By Anne Reed

IL Department of Public Health Rejects Formal Request to Ignore Safety Standards

The Illinois Department of Public Health (ILDPH) rejected a request made by the absurdly named “Hope” Clinic to disregard safety standards established for ambulatory surgical treatment centers.

This notoriously unsafe facility in Granite City, Illinois, recently received the “The Worst of the Worst” designation after Operation Rescue documented 15 medical emergencies in 2023 alone. Keep in mind that these are only the emergencies witnessed by pro-life sidewalk counselors present at the time of the ambulance transports. Therefore, the actual number of life-threatening emergencies is not known. Nonetheless, Operation Rescue has appropriately nicknamed the facility “Hopeless.”

Nearly every emergency documented at Hopeless requires emergency transfer of a critically wounded woman to Barnes-Jewish Hospital, a Level One trauma center in the neighboring state of Missouri. 

From 2022 to 2023, the number of frightening emergency transfers nearly doubled. However, instead of increasing safety precautions to protect the women for whom it claims to provide “safe, compassionate patient care,” the killing center attempted to lower its standards. Erin King, the center’s medical director, and one of the abortionists often on duty during emergencies, sent a letter on  April 3, 2023, to the ILDPH. She asked for three exceptions to the regulations established for ambulatory surgical treatment centers.

Specifically, King requested permission to bypass the following requirements (summarized): 

1) Must have hospital privileges at a licensed Illinois hospital.

This requirement ensures each abortionist is subjected to a regular, peer-reviewed credentialing process at an Illinois licensed hospital, whereby he or she is granted and maintains privileges to perform procedures requiring the same level of training and expertise. 

This requirement also ensures continuity of care should a patient experience complications and need emergency medical/inpatient treatment (a far-too common occurrence at Hopeless). Of particular concern is that many abortionists travel from other states and immediately fly back to their home state after a day of abortions. He or she is, therefore, not present to facilitate follow-up care of injured patients. It is entirely possible that such an abortionist would be in flight and altogether unavailable when needed.   

Jennifer Morbelli, a 29-year-old kindergarten teacher, died in 2013 after abortionist LeRoy Carhart performed an abortion and left the state before she was stabilized. Abandoned by Carhart, she was rushed to the hospital where she later died. 

King actually supported her request for this exception by stating abortionists either do not hold hospital privileges at all or travel from other states to perform abortions. She also falsely claimed that a patient “rarely would require inpatient treatment” for the surgical abortions performed. 

2) Abortions must be performed only by a qualified physician. 

King requested a variance allowing lower level “advanced practice registered nurses or physician assistants” to perform abortions. She explained that approval of this exception would allow the facility to “significantly increase the number of available qualified providers at the facility,” which she claimed was “critical to continued quality patient care.” 

3) Removed “tissues” must be examined by a consulting pathologist, and the results of the examination must be documented in the patient’s medical record.

King stated that “99% of specimens are post abortion tissue,” and “it has become increasingly difficult to find organizations and pathologists that can examine tissue after abortion procedures.”

Though pathologists are mostly invisible to patients, they play a vital part in saving lives, utilizing their special training to diagnose conditions and offer treatment recommendations for ongoing medical conditions. 

Despite this so-called challenge, Hopeless recently extended the gestational age of babies it will kill. Though Illinois state law stipulates that abortions can be performed up to the age of viability (typically recognized at 24 weeks), Hopeless boldly advertises it performs abortions up to 27 weeks and 6 days. Babies born prematurely at this stage of development have an 80 to 90 percent chance of surviving.  

“It is completely understandable that Hopeless would experience difficulty finding a pathologist willing to examine these large babies purposely ripped limb from limb,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.

All three requests for exceptions were denied. 

A note made to the file by a representative of ILDPH stated it was explained to King on April 3, 2023, “there are not waivers, and these are required elements per the Act and the Code. Informed them of the option not to be licensed as an ASTC as per the Code and the Act.”   

“Julie Burkhart, the primary owner of Hopeless, along with the others who own and operate this disturbingly hopeless death trap, are accustomed to killing innocent human beings and inflicting severe injuries upon their mothers – all with no consequences,” added Newman. 

“After so many years of getting away with murder, the owners and directors at this abortion mill expect to break the rules and operate with an even lesser degree of care and medical professionalism. Doubling their injuries apparently isn’t enough for them. They have proven again and again that they care absolutely nothing about the moms who enter their doors. This brazen request for exceptions to common sense safety standards put in place by the Department of Public Health only further demonstrates what we already know to be true!”

Join us on Facebook
Join us on Gettr
Join us on gab
Join us on Truth Social