Woman DEAD from Abortion at Late-Term Facility Currently Under Criminal Investigation

PRESS RELEASE
(By Cheryl Sullenger)

Albuquerque, NM – A woman has died as the result of a late-term abortion process initiated at Southwestern Women’s Options (SWO), in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is the largest abortion facility in the U.S. that openly specializes in abortions throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

Abortion Free New Mexico obtained the autopsy report for Keisha Marie Atkins, 23, who died on February 4, 2017, after being transported from SWO to UNM Hospital. Tara Shaver of Abortion Free New Mexico has also been in communication with members of Atkins’ family.

Operation Rescue is assisting Abortion Free New Mexico with an investigation of this tragedy.

This abortion-related death is particularly troubling in light of a criminal investigation that is currently underway by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office into Southwestern Women’s Options and UNM. UNM has aggressively worked to increase second and third trimester abortions at SWO, which, in turn, is UNM’s largest provider of aborted baby tissue and organs. A U.S. House investigation found this arrangement violates state and federal law, despite stonewalling and obfuscation on the part of UNM and SWO.

Atkins reported to SWO on January 31, 2017, for a four day late-term abortion procedure that was to be done by eighty-year old abortion facility owner Curtis Boyd. It is believed that Atkins was six months pregnant or more.

Four days later, on February 3, 2017, Atkins returned to SWO for the completion of the abortion where she displayed labored breathing and signs of sepsis, a systemic, life-threatening infection.

At 12:04 p.m. on February 3, an ambulance was called to transport Atkins to the hospital, but was later cancelled, raising questions of how and when Atkins actually received emergency medical help.

Once at the UNM Medical Center, Atkins’ condition deteriorated rapidly, prompting UNM staff to perform an emergency D&E abortion procedure to remove her baby through dismemberment.

During the procedure, Atkins suffered cardiac arrest. Efforts to revive her were unsuccessful, and she was pronounced dead at 12:10 a.m. on February 4, 2017.

An autopsy was conducted at the UNM Health Sciences Center by the UNM Office of the Medical Investigator, which also serves as the Bernadillo County Coroner. The OMI determined that Atkins cause of death was “pulmonary thromboembolism due to pregnancy,” in other words, blood clots in the lungs.

However, a careful review of the autopsy findings indicates that this cause of death is a whitewash meant to blame Atkins’ pregnancy for her death instead of what appears to be a mismanaged late-term abortion procedure.

“UNM is a biased promoter of abortion that is attempting to shift blame onto Atkins’ pregnancy, instead of the abortion, where the blame rightfully belongs,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Keisha Atkins and her family deserve the truth, not a cover-up. But with UNM and SWO, covering up their misdeeds has become standard operating procedure.”

There is evidence that Atkins suffered from sepsis, a bacterial infection caused by the four-day abortion process, which brought about symptoms consistent with Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC). Atkins suffered hemorrhaging in her brain, a buildup of fluid around her lungs, and other symptoms of DIC that the autopsy ignored.

Pro-life leaders believe there is a way to keep other women from suffering Atkins’ fate.

“We call on the New Mexico Attorney General to step up their criminal investigation, and we call on the State Medical Board to take a hard, honest look at Keisha Atkins’ death,” Newman said. “Curtis Boyd should be stopped from practicing, and the dangerous Southwestern Women’s Options should be shut down for good.”

“Coverups are as heinous as the crimes, and the crimes of the abortion cartel in New Mexico have been covered up for too many years. It is time for Hector Balderas to do his job or resign. It is time for the UNM Regents to do their jobs or resign. It is time for the New Mexico Medical Board to fully investigate Keisha’s death without bias,” said Fr. Stephen Imbarrato, The Protest Priest.

“We join the family of Keisha Atkins as they grieve her death from serious complications during a late term abortion at Southwestern Women’s Options. She was a 23-year old vibrant woman with her whole life ahead of her that was tragically cut short,” stated Tara Shaver of Abortion Free New Mexico. “For years we have worked to expose the barbaric nature of late term abortion in New Mexico and sought to bring accountability to the unregulated and unaccountable Abortion Cartel. Now more than ever, we need leadership in our city and state to take a bold stand and the necessary steps to prevent the needless deaths of women and their children through late term abortion.”

View the autopsy report.

What You Should Know About the Worst Abortionist in America, Steven Chase Brigham

A Special Report from Operation Rescue
By Cheryl Sullenger

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” -Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Who is Steven Chase Brigham?

Steven Chase Brigham is a disgraced New Jersey abortionist who, despite having no valid medical license in any state, continues to operate a chain of at least 13 abortion facilities, primarily under the American Women’s Services banner. His known abortion operations span Maryland, New Jersey, Florida, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

Operation Rescue considers him the worst living abortionist in America that is not currently incarcerated.

Understanding him and how his abortion chain operates is important. Since his shady practices are frequently employed by other abortion providers, awareness of Brigham’s schemes can bring new insights into the inner workings of the Abortion Cartel as a whole.

Brigham has a 30-year history of disciplinary action and run-ins with the law, which have schooled him in how to exploit legal loopholes and evade accountability.

Brigham is well known for his deceptive, corners-cutting practices. In fact, Brigham’s abortion operation is so dangerous that the National Abortion Federation, an association of abortion clinics that are ironically known to be among the shoddiest, revoked his membership years ago.

There is ample evidence in Brigham’s record to conclude that Brigham has learned to use deception to skillfully manipulate employees, property managers, vendors, medical boards, health inspectors, administrative judges, and nearly everyone else. His now fading-good looks, charismatic personality, and ability to tell people exactly what they want to hear has kept him in business in spite of his troubles.

Brigham could easily be defined as a modern-day con man, huckster, and swindler.

The abortionists he hires to operate his facilities are a regular “rogue’s gallery” of misfits and criminals, some of whom he uses as unwitting pawns to keep the money flowing into his ever-growing spider-web of business entities that are used to conceal his true ownership and control from the authorities.

Yet, Brigham always seems to be in the midst of financial difficulties, unable or unwilling to pay his bills. This has resulted in multiple evictions and/or foreclosures on his office sites over the years.

Below are categorized facts related to Brigham’s misdeeds with links to broader articles and supporting documentation. Also included is a listing of abortionists he employs or has employed, along with links to documentation related to their own legal and disciplinary issues.

Licensing disgraces

Brigham was once licensed to practice medicine in six states: California, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The chart below lists the status of his licenses in each state. Note that he currently has no active medical license in any state and is forbidden to practice medicine anywhere.

Status of Steven Chase Brigham's Medical Licenses by Cheryl Sullenger on Scribd

Educational Background

Brigham’s educational background is actually quite impressive. He graduated from MIT in 1978, and from Columbia Medical School in 1986. While in medical school, he served a two-month rotation in an emergency room. After graduation from Columbia, he served a one-year internship in the field of Internal Medicine.

Around 1990-1991, Brigham began to engage in the practice of abortion, something he found “rewarding” since he was “helping women.” However, evidence shows that he was unqualified to do them.

Almost immediately, Brigham ran afoul of licensing authorities.

Lied About Training in Abortion

Brigham testified under oath during a New York Medical Board disciplinary hearing that he had “extensive training in Ob/Gyn and abortion,” claiming he “completed a formal course of study at Planned Parenthood in New York City.”

He also falsely claimed he was an “emergency room physician,” even though he had never completed a residency in emergency medicine – or any other discipline – nor has he ever held a full-time position in an emergency room.

When the Florida Medical Board revoked Brigham’s license, their documents cited that Brigham’s medical training ended with a 1-year internship in Internal Medicine.

As far as his qualifications to conduct abortions, his so-called “training” in abortion procedures consisted of “limited interludes of observations of other physicians,” which could account for the egregious botched abortions he has been known to commit.

The NYMB Hearing Committee made the following shocking conclusions:

[Brigham] repeatedly exaggerated his medical training and skill. In both the acts established by the charges herein as well as his testimony, [Brigham] has demonstrated he lacks appropriate judgment and insight as to his own limitations. He routinely displayed a tendency to inflate and embellish the truth. . .[Brigham] later admitted he did not complete the course in first trimester abortion practice offered by Planned Parenthood, nor did he receive a certificate. Eventually, [Brigham] testified that what he referred to as special training in preparation for his activities in the abortion field consisted of limited interludes of observations of other physicians.
[See FL Revocation Order, page 5.]

Planned Parenthood and National Abortion Federation Aided Brigham

According to Real Choice, a pro-life blog that has conducted extensive research on the abortion industry, it was Planned Parenthood who recruited Brigham to become an abortionist in the first place.

Mark Brunhill is a now-deceased abortionist who formerly served as Medical Director of the Margaret Sanger Planned Parenthood in New York City. His association with Planned Parenthood dates back to 1965. He also served as Vice President of the National Abortion Federation.

Burnhill served as a witness on behalf of Brigham in 1996, and aided Brigham in getting his New Jersey medical license reinstated.

Brigham was a member of the National Abortion Federation and attended their annual meetings. Today, the NAF publicly condemns Brigham, and even has a warning about him on their web site.

Criminal Background

On February 10, 1998, Brigham was convicted in New York of one count Felony Scheme to Defraud and two counts of Misdemeanor Failure to File Corporate Taxes. He was sentenced to 120 days in the Albany County Penitentiary, placed on five years of probation, and ordered to pay nearly $30,000 in fines and restitution.

One California Medical Board disciplinary document alluded to the possibility that Brigham committed Medicaid fraud (receiving MediCal payments while his license was suspended), but Operation Rescue could find no confirmation that Brigham was ever criminally convicted of that charge.

Unlicensed Practice of Medicine

In September 2010, Brigham and an associate were involved in a seriously botched late-term abortion at a clandestine abortion facility in Elkton, Maryland. His suspicious behavior at the emergency room prompted hospital staff to call the police and a treating physician to file a complaint against him. That episode prompted criminal and administrative investigations that concluded Brigham had engaged in the unlicensed practice of medicine in Maryland, where he had never held a medical license. As a result, his New Jersey medical license – his last license – was revoked in 2014.

Operation Rescue has received numerous tips, despite the fact Brigham is unlicensed, that he may still be conducting abortions secretly. So far, Operation Rescue has been unable to independently verify these rumors. Nevertheless, given what we know about him through our extensive documentation and through information provided to us by confidential informants that know the man, it seems highly likely that the reports could be true.

Anyone with information that Brigham is indeed still practicing anywhere in the U.S., please contact Operation Rescue.

Raid, Arrest, and Multiple Murder Charges

Brigham was arrested on December 29, 2011, and charged in Cecil County, Maryland, with five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of second-degree murder related to the discovery of 34 late-term aborted babies found by police in the bloody freezer at his clandestine Elkton facility. His associate, Nichola Riley of Utah, was charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder. The pair were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit murder. The charges are the result of a Grand Jury investigation into his illegal late-term abortion scheme involving New Jersey and Maryland.

While late-term abortions are not illegal in Maryland, those who kill viable babies killed in the commission of crimes can be charged with murder in that state. Unfortunately, an expert witness for the prosecution who would have testified that the babies died in Maryland, not New Jersey, pulled out of the case, resulting in the charges being dropped.

Read: Secret Burial Held for Babies Recovered in Abortion Clinic Raid

Known Botched Abortions

[Note: This is not a full listing of botched abortions committed by Brigham and his abortion accomplices. This also does not include the various women who have been injured or killed a the hands of Brigham’s cohorts.]

In Brigham’s 1996 Florida license revocation documents, and a New Jersey Final Disposition document several botched abortions were described.

• New Jersey, July, 1992: In preparation for a 22-23-week abortion on a 22-year old woman Brigham inserted laminaria cervical dilators. When Brigham inserted the second round of luminaria dilators the next day, he ruptured the patient’s membranes. Instead of sending her to the hospital, as he should have, Brigham violated the standard of patient care by giving her antibiotics and instructing her to report to one of his New York clinics the following day for completion of her abortion. The patient, who rode home on a motorcycle, developed an infection that evening and was rushed to the emergency room where she was admitted into the hospital for treatment and delivery of her dead baby.

• New York, May 7-9, 1992: Brigham conducted a D&E abortion on a woman who was 24.5 weeks pregnant, during which he perforated her uterus and pulled out visible parts of the omentum (tissue that covers and supports the intestines). His unskilled use of forceps caused an 8-10 centimeter laceration of the posterior uterus, perforated the lower part of her colon, and damaged both ureters. Despite his patient’s obvious injuries, he continued the abortion. She was later transferred to a hospital where she arrived in shock required emergency surgery, including a colostomy.

• New York, November 10-11, 1993: Brigham conducted a D&E abortion on a 20-year old woman who was 26 weeks pregnant. During the abortion, Brigham lacerated her lower uterine segment, her posterior uterus, and uterine artery – probably due to the difficult extraction of the skull that had sharp “fetal skull plates. . . extruding from the side of the decompressed fetal skull.” Brigham ignored her profuse bleeding for four hours until he finally agreed to transfer her to the hospital, where she arrived in hypovolemic shock, a life-threatening condition that results from rapid loss of more than 20% of a body’s blood volume. She underwent a complete emergency hysterectomy.

Brigham was accused of failing to adequately dilate his patient’s cervix prior to attempting the dismemberment abortion on a 26-week baby, resulting in the internal injuries and failing to call for emergency care within an appropriate time frame. With the help of his own self-serving testimony, which was supported by testimony from other abortionists covering up for one of their own, Brigham was later found not to have violated the standard of care.

• New Jersey, October 26, 1993: Brigham conducted an abortion on a 14-year old girl who was six weeks pregnant. Because the patient was crying and anxious, Brigham pushed a “wad” of gauze in her mouth in order to prevent other patients from hearing her cry, and then proceeded to heavily sedate her. After her abortion, the teen’s condition appeared to alarm the attending nurse, whose account of the incident was — unsurprisingly — significantly different from Brigham’s. The patient was extremely drowsy, and her oxygen rate fell dangerously low. She had to be stimulated to take a deep breath. Once the patient was stabilized, the nurse strongly objected to Brigham for gagging his young patient and for other lapses in her care. Despite Brigham making extensive promises to her, she quit her employment with him in protest. However, due to witness testimony from other abortionists, Brigham was found not to have violated the standard of care.

• New Jersey, Date Unknown: Brigham conducted an abortion on a woman who was 11-12 weeks pregnant. Afterward, the patient complained of severe abdominal pain. Two days after the abortion, Brigham examined the patient, diagnosed her with a slight infection, prescribed antibiotics, and told her to return in two weeks. Still in horrific pain, the patient later sought help from a hospital emergency room where it was discovered that she had an abscess that was likely the result of a uterine perforation.

After the discovery of these incidents, on December 14, 1994, the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners ordered Brigham to halt the practice of medicine in the State of New Jersey. However, the testimony from other abortionists, including Planned Parenthood leader Burnhill, helped Brigham clear his license and resume his reckless abortion practice. Because of this, the number of abortion injuries attributable to Brigham only continued to swell.

• Maryland, August 9, 2010: Eighteen-year old D.B. reported to Brigham’s flagship abortion facility in Voorhees, New Jersey, to begin an abortion at 21.5 weeks of pregnancy. Even though Brigham had lost his New York medical license, in part, because he engaged in the practice of starting late-term abortions in one state and ending them in another, it didn’t stop Brigham from continuing the dangerous practice. D.B. was given drugs and taken by caravan with other patients to a secret abortion facility in Elkton, Maryland, to have the abortion completed. Brigham and his associate, Nicola Riley, began the abortion during which D.B.’s uterus was lacerated and part of her bowel was pulled out her vagina. D.B. was loaded into Brigham’s private vehicle and taken to a nearby hospital where Brigham and Riley acted so strangely that the hospital staff called the police. D.B. was Life-Flighted to a Baltimore hospital for emergency surgery that saved her life. [Read the full report on this incident.]

• Maryland, July 26, 2012: Christy O’Donnell probably had no idea what kind of shoddy enterprise Brigham was running when she reported to his Frederick, Maryland, abortion facility for a chemical abortion using the notoriously ineffective (but cheap) chemotherapy drug, Methotrexate. Predictably, the abortion failed. O’Connell continued her pregnancy, and in December 2012, she gave birth prematurely to a son who suffers multiple disabilities due to the drug she was given at Brigham’s abortion facility. She sued Brigham and two of his accomplices and won a monetary award of $6.5 million. [Read the full report on this incident.]

False Advertising

New Jersey Administrative Law Judge Joseph F. Fidler found Brigham guilty of professional misconduct for falsely advertising that his abortions up to 24 weeks were “safe, gentle, and painless.”

Today, despite its lengthy laundry list of patient safety and legal problems, Brigham’s American Women’s Services website boldly displays the logos and various organizations – including health departments in three states — that seem to have somehow put their stamp of approval on Brigham’s nefarious abortion businesses.

For example, the AWS website displays the logo of the Virginia Department of Health with a blurb about how their Virginia offices are “fully licensed” and “provide high quality medical care in a safe, kind, caring atmosphere while fully complying with all state and federal regulations.”

Nothing could be more deceptive.

American Women's Services – Our Credentials by Cheryl Sullenger on Scribd

Virginia Health and Safety Violations

In reality, Brigham’s Virginia Health Group in Fairfax, Virginia, was forced to close July of 2016, after the Virginia Department of Health suspended its facility license due to a failed inspection that resulted in 52 pages of health and safety violations.

“In aggregate, the deficiencies pose a substantial threat to the safety of patients and staff of the Virginia Health Group,” wrote State Health Commissioner Marissa J. Levine in an April 6, 2016, letter notifying the facility of the immediate suspension of its abortion facility license.

Even Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation, called Brigham out on his “threat to patient safety.”

“Evidence of wrongdoing at Brigham’s American Women’s Services facility in Fairfax is part of a clear pattern of repeated and serious misconduct that poses a significant threat to patient safety, and which cannot be allowed to go unchecked in Virginia,” wrote Saporta in a statement to the Washington Post.

The rest of the “credentials” listed on the AWS website are likely just as bogus.

Clinic Licensing, Leasing, Financial Issues, and a Patient Death

In 1992, Brigham was forced into “voluntary retirement” in Pennsylvania in order to halt a licensing investigation against him. He has been banned from operating or holding any interest in an abortion business in Pennsylvania since July 2010. Yet, he has illegally continued efforts to operate there. In 2013, Brigham opened Integrity Family Health in Philadelphia and employed abortionist Eric Yahav to work there. It was forced to closed by the state later that year after pro-life groups filed complaints linking Brigham to the facility.

All four of Brigham’s Maryland locations had their surgical facility licenses permanently suspended on May 9, 2013, after health inspectors found egregious violations, including a patient death and dangerously administering an injectable abortion drug by mouth. Nevertheless, three of the facilities never really closed and they continue selling medication abortions – the very thing that caused their surgical licenses to be revoked in the first place.

In September 2015, Brigham’s Premiere Ob/Gyn abortion facility in Wilmington, Delaware, was forced to halt surgical abortions after the Delaware Division of Public Health threatened to shut them down. He continued operating the facility by dispensing abortion drugs until he was finally evicted in March 2017, for non-payment of $37,000 in back rent, sticking the landlord with the unpaid bill.

These are just a few of the most recent examples of the most recent of Brigham’s facility licensing and dubious financial dealings. He has filed for bankruptcy numerous times over the years, leaving creditors high and dry. The most recent was a 2016 filing to avoid paying a monetary judgement of $6.5 million to a family in a malpractice case.

[For more about his dubious financial dealings read: Complex Financial Shell Game, Horrific Patient Care Violations Revealed in Brigham’s Default $6.5 Million Judgement & Bankruptcy Docs]

Clandestine Ownership of Washington, D.C. Office

As Brigham was about to be evicted from his Delaware office for non-payment of rent, he opened Capital Women’s Services, a new abortion facility in Washington, D.C.

Operation Rescue first learned of the D.C. office through a confidential informant who was once close to Brigham.

Following the informant’s information, Operation Rescue located the office and spoke with a property leasing agent and confirmed in a phone conversation that Brigham was involved in leasing the office for his business operating under the name “Capital Women’s Services.”

The informant also provided information about the facility’s medical director, Myron Rose, who also works at Brigham’s Maryland abortion offices. In fact, Rose’s address listed on his Maryland medical license is a known Brigham abortion facility in Baltimore.

Once Operation Rescue published documentation of Brigham’s new abortion facility and Rose, the Capital Women’s Services placed a notice on its website in response to “anti-choice rumors” and “lies.” The notice stated that Brigham was not an owner of that facility, nor was he seeing patients at there. (Operation Rescue never claimed Brigham was seeing patients.)

However, Operation Rescue stands by its claims that Brigham owns the business, or at least controls it through the United Health Group, LLC, which was first registered on March 9, 2017. It is located at 100 Springdale Road #A3-101, Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08003. A google search of that address showed it belonged to a P.O. Box inside a UPS Store near Brigham’s Voorhees headquarters.

Operation Rescue would not have known about this new abortion office or Myron Rose if it had not been for information provided by the confidential informant’s details of Brigham’s business operations. This information completely debunks the Capital Women’s Services notice that attempts to distance itself from Brigham.

“Rogues Gallery”

The 22 abortionists who are or have been affiliated with Brigham abortion facilities have a laundry list of issues. The chart below summarizes them.

Abortionists Employed by Steven Chase Brigham by Cheryl Sullenger on Scribd

Operation Rescue continues to work through the legal process to shut down Brigham’s dangerous and deceptive abortion scheme.

“We won’t stop until every Brigham abortion facility is closed and he is in jail where he belongs,” said Newman.

Newman Files Petition with Supreme Court Challenging Gag Order that Bans Sharing Evidence with Law Enforcement

PRESS RELEASE

Washington, DC – Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue and a founding member of the Center for Medical Progress, filed a petition yesterday to the U.S. Supreme Court, challenging the Constitutionality of a preliminary injunction that prohibits the release of undercover videos recorded at National Abortion Federation (NAF) meetings — even to law enforcement when they contain evidence of crimes.

The petition, captioned Newman v. National Abortion Federation, states:

This Petition stems from an injunction forbidding the voluntary disclosure to law enforcement agencies, other governmental bodies, and the general public of recordings and other information that the enjoined individuals and entities—as well as Congressional investigators—believe are evidence of widespread criminal, illegal, and unethical conduct, including felonies.

Newman is represented by Jay Sekulow, who leads Newman’s team of attorneys from the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).

During Newman’s tenure on the Board of the Center for Medical Progress, the NAF, and later Planned Parenthood, filed suits in a San Francisco Federal Court against Newman and others in an effort to prevent the release of further undercover videos that exposed the illegal trade in aborted baby body parts.

And it is little wonder that the NAF would not want the videos released.

Newman’s Supreme Court Petition notes that Congressional investigations conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives referred members of the National Abortion Federation and Planned Parenthood to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies for criminal investigation and prosecution.

Newman argues that the enjoined recordings corroborate the determination of the two Congressional investigations, which found evidence that NAF members (including several Planned Parenthood organizations) were engaged in the following criminal conduct:

• Profiting from the sale of fetal organs;
• Altering abortion procedures for financial gain;
• Performing illegal partial-birth abortions;
• Killing newborns who survived attempted abortions;
• Failing to obtain informed consent for fetal tissue donations;
• Violating federal regulations regarding Institutional Review Boards (IRBs); and
• Fraudulent overbilling practices.

Newman’s petition further states:

It has long been a tenet of Anglo-American jurisprudence that individuals who believe that they have information concerning criminal or illegal activities should be permitted, and encouraged, to voluntarily provide such information to government authorities. Similarly, investigative journalism concerning matters of public concern, including the uncovering of illegal, unethical, or troubling activities, is a constitutionally protected, venerable undertaking.

Newman’s unsuccessful appeal to the Ninth Circuit was joined by state 14 Attorneys General, led by Arizona, who are seeking to review the evidence contained in the recordings.

As the most important abortion case currently under litigation, Newman v. NAF could have profound implications on the future use of undercover investigative techniques and the ability of law enforcement to gather evidence in criminal investigations.

Read the Petition in Newman v. NAF

Planned Parenthood Abortionist on Hand Washing: Is That a New Standard?

New Missouri law may help prevent Planned Parenthood from opening four more dangerous abortion facilities, and a new inspection report shows that would be a good thing.

By Cheryl Sullenger

St. Louis, MO – The Missouri Senate took advantage of a special session to send a bold new bill, SB5, to pro-life Gov. Eric Greitens, that will ensure annual inspections of abortion facilities, and numerous other provisions designed to provide greater protections for women, more accountability for abortion businesses, and a better mechanism for enforcement of abortion laws. Gov. Greitens signed the measure into law Wednesday afternoon.

Missouri has only one abortion facility, the Reproductive Health Services Planned Parenthood in St. Louis. However, Planned Parenthood has announced plans to open four new abortion facilities in that state. The new law will likely put a damper on those efforts.

Now, a new inspection report just released to Operation Rescue by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) shows the dire need for this legislation.

The inspection report reveals egregious deficiencies recorded at Reproductive Health Services Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, Missouri, during a failed health and safety inspection conducted on May 25, 2017.

It also revealed an arrogance on the part of Planned Parenthood abortionists and staff that challenged a state health official on long-standing infection control standards and willfully ignored a law that requires abortion facilities to report abortion complications.

“From what we see in the 183 pages of documents we received from the Department of Health and Senior Services, Planned Parenthood has been repeatedly cited for numerous violations. They only clean up their act for the inspectors, then it is back to their old ways as soon and the inspector is out the door.”

Newman noted that there was also evidence that the Department of Health was turning a blind eye to complaints and giving Planned Parenthood a pass on serious deficiencies that affect patient health.

Willful failure to report abortion complications

Reproductive Health Services Planned Parenthood was cited during the May 25 inspection for failure to report abortion complications within 45 days to the Department of Health and Senior Services as required by Missouri law.

The inspector reviewed the facility’s complication log and noted that several women sought post-abortion care for reportable complications such as hemorrhage, infection, uterine perforation, cervical lacerations, and retained aborted baby remains.

Planned Parenthood never reported complications even though they were aware for months that the law existed. Planned Parenthood’s Director of Quality told the inspector the facility wanted a “clearer definition of complication” before they would comply with the law.

The bill just approved by the legislature would give authority to the Attorney General’s office to bring suit against abortion facilities when local authorities fail to act.

Hand washing: Is that a new standard?

In another egregious violation that resulted in multiple recent citations, two abortionists and several staff members were observed by a state health inspector failing to wash their hands between glove changes. The inspection report indicated that glove usage was not a replacement for hand hygiene.

After abortionists would perform such tasks as vaginal exams, cervical blocks, and laminaria removal, and never wash their hands between glove changes. Some staff members were seen handling their cell phones, rubbing their noses, putting gloved hands on hips or in pockets – all of which contaminate the gloves – then either did not change the gloves or failed to conduct proper hand hygiene between glove changes.

Almost remarkably, the Medical Director and abortionist David L. Eisenberg, “questioned if hand hygiene between glove changes was a new standard” and inquired whose standard it was.

Properly washing hands between glove changes was noted to be a nationally recognize standard from the Centers for Disease Control.

His response indicated that his unsanitary practice of not washing his hands was longstanding and could have affected the health of every women seen by Planned Parenthood.

Unsanitary facility and practices

Reproductive Health Services Planned Parenthood was also cited for improperly removing dirty surgical instruments from procedure room partially wrapped in a disposable pad instead of transporting the soiled instruments in a covered, leak-proof container labeled with a bio-hazard label.

It also violated other infection control protocols by failing to properly use germicidal wipes to clean up blood on abortion table, and failure to maintain a sanitary environment free from holes or rust that harbors diseases and transmits infections.

In an example of how certain deficiencies were left uncorrected for years, the abortion facility was cited in May for tape residue on the oxygen tanks. Such residue harbors bacteria and cannot be sanitized. However, Planned Parenthood was also cited for tape residue on the oxygen tanks during a licensing survey on January 31, 2013.

It appears the same tape residue was never cleaned despite multiple citations over a four-year period!

DHSS turns a blind eye

There is evidence that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services was turning a blind eye to violations, and especially complaints filed against Planned Parenthood.

Deficiency and Investigation Reports for St. Louis Planned Parenthood – Table by Cheryl Sullenger on Scribd

The documents received by Operation Rescue included 21 complaint or allegation investigations between 2011 and 2017. Every one of those complaints were found to be “unsubstantiated.”

“It seems incredible that the DHSS could not substantiate a single complaint out of 21 in the past five years or so,” said Newman. “Could all those complaints be lies, or does the DHSS have an unwritten policy of ignoring all complaints against Planned Parenthood? Pennsylvania has a similar policy and now we know what that gave us. It produced Kermit Gosnell, a serial murderer who operated a squalid abortion facility where women were infected and killed.”

All but two investigations determined that there were no deficiencies, or that the Planned Parenthood abortion facility was in “substantial compliance” – an oddity since most of the investigations were off-site and never involved a visit to the abortion facility.

That one investigation where deficiencies were found was done in conjunction with a licensure survey on March 31, 2015, where 17 pages of violations – some repeat offences – were cited.

“SB5 is a desperately needed law that will prevent Planned Parenthood from exploiting women by cutting corners on facility sanitation, concealing serious abortion complications, and other violations that endanger women’s health that Planned Parenthood has gotten away with for years,” said Newman.

According to Bev Ehlen, Missouri State Director, Concerned Women for America, the new law will provide for all of the following:

• Creates a Class A Misdemeanor for abortion facility workers to order ambulances to run without lights and sirens or otherwise interfere with the normal operations of emergency responders. [See Operation Rescue’s previous report and video on this provision];
• Overturns a St. Louis “abortion sanctuary” ordinance and prohibits other municipalities from passing similar ordinances;
• Prohibits forcing religious schools to hire pro-abortion teachers and staff;
• Prohibits forcing landlords to rent to abortion clinics;
• Prohibits requiring abortion coverage in health insurance plans;
• Prohibits seeking to harass and disrupt the work of pregnancy resource centers.
• Only physicians licensed to practice in the state of Missouri may perform or induce abortions in an abortion facility located in Missouri;
• Retains current 72-hour reflection period prior to an abortion, but adds requirement that abortion physician meet in person with the woman considering an abortion 72 hours prior to performing or inducing an abortion to discuss medical risks;
• Requires an abortion doctor seeking to administer medical abortions to obtain approval of a “complication plan” from the Missouri Department of Health for steps that will be taken when problems arise from administering such an abortion;
• Requires abortion facilities to maintain written protocols for managing a medical emergency and transferring patients to a hospital with a reasonable distance from the facility for further emergency care;
• Strengthens current law requirements regarding how fetal tissue from abortion is to be submitted by an abortion facility to a board eligible pathologist for examination. Also strengthens requirements for pathologists to make fetal tissue reports to the Missouri Department of Health and the abortion facility; (The intent is to verify that no fetal tissue from an abortion is being illegally sold or donated for experimentation.)
• Requires abortion facilities to develop written policies protecting employees who disclose information about possible health and safety violations of state or federal law;
• Requires Missouri Department of Health to make annual, on-site and unannounced inspections of abortion facilities;
• Grants the Missouri Attorney General the authority to bring suit against an abortion facility for violation of abortion laws even when local prosecutor fails to act.

The law is due to go into effect in late October.

Read the May 25, 2017, Inspection Report

Read Operation Rescue’s Special Report detailing previous inspection reports from Planned Parenthood in St. Louis dating back to 2009 that prove this facility isn’t clean or safe.

New Book, The Trial of Kermit Gosnell, Describes Shocking Details and What it Revealed About the Abortion Industry in America

PRESS RELEASE

Washington, DC — When police raided the Women’s Medical Society, they thought that they were putting an end to a pill mill that was the largest supplier of illicit prescription painkillers in Philadelphia. But once inside, police made the grisly discovery that Kermit Gosnell’s medical office was something much worse.

Police seized the bodies of 47 aborted babies – all with mysterious wounds across the backs of their necks. They soon realized they had uncovered a “House of Horrors” where babies were routinely born alive during very late-term abortions amid unspeakable squalor, only to be brutally murdered.

Cheryl Sullenger attended Gosnell’s murder trial in Philadelphia in the spring of 2013, and has penned a new book, The Trial of Kermit Gosnell, published and released today by World Ahead Press.

She powerfully describes gripping details of the trial proceedings — including shocking revelations from the often-emotional testimony.

Based on over three decades of experience researching and exposing abortion industry abuses, Sullenger also relates disturbing evidence that Gosnell is not alone.

The Trial of Kermit Gosnell has already received excellent reviews.

In The Trial of Kermit Gosnell, Cheryl Sullenger debunks the Planned Parenthood myth of “safe, legal and rare abortions.” While the Gosnell saga is the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” readers will understand the need to expose legal abortion’s underbelly and to join the movement to end the scourge.
-Evangelist Alveda King, civilrightsfortheunborn.com

There is no person who better understands the horrors occurring behind the closed doors of abortion facilities than Cheryl Sullenger, who has spent years documenting and exposing abortion abuses. In The Trial of Kermit Gosnell, Sullenger reveals the full story of the courtroom drama that shocked and outraged America. This page-turning narrative of murder, abortion, political cover-ups, and regulatory failure shatters the facade of “choice,” and demonstrates that Gosnell isn’t the only abortionist committing barbaric crimes in America. Once you read this book, you will never view abortion the same way again.
-David Bereit, Former CEO of 40 Days for Life

Without the hard work of Cheryl Sullenger, the public might never have heard of Kermit Gosnell. Cheryl hounded the district attorney, poured over documents late at night, and traveled to Philadelphia to attend the trial when there was only a couple of local news reporters in the courtroom. As you read her book, you will feel like you are sitting in the courtroom with her, experiencing all the emotions of one of the most important abortion-related trials in history.
-Troy Newman, President, Operation Rescue

The Trial of Kermit Gosnell is available now in paperback or digital format at the following booksellers: Amazon.com, Barnes&Nobel.com, Superstore.WND.com.

Sullenger, who serves as Senior Vice President of Operation Rescue, based in Wichita, Kansas, is available for interview and public appearances. Call 316-516-3034 to schedule.