UNSAFE: Eleventh Woman Rushed to Hospital from Bakersfield Abortion Facility

FPA_Bakersfield-07192016

By Cheryl Sullenger

Bakersfield, CA – For the eleventh time since August 2012, an ambulance was called to provide emergency care to a patient of FPA Women’s Health in Bakersfield, CA. The incident took place on July 19, 2016. The woman was transported to a nearby hospital for care.

This FPA abortion center is part of a chain of 22 abortion facilities located throughout California. It hospitalizes a woman due to abortion complications on average every four months. This latest incident occurred just over four months after the last FPA patient was hospitalized on February 23, 2016.

Abortionist Alexander Simopoulos was on duty during the July 19 medical emergency. When confronted later about the incident by long-time pro-life activist Terri Palmquist, Simopoulos taunted Palmquist to “prove it.”

Today, Terri’s husband, Tim Palmquist released a photo that showed a patient on a gurney being loaded into an ambulance outside the FPA abortion facility on the day of the incident. Operation Rescue has requested 911 records to further document the emergency.

Simopoulos is a Beverly Hills based cosmetic surgeon who specializes in female genital cosmetic surgery, vaginal reconstruction, and other plastic/cosmetic surgeries for celebrities and others. He has appeared on reality television shows such as Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker, where he confessed that he views women as sex objects.

An article researched and penned by Tim Palmquist explains that women Simpoulos met on the Bravo show considered him “Dr. Freak,” “creepy,” “gross,” and “Dr. Frankenstein.” One woman was so appalled by his behavior that she warned, “women of the world, stay away!”

“Thanks to the Palmquists, we have documented the alarming frequency that abortion injuries are taking place at the Bakersfield FPA. This documentation is evidence that Simpoulpos is not fit to practice medicine. If the California Medical Board won’t take action to protect the public from his obvious incompetence, we urge FPA Women’s Health fire him immediately,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

Read why FPA is considered among the six most dangerous abortion businesses in the U.S.

[Note: This version has been corrected.]

Abortionist Filmed on “Demonic Rant” Fired from California Abortion Chain

By Cheryl Sullenger

San Diego, CA – Abortionist Robert J. Santella, who was featured on a viral video as he hissed and threatened a pro-life activist with scissors while admitting he had a “darkened heart,” has been fired from his job at FPA Women’s Health (formerly Family Planning Associates), the San Diego abortion facility where the incident took place. Operation Rescue confirmed that Santella is no longer employed there.

As previously reported by Operation Rescue, just days after the incident in which Santella wore an identification badge from Sharp Healthcare, the hospital group terminated all affiliations with him.

RSantellaHowever, Santella continues his abortion business at his long-time private practice in the College area near San Diego State University.

“We have a long history with Robert Santella, and remember well the ambulances that used to appear at FPA when it was still located in La Mesa,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “We conducted many peaceful protests of Santella’s abortion business and are glad his true nature has been exposed. We pray for Robert Santella’s soul and that he would leave the abortion business for good.”

That may happen, perhaps unwillingly, if the California Medical Board (CMB) has its way. In May of 2016, the CMB filed a malpractice accusation against Santella alleging negligence and unprofessional conduct involving patient care that “demonstrates an unfitness to practice medicine.”

As a repeat offender with questionable patient care practices that date back decades, Santella faces the very real possibility of license revocation.

In the 1983, the California Medical Board suspended Santella’s medical license for 60 days and placed him on probation for five years after it found him guilty of gross negligence and incompetence in the treatment of three patients.

In 2000, Santella’s medical license was revoked for failing to maintain adequate medical records. That revocation was stayed and Santella served four years on probation.

Operation Rescue has also acquired records that show Santella has a documented history of disciplinary actions and medical malpractice.

Recently obtained court records show that a medical malpractice complaint was filed against Santella in 2011 by Jaqueline Thompson-Dunn, a woman who went to him for the surgical removal of an ovary at Promise Hospital in San Diego, a facility that specializes in long-term medical care for serious illnesses.

According to the court records, sometime during the surgery, Santella punctured Ms. Thompson-Dunn’s bowel twice. Once he realized what had happened, he called for a general surgeon to repair the punctures. For reasons unknown, no general surgeon could be located “in the hospital, on call, or anywhere in the county” to repair the damage, according to the suit.

Finally, Santella attempted to repair the bowel damage himself. Six days later, Thompson-Dunn was discharged from the hospital. Two days after her release, Thompson-Dunn reported to another San Diego County hospital complaining of severe abdominal pain.

Surgeons from the second hospital discovered that Santella’s attempted repairs were unsuccessful. Ms. Thompson-Dunn suffered from peritonitis and sepsis. The complaint states, “More than two liters of purulent bowl contents were removed from plaintiff’s abdomen.”

Thompson-Dunn indicated that she suffered long-term health issues since Santella conducted her surgery, including chronic bowel dysfunction.

The malpractice suit was dismissed the next year at the request of both parties. This usually indicates that an out-of-court settlement was reached.

hugs by ambulance FPA SD

Since then, at least two ambulances have been observed transporting Santella’s abortion patients from the FPA office, now located on Mira Mar Road.

Santella’s firing from FPA ends a relationship with the California abortion chain that dated back nearly 30 years. Early in their business relationship, Santella provided emergency hospital care for FPA abortion patients who suffered serious complications from their procedures.

Santella was hired on at FPA full time in the early 2000s after two previous abortionists quit or refused to work any longer at the San Diego office. One of FPA’s full-time abortionists, Karl Seligman, suddenly quit in 1993, due to encouragement from pro-life supporters. His successor James M. Long, also quit the San Diego location due to pro-life protests, and was reassigned within the FPA organization.

At one point, Santella stopped offering abortions at his private practice, but with his recent termination with FPA, he has resumed his abortion business there.

Deficiency Report: Complaint Led to Closure of Virginia’s “House of Horrors”

Fairfax-VIrginia Health Group

By Cheryl Sullenger

Fairfax, VA — It is an abortion facility inspection report that reads like a medical horror novel.

There were two unlicensed “doctors” on staff.

One abortion patient was rushed to a hospital emergency room because the facility had no sutures with which to repair a profusely bleeding injury.

Administrative oversight had completely broken down. Hand-washing was non-existent. Overall filth permeated the entire office.

These were the conditions found at Virginia Health Group, a then-licensed surgical abortion facility in Fairfax, Virginia, after a complaint prompted an inspection on April 4-5, 2016. Those conditions were so deplorable that the Department of Health indefinitely suspended its abortion facility license and ordered it to immediately halt surgical abortions.

“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 letter notifying the facility of the immediate suspension of its abortion facility license. This alone was notable since Levine is an abortion supporter who openly opposed regulations that required abortion facilities to be licensed and meet minimum health and safety standards.

Without the complaint, the flagrant problems my never have been discovered.

“We highly recommend that complaints against abortionists and abortion facilities be filed every time an abortion injury or other abuse is uncovered,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “The regulators will not know there is an issue if they are not told. Anyone in the public who has evidence of wrongdoing is allowed to file a complaint.”

In fact, the Virginia Health Group had long posed a threat to women.

Brigham-owned facility

Brigham-orangejumpsuitThe Virginia Health Group is owned by the disgraced abortionist Steven Chase Brigham, who continues to operate the disreputable American Women’s Services chain of abortion facilities in several states despite the fact his medical licenses have been revoked in every state he was licensed.

Brigham’s facilities are so bad that even the National Abortion Federation, itself representing some of the nation’s most appalling abortion providers, is calling for their closure.

“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 Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation, in a statement to the Washington Post.

New regulations enacted

In 2012, under the former administration of Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, both Republicans, Virginia enacted abortion clinic licensing requirements that were meant to ensure facilities met minimum safety standards. It required abortion facilities to submit to inspection to ensure that they complied with the new licensing requirements.

The Virginia Health Group did not.

During its initial licensing survey, Virginia Health Group was cited for 13 pages of deficiencies, including inadequate infection control, an exam table top that was torn and could not be sanitized, expired medications, shoddily kept medical records, and inadequate ventilation. Many of these issues were never corrected.

Nevertheless, the Virginia Health Group was issued an abortion facility license.

Two years later, under the administration of Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a pro-abortion democrat who vowed to repeal Virginia’s abortion safety regulations, Brigham’s Virginia Health Group requested a variance for 10 years, exempting them from meeting the building requirements, such as having hallways wide enough to accommodate a gurney in the all-too-likely event of a botched abortion.

Health Commissioner Levine granted a variance for a shorter term of one year, allowing it to continue its abortion business in a substandard facility. In the end, the building requirements, which were similar to those struck down by the Supreme Court last month, have never been enforced.

Virginia’s “house of horrors”

“Brigham’s Fairfax ‘house of horrors’ abortion facility would still be operating if not for a complaint filed against the abortion facility that led to the inspection and the clinic’s demise,” said Newman. “Complaints do work, even if the process is excruciatingly slow.”

Deficiencies cited were reminiscent of conditions found at Kermit Gosnell’s squalid “House of Horrors” abortion facility. In fact the commonalities between Brigham’s now-shuttered Virginia Health Group and the Gosnell office are startling.

Testimony given during Gosnell’s trial indicated that unqualified employees were left to conduct medical tasks in a chaotic environment described by one employee as, “I felt like a fireman in hell. I couldn’t put out all the fires.”

Unlicensed “doctors” and unqualified staff, filthy conditions, improperly sanitized instruments that spread venereal diseases among patients, and a lack of training for emergencies were hallmarks of Gosnell’s practice.

Similar conditions existed at Virginia Health Group.

Facility disrepair

The facility was found to be in a serious state of disrepair. The entire facility was described as “dirty.” There was chipping and peeling paint on smudged walls marred by graffiti in the waiting room. Both the cloth seating and the carpet were soiled and bore numerous large stains.

Cabinet doors were found taped together, and when an inspector attempted to open them, one of the doors fell off revealing the contents that were also crusted with filth.

Private patient medical records were kept in boxes and stashed in the patient bathroom and patient counseling room. One box was found tipped over with papers spilling out onto the bathroom floor.

In an eerie similarity to Gosnell’s abortion facility, inspectors noted a procedure table with a torn surface – most likely the same torn table cited during the initial 2012 licensing inspection.

Incompetent administration and “physicians”

Brigham’s facility was operated amid chaos and a failed administrative oversight structure.

At Virginia Health Group, the acting clinic administrator, identified in the deficiency report as “Staff #1,” had stepped down as the clinic administrator just two weeks before the inspection and had not been replaced.

Staff #1 was identified in a letter from the Virginia Health Group as Ebony Fobbs, a certified medical assistant who was later fired.

When asked who was in charge, Fobbs stated, “Well, I guess that would have to be our Director of Operations.” She later admitted, “Well, I guess I am.”

When asked where the inspector could find the Director of Operations (later identified as “Staff #7” and referred to once as “he”), Fobbs responded, “He/she is in New Jersey.”

When the inspector requested the Staff #7’s employment and personnel records, none could be produced.

It may seem like a small thing that the facility did not maintain a file with documentation of employee credentials, but there is a critical reason for such a requirement. It is to verify their education, training, and qualifications to conduct medical duties.

When the inspector finally got Staff #7 on the phone, he was defensive and uncooperative. The inspection report recounts that conversation:

The surveyor spoke to Staff #7 who questioned: “Why do you need my information? The information you get is available to the public and I am not going to send you my personal information to be broadcast to the public.” The surveyor informed Staff #7 that his/her personal information was not something that was available to the public, but the surveyor needed to examine his/her credentials in order to verify his/her qualifications for the training of staff. “I’m a doctor so I am qualified.”

But when asked whether he was licensed to practice in Virginia, the response validated every regulation related to administrative record-keeping:

“I have passed all my tests but I do not have a license . . .” Staff #7 admitted.

It was Staff #7 who spent just two short sessions training one staff member on the examination and verification that tissue was removed during the abortions. This inadequate training posed the life-threatening possibility that women suffering from undetected ectopic pregnancies would never be alerted to their serious conditions due to incompetency of poorly trained staff.

But Staff #7 was not the only “doctor” listed on staff that had not bothered to obtain a Virginia Medical License.

Since the abortion facility operated a lab, it required CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment) certification. That certification requires that the laboratory director to be a licensed doctor of medicine, osteopathy, or podiatry.

The facility’s CLIA documents indicated that “Staff #8” was the “laboratory director with the title of MD (physician).”

However, closer investigation revealed that Staff #8 was no longer employed by Virginia Health Group, neither was he/she licensed to practice medicine in Virginia.

Non-existent infection control

The abortionist reused his surgical scrubs day after day without laundering them. After having examined aborted baby remains, one worker was said to have removed her blood-stained gown and hung it for reuse. When an inspector called her on that, she replied, “Oh, it’s not that bad.”

There was no training in the event of an emergency, so one can only imagine the confusion when one abortion patient, who suffered heavy, uncontrolled bleeding due to a lacerated cervix had to be transported to the hospital because the clinic had run out of sutures.

The procedure room lacked a sink for and washing, but that did not seem to matter much to the abortion facility staff, who did not wash much anyway. An abortionist with visibly bloody gloves handled bottles of medications. Another worker plunged a toilet that appeared to suffer from chronic clogs, then went to the procedure room to hold the hand of a patient – all without washing.

There was inadequate infection control, expired medications, and a long list of poorly maintained equipment, including an autoclave used for sterilizing surgical equipment. But the autoclave had run out of distilled water, so equipment hadn’t been sterilized for several days, even though the acting administrator admitted she had distilled water in her car.

Such were the conditions at Brigham’s Fairfax abortion facility.

Rolling back patient safety

There can be some solace in the fact the Virginia Health Group appears to have permanently closed. Eric Bodin of the Virginia Department of Health announced on June 2, 2016, that the facility had withdrawn its lengthy request for an “informal fact-finding conference,” essentially assuring that its facility license will not be reinstated.

Ironically, the same laws that the pro-abortion administration of Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants to nullify are the same laws that exposed and closed Brigham’s dangerous, back-alley-style abortion clinic.

“We must continue – now more than ever – to document and report abortion abuses in order to spare the lives of innocent babies and their mothers,” said Newman. “Inspection reports like this act as indictments of the Abortion Cartel and show the continued need for oversight and a speedy process to shut those that don’t comply. I guarantee, if we can get inspectors to take the blindfolds off when they walk into an abortion clinic, we would see more clinic closures and fewer abortions.”

Read the full inspection report
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[HT to Virginia Christian Alliance, which provided documentation to Operation Rescue.]