When patients came with those, there were colleagues who said, “Oh they’re just crazy.” I was always very comfortable with the crazy patients, because I had known horrible that feeling is; afraid you’re gonna live, afraid you’re gonna die. It’s hard to say. I think I was less crabby. I rarely drank large quantities, but I drank enough pretty much every night to sleep, but it still makes you crabby the next day. . . I was lucky. I was really lucky. It was because of my daughter. She’s the one; I think her spirit came to me before she was born somehow and gave me that gift.

Heller claims to have done over 14,000 abortions during his career. It is hard not to wonder what “gifts” those 14,000 human beings might have been to their family and communities, had it not been Marc Heller.

Thankfully, Heller’s New York medical license profile now lists his license as “Inactive.”

“Here is a man who admits he worked for years at Planned Parenthood abortion facilities while suffering from unresolved serious mental disorders and alcoholism. His story typifies what we find over and over inside the Abortion Cartel,” said Newman. “There are abortionists with similar problems that are still working every day at abortion facilities around the country. They hide their problems from medical boards and from their patients. It doesn’t matter how new a building is or how much Planned Parenthood paid for it, because their abortionists, like Marc Heller, still pose a very serious invisible danger to women everyday.”

Read the full interview transcript.

Louisiana Abortion Facility Shuts Down, Moves Out

By Cheryl Sullenger

Bossier City, LA – Louisiana Right to Life has announced that an abortion facility in Bossier City has closed its doors and returned its outpatient facility license to the Louisiana Department of Health.

LRTL also reported that a moving van was spotted outside the Bossier City Medical Suite (also known as Abortion Assistance) on April 11, 2017.

The Bossier City Medical Suite abortion business, which offered both surgical and medication abortions, sued the State of Louisiana in Federal Court last year challenging several laws that regulated abortion (June Medical Services LLC, et al. v. Rebekah Gee, et al.). Louisiana Right to Life obtained a letter filed as a public record in that case from the Center for Reproductive Rights, which indicated the abortion facility had closed.

Operation Rescue confirmed that the phones to the abortion facility have been disconnected and their website has been placed in maintenance mode.

The Bossier City Medical Suite conducted over 7,000 abortions from 2006 to 2015, according to LRTL.

In 2009, there were seven abortion facilities in Louisiana. Today, there are just three. Those facilities are the notorious Delta Clinic in Baton Rouge, the Women’s Health Center (formerly Causeway Medical Clinic) in New Orleans, and Hope Medical Clinic for Women in Shreveport.

“Abortion facilities continue to close at a brisk pace all over the country. This is a trend that has been ongoing since 1991. Since then, 76 percent of all abortion facilities have shut down, contributing to a dramatic decrease in abortions nationwide,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “When abortion clinics close, lives are saved.”

View facility’s profile page at AbortionDocs.org.

Planned Parenthood Shutters Maryland Abortion Facility While Texas Clinics Slowly Reopen

By Cheryl Sullenger

Silver Spring, Maryland – The Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Silver Spring, Maryland, permanently closed on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2017, after the property’s management team realized that abortion is bad for business. Pro-life activists, led by Lauren Handy, persuaded the property management company not to renew Planned Parenthood’s lease using a narrowly-targeted educational campaign. Planned Parenthood had occupied the same office, located at 1400 Spring St. in Silver Spring, Maryland, for over 20 years, conducting surgical abortions.

“The men and women who ministered at that Planned Parenthood for two decades deserve a lot of credit for their perseverance and tenacity,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “This closing is a real victory for women and their babies, as well as for the pro-life activists that labored and prayed there.”

This closing comes just days after Planned Parenthood in Easton, Pennsylvania, announced it would shut down on March 30.

However, in Texas, as a result of the U. S. Supreme Court striking down that state’s abortion safety law, HB2, last June in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt, abortion facilities are slowing beginning to reopen. This is perhaps the only state that is bucking the nation trend of abortion clinic closures that has been ongoing since the early 1990s.

Northpark Medical Group in Dallas, Texas, reopened on March 9, 2017. Local pro-life activists told Operation Rescue that owner and abortionist Douglas Karpen was seen entering the facility on its first abortion day. The facility had closed 2013, because its abortionists – including Karpen — all failed to qualify for local hospital privileges as required.

Karpen, who is based in Houston, was investigated by the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives and referred to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Texas Attorney General for criminal prosecution for allegedly murdering late-term babies who were born alive in a manner similar to that used by the notorious convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell. It was these allegations — first brought by Operation Rescue in 2013 — that first tagged Karpen as the “Texas Gosnell,” and contributed to the passage of HB2, which shuttered the Northpark abortion business and others that year. Those allegations were supported by the testimony of four former Karpen employees and photographic evidence. No action has yet been taken on those House criminal referrals.

Meanwhile, Whole Women’s Health announced that they would reopen its Austin facility in April, now that it no longer is required to meet minimum safety standards.

“Twenty-one abortion facilities shut down in Texas as the result of HB2, and the vast majority of them will never reopen,” said Newman. “For nearly four years those 21 abortion businesses were prohibited from killing babies, and as a result the abortion rate dramatically dropped in Texas, saving thousands of lives. Those closures will continue to spare lives through the coming years.”

A recent national abortion facility survey conducted by Operation Rescue shows that abortion clinic closures continue to outpace the few openings.

“We are winning and will continue to win until abortion becomes no more than a tragic footnote in history,” said Newman.

Baltimore Abortion Facility Caught Operating Without a License & Violating Patient Privacy Laws

records&refuse

By Cheryl Sullenger

Baltimore, MD – Even though Baltimore’s Hillcrest Clinic was temporarily closed in February 2016, a group a pro-life supporters continued their routine vigil outside the abortion facility. One activist happened to notice papers blowing down the sidewalk from the nearby commercial dumpster that was a sign renovations were in progress. Being a good citizen, she retrieved the litter of paperwork so she could return it to the dumpster.

But as she causally glanced at the documents, she became alarmed by what she saw.

The papers were medical records from patients who had received abortions.

There were names, addresses, and even a copy of a woman’s photo identification card – all blowing down the sidewalk for anyone to find. When she looked inside the dumpster, she found “buckets” of medical records strewn amongst the broken pieces of office furniture, ceiling tiles, and miscellaneous debris deposited by contractors working on the remodel.

The activist, who asked that she not be identified, was concerned that privacy laws such as the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA) were being broken, and that the abortion business had committed a breach of trust. She put the medical records back in the dumpster then took photographs to document the incident.

On the advice of Operation Rescue, a complaint along with her photos was filed with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH). Then, she waited to see what would happen next.

Reason for Concern

The Hillcrest Clinic first opened in 1973, soon after the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision decriminalized abortions in all 50 states, and claims to be the first legal abortion facility to ever open in Baltimore. While Hillcrest is affiliated with the National Abortion Federation, that hasn’t made it safe by any means. Over the years, there have been a slew of medical malpractice suits and disciplinary actions against its abortionists.

EarlMcLeodFor example, in 1999, Hillcrest abortionist Earl McLeod was working for Potomac Family Planning Center in Rockville when one of his abortion patients, 27-year old Jennifer Halner, died from complications to anesthesia that were exacerbated by negligence, including a lack of patient monitoring, emergency drugs, and equipment.

When it was discovered that Halner had suffered cardiac arrest, the anesthesiologist working with McLeod grabbed an undersized pediatric BVM oxygen mask and began bagging her. If this sounds familiar it should. The same thing happened to another abortion patient, Lakisha Wilson, in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2014. She also died.

McLeod was placed on probation for three years and ordered to maintain emergency equipment at his abortion facility, including adult sized oxygen masks and a defibrillator.

Despite the safety issues, it wasn’t until 2013, when Maryland first began requiring abortion facilities to be licensed in the wake of the Steven Brigham illegal late-term abortion scandal, that the Hillcrest Clinic received its first inspection.

Of course, violations were found, including:

• Lack of procedures for dealing with safety issues, such as fires or mechanical hazards.
• Failure to train nine employees in patient transfer procedures.
• Improper labeling and storage of drugs.
• Failure to record discharge diagnosis in patient files.
• Failure to ensure proper sterilization of surgical instruments.

Once a plan of correction was submitted, the matter was considered closed and an ambulatory surgical facility license was issued to the Hillcrest Clinic, allowing it to conduct surgical abortions.

There is no record that any other inspection was done over the next three years.

Operation Rescue has been informed that the Hillcrest Clinic shut down for renovations on February 1, 2016, when it was apparently taken over by Potomac Family Planning Center – the same business where McLeod killed Jennifer Halner. It is believed that this was when the ambulatory surgical facility license that was initially issued to Hillcrest in 2013 was terminated.

It was just under three weeks later that private abortion patient medical records were found blowing out of the dumpster and down the street.

No License

On April 14, 2016, the Maryland Department of Health Care Quality issued a letter to the pro-life complainant noting that the Hillcrest Clinic had been inspected and that her allegations were in fact substantiated.

But there was a catch.

“However, since the [Hillcrest Clinic] was not licensed by our office at the time of the complaint investigation, we were unable to cite any deficiencies. Our Office did notify the Maryland Board of Physicians and the Office of Civil Rights of our findings,” the letter stated.

PatientNameonDocument

To date, there has been no word from the Board of Physicians or the Office of Civil Rights on the patient privacy violations.

Yet, the admission that the Hillcrest Clinic was not licensed for abortions at the time of the inspection is an important one. The abortion facility did not apply for a new ambulatory surgical facility license until April 12.

On April 19, it was discovered that the Hillcrest Clinic had reopened for business. Operation Rescue confirmed that the abortion facility was providing surgical abortions four days per week. A check of the DHMH’s listing of licensed abortion facilities showed no listing for the Hillcrest Clinic.

A local Maryland activist confirmed with a phone call to the Maryland Department of Health Care Quality on May 2, that the Hillcrest Clinic had indeed applied for a new ambulatory facility license, but that the application had not yet been approved.

Without an ambulatory surgical facility license, Hillcrest Clinic cannot legally conduct surgical abortions. That means since at least April 19, 2016, it was conducting surgical abortions in violation of the law.

Operation Rescue has filed a complaint with the Department of Health Care Quality seeking the shut-down of the unlicensed abortion business.

“Hillcrest is operating an illegal abortion facility in Maryland right now, yet the Department of Health Care Quality doesn’t seem to care,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Abortion regulations aren’t just for show. They are there to make it harder for abortionists to kill people. That’s why its so important that the laws are enforced and tough penalties are assessed when violations are found. What good are those regulations if they are not enforced? This places the lives of women at risk from shoddy, substandard abortion businesses that are allowed to operate outside the law.”

The Hillcrest Clinic certainly isn’t the first illegal abortion facility operating in Maryland. Operation Rescue recently reported on another abortionist, Harold O. Alexander, who was caught conducting late-night surgical abortions at his unlicensed facility in Forestville. Operation Rescue submitted documentation to the DHMH only to be notified that its complaint was being buried in Alexander’s extensive disciplinary file without action.

“There are major problems at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which oversees the Board of Physicians and the Department of Health Care Quality. It is knowingly allowing unlicensed surgical abortion facilities to operate in that state in violation of their own regulations,” said Newman. “Its unwillingness to enforce the law is placing the lives of women at risk. It is time for new leadership within the entire bureaucratic structure of the DHMH. Someone should be fired, if not prosecuted for this dereliction of duty.”