An Operation Rescue Special Report
[Note: Most links in this article will take the reader to never-before published records received from the Ohio Department of Health. Those documents are archived at AbortionDocs.org.]
By Cheryl Sullenger
Columbus, OH — Ohio recently made headlines with reports that half the abortion clinics in that state have closed and several others have curtailed services, reducing abortion numbers to the lowest since 1976.
“When abortion clinics close, abortions decline and lives are saved. It’s as simple as that,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and co-author of the book Abortion Free. “We have worked in Ohio on a number of projects in cooperation with local leaders that, in part, contributed to this decline.”
While some refuse to acknowledge that abortion clinic closures contribute to lower abortion numbers, Newman explains that the evidence is clear.
“In Texas, half the abortion clinics closed and abortions dropped 13%. In Ohio, abortions are down 9% in just one year. In Kansas, we had a 12% drop in abortions after the largest clinic in the state shut down. These are well above the average drop of about three percent that we would normally see if no clinics were closing,” said Newman.*
Meanwhile, there is great cause for concern regarding hazardous conditions and practices at the abortion clinics that are still open.
Secret records from the Ohio Department of Health that have never before been made public, which were recently obtained by Operation Rescue, show that over 47 abortion-related medical emergencies or complications took place at eight abortion facilities since 2011. However, some the documents indicate that just a sampling of abortion records were reviewed, meaning that more complications could have taken place during that time frame.
“Abortion complications and horrendous conditions as detailed in these documents are not confined to Ohio abortion clinics. We see these kinds of things in every state,” said Newman. “Ohio is just a microcosm of the dangers that exist at abortion clinics throughout the nation.”
STATS SHOW TARGETING OF BLACKS FOR ABORTION
All of Ohio’s abortion facilities are located in six counties: Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Lucas, Montgomery, and Summit.
In Ohio overall in 2013, the most recent year for which Ohio Department of Health statistics are available, 51.7% of abortions were done on Whites while 42.4% were done on Blacks.
However, when counties where abortion facilities are considered, with the exception of Summit County, a larger percentage of Blacks received abortions than Whites, with the largest disparity in Cuyahoga County where 63% of residents receiving abortions were Black, while only 27% of White residents received abortions. Cuyahoga County is where 38.93% of all Ohio abortions are done, the largest percentage of any county in that state.
Overall, 83.2% of the total Ohio population is White and Whites receive 51.7% of all abortions. In comparison, Blacks comprise 12.5% of Ohio’s population, but receive 42.4% of all abortions done in that state.
Based on the Ohio Department of Health data, it is clear that in counties with abortion clinics, Blacks are receiving a disproportionate percentage of abortions. The obvious conclusion is that abortion facilities have singled out women in the Black community as targets for aggressive abortion marketing.
In fact, if a Black woman happens to live in a county where an abortion facility operates, she is much more likely to get an abortion than if she lived in a county without an abortion facility.
DOCUMENTED ABUSES BY FACILITY
Operation Rescue recently received hundreds of official internal Ohio Department of Health documents describing conditions and violations at each abortion facility in Ohio. They paint an ugly picture of sloppy practices and unhealthful conditions that provide arguments for the closure of the remaining facilities in the interest of protecting women’s lives and health.
Coupled with the statistics on state demographics and abortions, we conclude that Black women are subjected to the brunt of the abuse suffered by women in Ohio abortion facilities.
Akron Women’s Medical Group
Ambulatory Surgical Facility License – ACTIVE, but expired on April 30, 2013. Renewal pending.
Offers Surgical and Medication abortions in 2 procedure rooms.
Abortionists at this facility are Lucy Ann Nunnally, who serves and the Medical Director, and Raymond Robinson, who has a case pending against him in Indiana for professional incompetence for failing to report child sex abuse. Also listed as an abortionist is Mohammad Rezaee.
Official Ohio Department of Health documents in Operation Rescue’s possession describe horrific abortion complications originating at this clinic.
One 36-year old woman underwent a 21-week abortion in February, 2011. However, the abortion had to be stopped, according to the anesthesiologist’s notes, due to heavy bleeding. The patient was transported to an unknown hospital where the rest of the baby’s remains were removed. It was estimated that the patient lost three pints of blood. An Ohio Department of Health investigator noted that the abortionist’s notations on the patient’s medical records were illegible.
In another case, a 17-year old high school student was given an abortion, but her medical record was mostly blank. The abortionist failed to note even the gestational age of the baby. It was only from the tissue report that the ODH investigator was able to determine that the patient was 7 weeks along at the time of her abortion. Improper or incomplete record-keeping is a violation that qualifies for disciplinary action.
In October, 2011, a 21-year old patient underwent a 17-week abortion of twins. She delivered one of her babies into the toilet at home, but required emergency transport to Trumbell Memorial Hospital in Warren, Ohio. There she passed her second baby, but the placenta would not come out. The patient lost “a lot of blood” but was eventually stabilized by hospital staff.
Operation Rescue received a 911 recording confirming that on February 7, 2015, a 26-year old abortion patient suffered a perforated uterus. Instead of calling 911, which is the fastest way to get help, the clinic called the private ambulance company directly, delaying care by an estimated seven minutes, which is a long time when a woman is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency.
In May, 2011, an anonymous complaint prompted an inspection of Akron Women’s Medical Center. A woman who accompanied her daughter-in-law to the facility objected to the treatment and conditions.
The complaint read, in part, “The treatment she got from the staff was unbelievable. The girl at the front desk was so rude and nasty… The counselor was just a smart a**… The place is a mess, very dirty. She had to go downstairs for an ultrasound and she said it was just filthy down there. She also said that there was a mouse in the room where she had the ultrasound! This is supposed to be a healthcare facility!”
Investigators confirmed that at least one employee “occasional speaks to patients in a curt and short manner.” The carpets in the patient waiting areas contained stains, trash, a discarded drink can, crumbs and other debris. They had not been vacuumed in at least four days. Drugs were not stored properly. The operating room cart and ultrasound machine were covered in dust and needles were not properly disposed. While operating rooms are supposed to be cleaned between patients, clinic workers admitted theirs had not been cleaned in four days. However, no mice were seen by the inspector during her visit.
The clinic was cited and ordered to produce a corrective plan, but there is no indication of fines or any other disciplinary measures.
The Akron Women’s Medical Group, a member of the National Abortion Federation, is a troubled abortion facility that has a history of health and safety deficiencies, according to documentation received by Operation Rescue. The abortion business leases their building from the notorious late-term abortionist Martin Haskell, who owns the property.
The NAF certified that AWMG was in full compliance with its Clinical Policy Guidelines, however, in 2011 a patient care complaint alleging that the facility was dirty, a patient was mistreated by a staff member and that the clinic had a rodent infestation prompted two inspections of the facility that uncovered the following violations:
• Trash and food debris was discovered in the patient waiting room.
• Carpets in the facility were stained and in need of cleaning.
• A container of used needles had no lid as required for safety.
• Crash cart and ultrasound machine in procedure room were dirty.
• Cabinets with drugs and prescription pads were unlocked and several drug vials were out on the counter.
• Supplies and supply boxes scattered around the procedure room counters and floor.
• Gurneys were covered with heavy black plastic and secured with duct tape under the mattresses.
• Inadequately trained staff.
All inspection reports for the Akron Women’s Medical Group are available for inspection at AbortionDocs.org.
Elizabeth Campbell Medical Center – Planned Parenthood
Ambulatory Surgical Facility License – ACTIVE. Operating under variance.
Offers Surgical and Medication abortions in 3 procedure rooms.
Abortionists on record at this abortion facility are Timothy Scott Kress, who is listed as the Medical Director, and Sharon Liner.
Kress’s Ohio medical license was revoked on October 13, 1999, due to his conviction on six drug-related felonies. Three months later, his revocation was stayed and he was placed on indefinite suspension pending his completion of a drug treatment program. His license was restored in January, 2001, and he was released from all supervision in 2006.
Kress admitted that he staged break-ins at a pharmacy where he was employed, and “diluted the pharmacy’s remaining stock of injectable Demerol, in an attempt to cover up his thefts.”
During its last inspection on February 22, 2012, inspectors cited Planned Parenthood for failing to ensure that preventative maintenance was done on the ultrasound machine and for dirt and stains on one of the procedure tables.
Documents also show that on February 16, 2011, a 17-year old minor girl suffered complications from a 12-week abortion. She experienced wheezing and nausea and was transported to the emergency room where she was treated for an allergic reaction, according to records.
Another documented medical emergency took place February 20, 2015. Emergency 911 records obtained by Operation Rescue indicate that a 38-year old pregnant patient suffered seizures and was unresponsive.
The Planned Parenthood worker at first told the 911 dispatcher that the woman had no history of seizures, then corrected herself and indicated the patient had a medical history of seizures and suffered an episode just four months prior.
In 2014, the Ohio Department of Health sent Planned Parenthood a letter noting that because it failed to produce a hospital transfer agreement, it did not meet the requirements for licensing under Ohio law. It informed the abortion facility of its intent to deny licensure, which would have forced Planned Parenthood to shut down their Cincinnati clinic.
No hospital in the Cincinnati area would grant a transfer agreement to Planned Parenthood’s abortion business.
Planned Parenthood sued the state to challenge the Constitutionality of the hospital transfer requirement, but later withdrew the suit after the Ohio Department of Health relented and issued a license even though they remained in non-compliance.
Instead, Planned Parenthood operates under a variance in which it has an agreement with two other physicians to provide emergency care to it patients suffering live-threatening conditions or complications. However, the physicians named in the variance, David Schwartz and Michael Drasnik have long histories of malpractice and negligence.
All inspection records and other documents for the Elizabeth Campbell Medical Center Planned Parenthood are available at AbortionDocs.org.
Bedford Health Center – Planned Parenthood
Bedford Heights, OH
Ambulatory Surgical Facility License – ACTIVE, but expired December 31, 2013. Renewal pending.
Offers Surgical and Medication abortions in 6 procedure rooms.
Abortionists associated with this Planned Parenthood abortion facility are David Burkons, who is also affiliated with at least three other abortion clinics, Sarah Lengen (also known as Sarah Kristen Smith and Sarah Smith-Lengen), Mitchell Reider, and Michelle Isley, who is listed as the clinic’s Medical Director.
Records revealed at least three botched abortions.
On July 11, 2012, David Burkons conducted an abortion on a 22-year old woman who was 11 weeks, 5 days pregnant. During the ten minutes Burkons took to do the abortion, he perforated her uterus. While most of Burkons notations on the record were illegible, he noted that the patient was “difficult” and was “writhing” during the procedure. Clinic staff called 911 and the patient was transferred to Bedford Hospital for emergency treatment.
On October 9, 2012, a 38-year old woman was hospitalized after an abortion at 8 weeks gestation. She had a history of a previous failed abortion the previous year. The abortion lasted about five minutes. However, the woman had a rare condition in which her uterus had two chambers, making abortion a very risky procedure. She returned to the clinic three days later and was diagnosed with endometriosis. She was given more antibiotics and sent home only to return for the second time a few days later complaining of worsening symptoms. Planned Parenthood referred her to Fairview Emergency Room where she was given a D&C procedure and treated with IV antibiotics for a post-operative infection. This appears to have been a possible case of retained fetal tissue.
On October 3, 2013, a patient suffered heavy bleeding during a 13-week abortion and was transported by ambulance to a local hospital. Records state that no medical record accompanied the woman to the hospital as required, and no one from the clinic notified the emergency room that a hemorrhaging patient was inbound, leaving the ER staff completely unprepared for this serious medical emergency and in the dark about the patient’s condition and prior treatment. At the hospital, this patient received emergency surgery for a uterine perforation.
In addition, Cleveland-area pro-life activists have reported that ambulances have been spotted at the Bedford Heights clinic on March 27 and May 11, 2015.
A December, 2011, inspection found five pages of violations. The last inspection that took place at this Planned Parenthood facility was on January 11, 2013. Inspectors found six pages of violations, including:
• Failure to have a disaster evacuation plan.
• An automatic door that did not release in the event of an emergency.
• Dirty walls.
• Fire extinguishers that lacked maintenance.
• Failure to conduct personnel reviews.
• Failure to maintain proper ventilation and humidity levels to prevent the spread of infection.
• Failure to maintain a call system in the recovery cubicles, which mean patients had no way to summon help in the event of an emergency.
• No functioning back-up power.
• Some electrical outlets not working.
However, in 2014, an inspection at this facility showed deteriorating conditions. On July 30, 2014, Planned Parenthood was fined a civil penalty of $25,000 for 22 pages of egregious violations discovered at the Bedford Heights clinic on March 11, 2014. Violations included:
• Open drug vials littering the surgical rooms
• Expired drugs and other solutions.
• Full urine cup left in the cupboard of the exam room.
• Stack of band-aids all removed from their sterile coverings.
• An unwrapped and extended condom was found in one of the exam table drawers.
• A cup of urine was left in one of the bathrooms for days. Staff neglected to test it or properly dispose of it.
• Use of expired chemicals and test strips during cleaning of plastic tubes and other equipment used during surgeries.
• The freezer that contained aborted baby remains was unmonitored for temperature as required.
• Complaint hotline for patients not posted as required.
• Failed to use peer reviews and failed to conduct competency reviews for abortionists.
• Failed to have medical records accompany at least one patient that was transported to the hospital.
• Failure to employ an experienced Director of Nursing as required.
• Medical records for two patients that suffered medical emergencies and were hospitalized were incomplete and lacked critical information.
• Failure to adhere to standard infection control protocols.
In addition to the hefty fine, records on file with the Cuyahoga County Auditor’s office show Planned Parenthood is delinquent to the tune of $197,593.64 in property taxes and penalties.
Financial troubles coupled with deteriorating conditions and more frequent incidents of medical emergencies make this abortion facility increasingly dangerous.
Inspection reports for the Bedford Health Center Planned Parenthood are available for viewing at AbortionDocs.org.
Ambulatory Surgical Facility License – ACTIVE, but expired March 31, 2014. Renewal pending.
Offers Surgical and Medication Abortions in 5 operating rooms.
Preterm’s Medical Director is abortionist David Burkons, but he does not do abortions there. Other Preterm abortionists that do perform procedures include Anna C. Frick, Mohammed Rezaee, Lisa Perriera, Mitchell Reider, Justin Scott Lappen, and Rebecca Lowenthal.
Preterm is a very dangerous abortion facility with particular issues related to staff competency and hazardous facility conditions.
Preterm operates five abortion rooms which are all located on the building’s third floor. The only way a gurney can access patients in these rooms is through a cramped elevator that can only fit a gurney in the upright seated position. The elevator is frequently broken down and requires frequent repair, sometimes on a weekly basis. In the past, the elevator malfunctioned and caused delays in at least two medical emergencies, including a patient death. The Schindler Elevator repair truck was last spotted at Preterm on May 5, 2015, and was seen twice the previous week.
Preterm has a long history of abortion complications.
July 5, 2011, a 43-year old patient submitted to a 2-day Dilation and Evacuation abortion procedure. The next day the patient returned to complete the abortion. She suffered a lacerated cervix with an estimated blood loss of 50 cc or a little under two ounces. She was transported to the emergency room. The patient was treated and released.
In June 2010, a 29-year old patient suffered “profuse” bleeding about two-thirds of the way an abortion at 11 weeks. Attempts to control the bleeding were only temporarily successful. A call was placed to 911 and the patient was transferred to the Cleveland Clinic Emergency Department.
During a March 31, 2012, incident, 911 was called and additional assistance was requested to carry a 300-pound patient down two flights of stairs. That woman suffered from hemorrhaging after an abortion.
On August 31, 2012, records show a discrepancy in fetal age during a second-trimester abortion. One note indicated that the 33-year old patient was 17.6 weeks pregnant. Later, it was noted that she was 18.6 weeks. She endured a dismemberment abortion using forceps. While attempting to remove the placenta, the patient began to hemorrhage. The procedure was stopped and the patient was transported to an unknown facility where she received a hysterectomy to save her life after losing an incredible 6 liters of blood, according to hospital records.
On March 6, 2013, another 33-year old woman received an abortion of her 11.5-week preborn baby. After the abortion, she continued to bleed heavily, losing an estimated 10 ounces of blood. The decision was made to transport her to University Hospital where she was diagnosed with possible uterine atony, a condition where the uterus does not properly clamp down. Luckily for her, the patient was observed for six hours and released after her bleeding subsided.
On September 27, 2013, an 18-year old underwent a 21.5 week abortion done by an abortionist identified Justin Ross Lappen. No indication was noted concerning whether legally required viability determinations were made. In recovery, she began bleeding heavily. Measures taken to stop the hemorrhage failed. She was transported to University Hospital where she received a blood transfusion and was treated for a condition called disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), which is a clotting complication that can result from internal injury during abortions. Since it has resulted in maternal deaths of abortion patients, so this teen is lucky to have survived.
Lappen is affiliated with University Hospital Case Medical Center in Cleveland, according to his licensing information on file with the Ohio Department of Health. He is the Assistant Program Director for the Ryan Residency Abortion Training Program based at Case Medical Center, which uses Preterm as an abortion “boot-camp” for new recruits.
On December 6, 2013, a 28-year old woman underwent an abortion of her supposedly 19 week, 4 day pre-born baby, which appeared to have been born intact. Notes were contradictory concerning fetal age. A week before the abortion, some notes indicated the baby was 19 weeks 3 days. A week later, Preterm’s ultrasound measured the same baby at 19 weeks, 4 days. This is another indicator that Preterm could be falsifying ultrasound measurements to keep from triggering an Ohio law that requires viability determinations at 20 weeks, with prohibitions on post-viability abortions.
After the procedure, during which the patient suffered a cervical injury that required stitching, the woman began to hemorrhage. Estimated blood loss was 800 cc, or just over 27 ounces. The patient was transferred to Case Medical Center where she was diagnosed with uterine atony, which is a condition where the uterus failed to clamp down and seal off blood vessels after an abortion or a delivery. No blood transfusion was required, according to notes.
March 21, 2014, 22-year old Lakisha Wilson reported for an abortion at 19 weeks, 4 days into her pregnancy. However, records indicate that she was more likely 23 weeks along.
During the abortion, Wilson began to so signs of distress, but abortionist Lisa Perriera completed the abortion before treating Wilson when she stopped breathing and suffered cardiac arrest. Perriera applied an ill-fitting pediatric oxygen mask to Wilson and used the defibrillator once, but failed to restart her heart. A call to 911 was finally placed, but by then, Wilson was not breathing at all.
Paramedics quickly arrived, but they were delayed in reaching the patient due to a malfunctioning elevator. When they were finally able to reach Wilson, she was lying on the abortion table with her feet still in the stirrups, but there was no pulse or respiration and her pupils were fixed and dilated. Paramedics were able to restart her heart and begin proper oxygenation, but were prevented from intubating her because the elevator could not accommodate the gurney in the laying position, which was required for intubation. That procedure was done once Wilson was finally extracted from the clinic and secured in the ambulance. However, Wilson never was able to breath on her own again.
She was transported to Case Medical Center where she was placed on life support until her organs could be harvested for donation. Wilson was pronounced dead on March 28, but she was actually dead on the abortion table at Preterm.
It was concluded that Wilson’s death from cardiac arrest was prompted by hemorrhagic shock due to massive blood loss.
The Ohio Medical Board and Ohio Department of Health both failed to take disciplinary action against Perriera or Preterm even though their own investigations showed that Wilson’s death was avoidable and that the clinic’s chronically malfunctioning elevator poses an ongoing and life-threatening safety hazard.
Local pro-life activists tell Operation Rescue that the Schindler Elevator repair truck is frequently seen at Preterm — sometimes as often as twice a week — indicating that the elevator continues to pose life-threatening safety risks to women.
On March 20, 2015, one day shy of the first anniversary of Wilson’s fatal abortion, a 15-year old African American girl was transported by ambulance to the hospital emergency room suffering an abnormally irregular and accelerated heartbeat. The young teen had no prior history of heart problems. Clinic staff told 911 that the patient was ambulatory and would be waiting for them on the first floor. The elevator repair truck was later spotted at the abortion facility. This has led to concerns that the patient, who was immediately post-abortive and required emergency care, was forced to walk down two flights of stairs to get help because a gurney had no access to the procedure rooms on the third floor.
On April 24, 2015, yet another Preterm abortion patient was transported by ambulance to the hospital. The abortionist on duty was again Lisa Perierra. Witnesses say the patient on the gurney was “wrapped like a mummy” in pink and purple blankets. Efforts to obtain 911 records have met with delays and unreturned messages from a city that was once one of the most open and cooperative in the nation.
Inspection reports indicate numerous violations, including the following violations:
• Failure to have medical records accompany patient transfers to the hospital and that the content was sufficient to ensure continuity of care.
• Failure to follow their own procedures for patient transfers.
• Failure to properly train ultrasound staff or check credentials.
• Lamp over procedure table and fan were dusty/dirty.
Inspection reports and other documents related to Preterm are available for review at AbortionDocs.org.
Founders Women’s Health Center
Ambulatory Surgical Facility License – ACTIVE, but expired March 31, 2014. Renewal pending.
Offers Surgical and Medication abortions in 3 procedure rooms.
Abortionists at this facility include facility owner Harley M. Blank, who does abortions through 16 weeks, Karl I. Schaeffer, who does abortions through 14 weeks.
Also formerly employed as an abortionist at Founders was Thomas Michaelis, who was indicted by a grand jury on November 6, 2014, on one count of Receipt and Distribution of Material Involving Sexual Exploitation of a Child, and another count of Possession and Access with Intent to View Material Involving Sexual Exploitation of a Child.
Founders was cited twice in 2012 for failing to provide a valid hospital transfer agreement. One was finally provided indicating an agreement between Founders and Grand Medical Center. However, licenses and transfer agreements must be renewed yearly and there is no evidence that the facility’s license was ever renewed since 2013. Renewal remains pending.
Inspections discovered additional violations.
• Failed to provide Governing Body and Quality Assurance Peer Review program
• Two abortionists were performing surgical procedures on patients with no evidence they were granted surgical privileges in the past 24 month period.
• Failed to provide each staff member with a written job description or worker orientation.
• Failed to keep an On-Call Schedule.
• Failed to have a patient complaint policy and system.
• Ordered to stop telling patients that one abortionist had malpractice insurance when he did not.
• Failure to conduct fire and disaster drills.
• 3 of 4 abortion tables with electrical cords, observed to have bright pink stickers that stated “Danger: table unsafe for use.”
• Failure to record discharge status of 5/5 records reviewed
• One surgical abortion patient was discharged to self with no documentation for the physician as to why this was allowed.
• Facility failed to utilize personnel that had appropriate training and qualifications for the services they provided. Unqualified staff was found dispensing drugs in 7 out of 10 sample charts. One worker wasn’t even on the payroll. She was a relative of one of the nurses.
• No physician orders in the medical records for the administration of second doses of an oral medication (Cytotec/cervical softener) for two patients.
• Failure to document staff member administering IV sedation for one patient.
Inspection reports related to Founder’s Women’s Health Center are available at AbortionDocs.org.
East Columbus Women’s Center – Planned Parenthood (AKA Central Ohio Women’s Center
Ambulatory Surgical Facility License – ACTIVE, but expired on December 31, 2014. Renewal Pending.
Offers Surgical and Medication abortions in one procedure room.
Abortionists at this facility include Michelle Isley, who is designated as the Medical Director, and Lisa Keder. Pablo Pons, who has a disciplinary history involving improper sexual relations with a patient whereby he fathered a child, is also employed at Planned Parenthood, but conducts no surgical abortions. He does perform the 24-hour abortion consent interviews and prescribes emergency contraception, and is therefore an active participant in abortions.
Also frequently mentioned in the Department of Health records was abortion Catherine Cansino. She left Planned Parenthood in Columbus in December 2012 and moved to California where she is now affiliated with UC Davis. From the looks of her complication record, Ohio is better off without her.
This Planned Parenthood facility has a hospital transfer agreement on file with Grant Medical Center in Columbus dated January 11, 2013. Since transfer agreements must be approved on a yearly basis, it appears from the record that renewal is pending on this two-year old agreement.
Inspectors took a random sampling of medical records and discovered a startling 21 abortion complications, which was by far the most noted of all Ohio abortion facilities.
A 19-year old patient was given a suction abortion of her 9 week 1 day pregnancy by Cansino on September 22, 2011. After she was sedated with Fentanyl and Versed, she became immediately unresponsive. A sternal rub had no effect. EMS was called and the patient transferred to Grant Medical Center via ambulance. Cansino never finished the procedure. The woman suffered an incomplete abortion with retained fetal parts and underwent another abortion procedure at the hospital on October 7 — two weeks after her failed abortion.
A 25-year old patient who was 10 weeks pregnant received an abortion by Cansino on June 8, 2011. Toward the end of the procedure, Cansino perforated her uterus. The abortion was halted and the patient was transferred to the hospital where the perforation was confirmed. A “fair amount” of “products of conception” were suctioned out at hospital.
A 35-year old patient underwent an abortion in her seventh week of pregnancy with an unknown abortionist on September 16, 2011. On October 5, she reported to the Grant Medical Center emergency room complaining of pain. Ultrasound discovered large blood clots in her uterus. She was advised to have a D&C but opted to have the procedure done by her own physician.
During an eleven-month period between January 25 and November 5, 2012, there were 18 recorded post-abortion complications at this Planned Parenthood facility, including 8 incomplete medication abortions that required further treatment or surgery, 5 incomplete surgical abortions that required an additional surgical procedure, one undefined complication that required a D&C procedure, one instance of excessive blood in the uterus after an abortion, and one undefined emergency that required hospitalization.
Abortionists Cansino, Keder, and Isley were responsible for the 18 complications.
The most recent inspection for which there is documentation took place on April 11, 2013. Planned Parenthood failed that inspection after several deficiencies were discovered. Below are some of the violations for which Planned Parenthood was cited.
• Failed to document the time oral medications were given to six patients.
• Failed to document the time and dosage for IV push medications for one patient.
• Failed to provide a double locked storage area for controlled substances. 3,350 doses of a controlled drugs, including the narcotic Versed, were not locked properly.
• Failed to label multi-dose vials and medication syringes.
• Expired medications found. 23 bottles of an antibiotic that had expired.
• Failed to clean an oral suction machine.
• No TB test done on one employee as required.
• Boxes with medical products were stored in basement on cement floor.
• Facility failed to ensure Narcotic Management Protocol were being followed.
• Patients were discharged without a person accompanying them and no notations were made as to why that was allowed.
All inspection reports for The East Health Center Planned Parenthood are available for inspection at AbortionDocs.org.
Women’s Med Center
Ambulatory Surgical Facility License – ACTIVE, but expired August 31, 2012. Renewal pending.
Offers Surgical and Medication abortions in two procedure rooms.
Women’s Med Center does abortion through the 24th week of pregnancy, and later in the case of “fetal indications.” Martin Haskell, is the owner and medical director. He employs abortionists Roslyn Kade and 84-year old Neil Strickland. While Haskell and Kade perform early and late-term abortions, Strickland is confined to first trimester procedures.
Women’s Med Center operates under a 2013 variance since none of the abortionists qualify for hospital privileges. Under the variance, Wright State Physicians Women’s Health Care has agreed to provide hospital care for Women’s Med Center patients. Wright State Physicians involved include Lawrence Amesse, Sheela Barhan, and Jan Duke.
Variances and facility licenses must be renewed each year, but Women’s Med Center has been allowed to operate without a current license for two years while approval is pending.
Documented abortion complications at Women’s Med Center are numerous.
On October 6, 2011, Kade conducted a 17-week D&E dismemberment abortion on a 14-year old girl. Kade perforated her young patient’s uterus and bladder. A call was placed to 911 and the patient was transferred to Miami Valley Hospital where a second D&E was completed and surgical repairs were made to her uterus and bowel by Dr. Duke.
On February 9, 2012, a 21-year old patient was given a 15-week D&E dismemberment abortion by abortionist Roslyn Kade. During the procedure, the patient became “unresponsive” and Kade had to stop the procedure in order to revive her. Once revived, Kade completed the abortion and 911 was called.
On the evening of February 12, the post-abortive patient called complaining of passing clots and uncontrolled bleeding. Her call was patched through to Martin Haskell, who apparently advised her. Two days later, the patient called again complaining of pain. She had gone to Dr. Barhan, apparently at Haskell’s request, and received Vicodin, which only helped a little. She was advised to return to Dr. Barhan if the cramping worsened.
On the afternoon of February 23, two weeks after her abortion, the patient was transferred again to Miami Valley Hospital by ambulance for unknown treatment related to an amniotic fluid embolism.
A 37-year old patient with a history of two previous C-Section deliveries underwent a 15 or 16-week D&E abortion by Kade on August 16, 2012. During the procedure, she began bleeding heavily, losing an estimated one pint of blood. She was transferred by ambulance to Miami Valley Hospital where she complained of pain and fainted from blood loss. She received transfusions of plasma and platelets. Her follow-up appointment was scheduled with Dr. Duke.
Emergency 911 records confirmed that on December 11, 2014, two ambulances arrived separately at Women’s Med Center and transported two different women within three hours of each other. The first was a 23-year old woman was rushed to a nearby hospital suffering from uncontrolled vaginal bleeding. The second was a 29-year old patient suffering from abdominal pain, a symptom that could indicate serious internal injuries, such as uterine perforation or hemorrhage. The abortionist on duty that day was Roslyn Kade.
Operation Rescue has on file medical emergencies dating back to 2009.
Inspections at the facility have uncovered several violations:
• Electrical inspection found some wiring issues that were corrected. Also needed Exit signs properly installed on battery backup.
• Failure to discharge some patients correctly. Doctor involved was corrected and chart audit procedure was revised.
• Failure to date and initial multi-dose drug vials.
• Failure to ensure that a portable oxygen tank was secured.
• Generator non-functional/no battery back-up.
• Problems with electrical panels.
All inspection reports from the Women’s Med Center in Dayton and other miscellaneous documents related to the request for variance can be viewed at AbortionDocs.org.
Toledo Women’s Center (formerly Capital Care Network)
Ambulatory Surgical Facility License – ACTIVE, but revoked. Open pending legal appeals.
Offers Surgical and Medication abortions in three procedure rooms.
Abortionists at this facility include David Burkons, Raymond Robinson, and Harley Blank. Robinson has a long disciplinary record. Robinson’s Ohio medical license was suspended for six months in 1993 for prescribing over 5,000 doses of controlled substances to family members without performing physical examinations. In 2014, Robinson was criminally charged in Indiana for failing to report suspected cases of child sex abuse. Action against his medical license is pending in that state.
Thomas Michaelis also worked at the Toledo Women’s Center before his arrest on child pornography charges in 2014. Operation Rescue sought an investigation into whether sex abuses took place at the Toledo Women’s Center during his employment there given his record of sex crimes involving children dating back to 1991.
Toledo Women’s Center holds no valid hospital transfer agreement, which is legally required before abortion facilities can be licensed. Revocation of the clinic’s license and order to close was recommended by a state hearing officer who heard testimony concerning request to close the facility in March, 2014. On August 12, 2014, the clinic was formally ordered to shut down by the Ohio Department of Health, but the clinic immediately appealed and remains open pending the resolution of appeal.
The Toledo Women’s Center was last inspected in 2011. During that inspection, the clinic was cited repeatedly for failure to maintain the facility in a safe and sanitary manner.
• Failure to maintain proper Infection Control Policies.
• Two abortion rooms had ceiling fans and blades of fans were dusty and soiled.
• A waiting room had couch in bad repair and stained carpet.
• Walls in main waiting and secondary waiting rooms dirty and in poor repair.
• No policy and procedures on cleaning between patient cases. In addition there was no procedure noted for cleaning of the abortion procedure rooms at end of a surgical day
• Facility lacked evidence of policies and procedures to review and evaluate all aspects of patient care – i.e. complications, injuries, and deaths.
• Failure to meet minimum requirements of having two nurses on staff during hours of patient procedures.
• No back-up power for surgical rooms and recovery areas.
• Inadequate supplies of oxygen on hand.
The Department of Commerce inspected this facility on October 14, 2011 and found the following violations:
• Exit signs lacked batteries for power failure illumination in recovery and surgery hallways.
• Exit door at recovery room not working and bullet hole needed fixing.
• No smoke detectors in patient care areas.
• Some physicians lacked liability insurance.
• Lack of staff training.
All inspection reports related to the Toledo Women’s Center as well as numerous documents related to efforts to revoke Toledo Women’s Center’s license are available at AbortionDocs.org.
MEDICATION ONLY ABORTION FACILITIES
The following three facilities offer abortion by medication only. These facilities do not require licensing as ambulatory surgical facilities and therefore are not subject to inspections unless they are in the process of attempting to offer surgical abortions.
Northeast Ohio Women’s Center
Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Ambulatory Surgical Facility License – PENDING
Currently offers Medication abortions only in one procedure room.
Abortionists at this facility include owner David Burkons, Sarah Lengen, and Mitchell Reider.
The Northeast Ohio Women’s Center (NEOWC) recently bought out the old Capital Care Network abortion business in Cuyahoga Falls and began operations under the new owner, abortionist David Burkons. Its ASF license status is listed as “pending,” indicating that an application has been made but licensing has not yet been approved. Until it is licensed, it may not conduct surgical abortions.
On July 30, 2014, former interim ODH Director Lance Himes, sent a letter to Burkons notifying him of the ODH’s intent that deny his license application. Serious violations were discovered during an inspection at the facility, including a lack of required policies and procedures, no emergency care plan, inadequately trained staff, drug violations, and more.
With no license for surgical abortions, Burkons continues to dispense the abortion pill at NEOWC. However, he has no ability to provide continuity of care in the event of a complication such as an incomplete abortion. While this practice is not illegal, it essentially abandons women suffering from incomplete medication abortions, leaving them on their own to seek emergency care that Burkons cannot legally provide.
To make matters worse, Burkons is responsible for 41 percent of all complications from medication abortions in Ohio – the highest in the state – according to reporting forms filed with the Medical Board of Ohio.
Violations discovered during a February 2014, inspection included the following:
• Expired medication, lubricants and pregnancy tests found.
• No backup power supplies for procedure and recovery room.
• Failure to have Quality Assurance and Improvement protocols.
• Failure to ensure staff adequately trained or to provide staff orientation.
• Failure to have a director of nursing, as required.
• Failure to obtain hospital transfer agreement.
• Failure to have abortionist present until all patient have been discharged (applicable when clinic was still doing surgical abortions).
Facility inspection reports for the Northeast Ohio Women’s Center are available at AbortionDocs.org.
Women’s Med Center
Ambulatory Surgical Facility License – INACTIVE (Revoked by State)
Offers Medication abortions only.
This facility is owned and operated by the infamous late-term abortionist Martin Haskell. Once a busy surgical abortion clinic located in Cincinnati, Haskell relocated to the suburb of Sharonville in 2010.
Once Haskell and his associate, Roslyn Kade, lost their hospital privileges, the Ohio Department of Health moved to revoke Haskell’s ambulatory facility license. After several years of legal wrangling, Haskell finally gave up his appeals and his facility license was revoked, but continue to prescribe abortion pills from this clinic.
However, Haskell’s Sharonville office was put up for sale in October, 2014. Once the property sells, that will be the end of Haskell’s long-running Cincinnati area child-killing operations.
Read more documentation related to the Women’s Med Center in Sharonville at AbortionDocs.org.
Cleveland Women’s Medical Group (formerly Cleveland Surgi-Center)
Shaker Heights, OH
Ambulatory Surgical Facility License – INACTIVE
Offers Medication abortions only.
Abortionists at the Cleveland Women’s Medical Group are Mohammed Rezaee. It is owned by Dr. Gerald E. Grossman, a Cleveland-area neurologist who also owns the Akron Women’s Medical group.
This abortion facility, once known as the Cleveland Surgi-Center, was forced to move from its Pearl Road office in Cleveland in June, 2014, after the property manager refused to renew its lease.
It reopened two months later as the Cleveland Women’s Medical Group on Warrensville Center Road in Shaker Heights, an exclusive suburb of Cleveland.
While its website continues to advertise surgical abortions, this facility hold no ambulatory surgical center license and is prohibited from doing the surgical abortions. In the meantime, the Cleveland Women’s Medical Group continues to offer medication abortions and refers surgical patients to its sister clinic in Akron.
Read more about serious medical emergencies the Cleveland Surgi-Center before the abortion business moved to Shaker Heights at AbortionDocs.org.
In all, the Ohio Department of Health’s own documents paint a dismal picture of abortion safety, or lack thereof, in Ohio. Dangerous conditions and substandard practices are tolerated or downright ignored by the department, which is tasked with the duty to protect the public.
Some conditions, including the malfunctioning elevator at Preterm in Cleveland, pose ongoing life-threatening hazards to women. Nevertheless, Preterm and other clinics are allowed to continue operations even through the ODH is well aware of the peril posed to life and limb.
Demographics show that those most at risk of suffering from abortion abuses in Ohio are poor women in the African-American community.
While it is true that the ODH has taken steps to enforce some licensing requirements, the disciplinary and appeals processes can drag on for years, leaving dangerous facilities open that cannot meet minimum safety requirements. This practice continues to place women’s lives at risk. Reforms should be considered to speed the process, especially since delays place lives at risk.
Some Ohio clinics have not been inspected since 2012. Yearly inspections conducted on a punctual basis would go far to ensure that women are protected from clinics that are not meeting minimum safety standards.
In addition, the inexplicable delays in annual license renewals are allowing unsafe facilities to continue operations. The Ohio Department of Health must amend its procedures in order to keep an annual schedule of renewals and act swiftly to shut down those that cannot or will not comply with renewal requirements.
“Operation Rescue calls on the Ohio Department of Health to stop turning a blind eye to dangerous conditions and practitioners, stop issuing variances to those who cannot qualify for hospital transfer agreements, and shut down as many abortion facilities as necessary to protect the lives and health of Ohio women, starting with the Preterm clinic in Cleveland,” said Newman.
As abortion clinics close, there are some that argue that a lack of access to abortion harms women. These arguments are fallacious. When women are subjected to facilities that cannot meet minimum safety standards or comply with the law, their lives are placed at risk every bit as much as pre-Roe women were at risk from back-ally abortionists. Keeping these facilities open will only ensure that more women will end up in emergency rooms suffering life-threatening injuries or, like Lakisha Wilson, on a slab in the morgue. This is completely unacceptable.
In reality, conditions found at Ohio abortion clinics — and many that are worse — are commonly found at abortion clinics in every state. Even though Ohio is one of the more receptive states when it comes to enforcement, the list of abortion violations and injuries from the Health Department’s own internal documents reveals that the current level of enforcement is not enough.
Given the abortion abuses that have been documented in Ohio, it is truly dreadful to consider the conditions and practices of abortion facilities in states that do not take enforcement of abortion laws seriously. That was illustrated graphically in the case of convicted murderer and illegal abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who operated his Philadelphia “House of Horrors” in a political climate that discouraged enforcement of abortion safety practices.
“Regulatory agencies that tolerate substandard practices and dangerous conditions only enable the continued harming of vulnerable women at abortion facilities,” said Newman. “Those that truly care about women will join us in seeking the closure of shoddy abortion clinics, not only in Ohio, but across America.”
*Texas abortions decrease after closures; Kansas abortions decrease after closures.