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.”

Planned Parenthood Protested by Thousands as New Video Trailer Shows “A Lot” of Intact Fetal Cadavers Harvested and Sold

By Cheryl Sullenger

Washington, DC – A Los Angeles judge dissolved an injunction Friday against the Center for Medical Progress that had blocked the release of footage of an interview with a StemExpress executive who was harvesting the remains of aborted babies.

Within hours of the decision, the CMP released a two-minute trailer showing a clip of StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer laughing about sending intact fetuses to her lab employees. That trailer was the eighth video released by the CMP that showed Planned Parenthood profiting from the sale of fetal organs and parts.

“Oh yeah, if you had intact cases, which we’ve done a lot, we sometimes ship those back to our lab in its entirety,” Dryer said. “Tell the lab it’s coming! They’ll open the box and ‘Oh, my God!’”

Dyer then is seen laughing heartily at the prospect of her lab employees being shocked by an intact body of an aborted child.

Dyer

“The callous, cavalier attitude toward of Dryer and other Planned Parenthood employees toward the brutal killing of aborted babies – some apparently with their hearts still beating – is shocking, sociopathic behavior. It’s as if their consciences have been switched off, just like we see in serial killers,” said Newman. “The CMP videos have shown us like never before that world of abortion and fetal tissue harvesting is a depraved one.”

Intact aborted babies cannot be given drugs that produce fetal demise before the dismemberment or extraction process begins. The fact that Dyer admits that her company gets intact remains “a lot” indicates there is a likelihood that “a lot” of babies are being aborted alive.

Last week’s longer video, Episode 3 of the Human Capital documentary series, supported that concern.

Holly O’Donnell related an experience at Planned Parenthood in San Jose where a baby boy was born “mostly intact” and that she observed his heart beating. She was then ordered by another StemExpress employee to cut through the baby’s face and harvest his brain.

The videos sparked a nationwide protest on Saturday at 342 Planned Parenthood locations. Those protests featured huge crowds of pro-life supporters, including an estimated group of 4,000 in St. Paul, Minnesota, and over 1,000 in several cities such as Tempe, Arizona, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Cincinnati, Ohio. Several locations reported babies saved from abortion as the result of the protests. In Los Angeles, Kristina Garza of Hispanics for Life reported that a security guard quit his job at Planned Parenthood after speaking with pro-life protesters.

In Michigan, pro-abortion Satanists turned out to two protests and conducted Satanic rituals on the sidewalk. Women involved appeared to be in pain as others poured milk on them as pro-life protesters stood by praying.

Operation Rescue was one of the numerous sponsors for the event. With sites still reporting in, total attendance is expected to exceed 70,000 participants.

In Wichita, Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and Board member for the Center for Medical Progress, released a short video encouraging protesters that Planned Parenthood is in crisis mode and losing support as the result of the videos.

It is illegal to sell human fetal remains for profit, and it is also illegal to alter an abortion process in order to ensure that body parts are available for “donation” or sale.

So far, the CMP video exposés have each gone viral with millions of total of nearly 8 million views and have sparked defunding efforts at the national and state level, numerous state investigations and a Congressional inquiry. The subject of Planned Parenthood’s illegal trafficking in aborted baby remains has even dominated presidential politics with all GOP candidates making statements in support of defunding the abortion giant. Some, such as Texas Rep. Ted Cruz, are pushing for criminal prosecutions of Planned Parenthood executives.

More videos are expected to be released in the coming days and weeks.

Psych Manager Lite? Day 1 of the Neuhaus Disciplinary Hearing Reveals Shoddy Record-Keeping, Diagnostics

Topeka, KS – The disciplinary hearing of abortionist Ann Kristin Neuhaus began today in a Shawnee County Courtroom where sparks occasionally flew in this latest installment in efforts to protect the public from shoddy and dangerous abortion practices.

Prosecuting for the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts was Reese Hays, litigation counsel for the KSBHA. Defending Neuhaus was Robert Eye, an attorney known for his rigorous defense of Planned Parenthood against an investigation by former Attorney General Phill Kline.

Neuhaus was present but appeared haggard and frumpy. She sat quietly throughout the proceeding, and showed no reaction to the proceedings.

Eye started the day by objecting to a KSBHA expert in psychiatry. Dr. Liza H. Gold is a respected authority in psychiatry and has contributed to textbooks used to trains psychiatrists today. Eye told the Presiding Officer, who is overseeing the hearings, that Dr. Gold is unqualified to speak to standard of care issues in Kansas because she does not live in that state and cannot understand the specific nuances of how psychiatry is practiced in Kansas. That argument was rejects since it was determined that the standard of care does not vary from one geographical location to another.

Next, Eye attempted to get 10 of the eleven counts against Neuhaus dropped because the applicable Kansas law (K.S.A. 65-6703) refers to risks to a pregnant woman. Eye reasoned that since 10 out of eleven females were under the age of 18, they did not qualify as women, therefore abortions done on them were not subject to the law.

Mr. Hays appeared to be taken back by Eye’s outlandish argument, but had the presence of mind to note that the definition of a woman would include all females of child-bearing age. This outrageous argument of Eye’s was also rejected.

Eye spent the day attempting to sow general confusion in the court by appearing to object then acting confused when Board attorneys attempted to address his issues.

Perhaps the most damaging testimony of the day came when Dr. Gold described an outdated computer program called “Psych Manager Lite” that was used by Neuhaus to supposedly document the mental health diagnoses of late-term abortion patients who ranged in age from 10 to 18.

“It’s pretty bad to think that Neuhaus thought so little of women’s health that she didn’t bother to pony up for the full program,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, who was present in the courtroom. The case was initiated by a complaint filed originally in 2006 by Operation Rescue staff member Cheryl Sullenger.

That program never achieved wide popularity because of the issues created by inputting yes or no answers into the program, which would then drop the answers into a psychiatric diagnosis. Today, the program is used only as a teaching tool. Its print outs were never meant to replace the proper records of an in depth mental health evaluation, according to Dr. Gold. There was no sign that such evaluations were ever done by Neuhaus.

Dr. Gold also indicated that there is no record of how Neuhaus accessed Tiller’s patients, and no record of any referral made by Neuhaus to anyone for anything. Dr. Gold also testified that her review of Neuhaus’s 2006 inquisition testimony and 2009 trail testimony given in the Tiller criminal case only strengthened her opinion that Neuhaus never met the standard of care in the eleven late-term abortion referrals before the Board.

Dr. Gold opined that Neuhaus lacked proper training to make such adolescent mental health diagnoses and testified it was her opinion that all the patients should have been referred to a specialist in adolescent mental health, which is its own discipline of psychiatry.

The hearing will continue Tuesday at 9:00 AM and is expected to take all four days.

Operation Rescue is tweeting live from the hearings. Check our Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/#!/operationrescue.

Pro-life Physicians Intervene to Appeal Federal Court Ruling Blocking Kansas Clinic Licensing Law

Kansas City, KS – The American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) yesterday filed an appeal of a Federal Court ruling that blocked a new Kansas abortion clinic licensing law (SB 36) from taking effect.

“The court’s ruling blocking the law places women at unnecessary risk and places the profit margins of abortionists over the lives and safety of women. It became clear that the Attorney General’s office had no intention of filing the appeal, so AAPLOG stepped up to the plate in the interest of protecting women from abortion clinics that do not meet minimum safety standards and have no intention cleaning up,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, who worked for years in Kansas in support of clinic licensing legislation.

Yesterday’s filings state, “AAPLOG has members in Kansas who will be directly affected by the disposition of this lawsuit. Specifically, the reduced safety, less-than-ideal sanitary conditions, poorer accommodations and lack of follow-up care at abortion facilities in the absence of SB 36 inevitably exacerbates complications among post-abortive women, and shifts costs of abortions onto AAPLOG members who treat post-abortive women. In addition, AAPLOG members are put at a competitive disadvantage by the enjoining of SB 36: AAPLOG members provide costly follow-up care for their services while Plaintiffs often do not unless required by SB 36.”

Attorneys representing AAPLOG are Andrew L. Schlafly of Far Hills, New Jersey, and Thomas M. Dawson of Leavenworth, Kansas. Schlafly is a nationally respected attorney who is also the son of pro-life pioneer Phyllis Schlafly.

Abortionists Herbert Hodes and Traci Nauser sued to block the clinic licensing law from taking effect. They were joined by the troubled Aid For Women abortion clinic, which failed to pass the inspection required for licensing under the new law. Hodes and Nauser refused to submit to an inspection.

“Right now in Kansas, dangerous abortion clinics operating under substandard conditions continue to endanger women,” said Newman. “There are parts of the new law that have already been found to be Constitutional, like the requirement that abortionists maintain privileges with a hospital within 30 miles of their clinics. These portions of the law should not be enjoined while other parts of the law are challenged. Women deserve the legal protections of the law now.”

Documents:

  • AAPLOG Notice of Appeal
  • AAPLOG Motion to Intervene
  • AAPLOG Memorandum to Intervene
  • Late-term Abortionist Carhart Under Full Investigation By Maryland Board of Physicians

    Baltimore, MD – Operation Rescue announces that late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart is under a full investigation by the Maryland Board of Physicians based on a complaint filed by one of its staff members.

    In a letter dated April 1, 2011, the Maryland Board of Physicians confirmed the investigation to Cheryl Sullenger, who filed the complaint.

    On April 19, 2011, Sullenger was placed under oath and interviewed by an investigator and Board attorney concerning information she provided.

    “This is a very serious complaint that is being taken very seriously by the Maryland authorities,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “If charged and convicted, Carhart could face the revocation of his medical license in Maryland.”

    Allegations in the complaint include:

    • Carhart misrepresented his practice on his Maryland medical license application when he indicated he was an emergency room physician and university professor. In reality, Carhart has not had an affiliation with a hospital since 1987, and was stripped of any formal duties with the University of Nebraska in the late 1990s.
    • Carhart’s Maryland application omits his decades of job history as owner and abortionist at the Abortion and Contraceptive Clinic in Bellevue, Nebraska, and 12 years of employment at Women’s Health Care Services in Wichita, Kansas, where he specialized in late-term abortions.
    • Carhart conducts risky late-term abortions in Maryland without hospital privileges.
    • Carhart has a history of involvement in multiple botched late-term abortions during his employment in Kansas, including the third trimester death of 19-year old Christin Gilbert.

    “Based on our experience with Mr. Carhart, we are convinced that he is a shady, dishonest character whose concealment of his abortion activities, lack of hospital privileges, and history of botched abortions present a danger to the public. We plan to cooperate fully with the authorities to prevent other women from suffering the same tragic fate as Ms. Gilbert,” said Newman.

    Carhart also remains under criminal investigation by the Nebraska Attorney General’s office based on a complaint filed by Operation Rescue and local pro-life groups that contained several affidavits from former Carhart employees making allegations of illegal activity at his Bellevue, Nebraska, clinic.


    View letter acknowledging Carhart investigation

    Read the full complaint