They’re No Angels: Operators of the Mississippi Abortion Business in the Dobbs SCOTUS Case Have a Troubling Past

Jackson Women’s Health Organization

By Cheryl Sullenger

Jackson, MS – Diane Derzis is the owner of Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the last abortion facility in Mississippi.  On December 1, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on her challenge to a state ban on abortions after 15 weeks gestation.   The case is Dobbs v. JWHO.  It is considered particularly important because Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch has used it to ask the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The “mainstream” leftist media has portrayed Derzis and her staff as brave people who are working to preserve the “rights of women to have an abortion.  But are they?  Hardly.

In the past, Derzis has been known as the “Abortion Queen” for her efforts in Alabama to lobby the legislature for unregulated abortions.  But she is also known for something else.  Derzis presided over a Birmingham abortion facility that crossed the line of legality in 2012 and paid for it with the court-ordered closure of her now-defunct New Woman All Women (NWAW) abortion facility.

Two women hospitalized

Derzis’ Alabama “Rubicon” moment came on January 21, 2012, when local pro-life activists filmed two ambulances pulling up to NWAW’s back door.  The ambulances parked in the trash-strewn back alley and prepared their gurneys to receive patients.  But the cramped stairs with a broken safety rail could not accommodate the gurneys, so the EMT’s carried the two women by hand down the tricky steps into the back alley where the ambulances waited.

The abortionist responsible for the abortions that day was Derzis’ old sidekick Bruce Elliot Norman, who led no hospital privileges in Birmingham.

911 recording obtained by Operation Rescue revealed the voice of Diane Derzis informing a dispatcher that the two abortion patients had been overdosed by a clinic staff member on Vasopressin, which is used to treat low blood pressure that results from heavy blood loss.

Operation Rescue worked with the Birmingham-based CEC for Life to file complaints against the NWAW abortion facility and Norman. The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) responded with an inspection of New Women All Women and discovered a shocking 76 pages of serious violations.

That 76-page deficiency report detailed such serious violations as untrained staff, poorly maintained equipment, dangerously sloppy recordkeeping, unreturned emergency calls, ignored allergies, and a refusal to help a woman who was being coerced into having an abortion.

The report also noted that on the day of the double-ambulance emergency, the deficiency report noted that a third woman had received an abortion that day had also been hospitalized with serious abortion complications.  The woman had called the abortion facility twice, leaving messages that complained of heavy bleeding. None of her calls were returned. Later, a hospital contacted Norman to inform him that his patient had made her own way to the hospital and was being treated in the Intensive Care Unit.

In fact, out of 44 total medical records inspected by the ADPH during the survey that took place on March 1, 2012, 18% of all women represented in those records were hospitalized for abortion complications.

Deceptive and uncooperative

The ADPH had become frustrated with Derzis’ unwillingness to correct the deficiencies and bring her clinic into full compliance.

It found that NWAW posed a danger to the public and ordered it closed. Derzis appealed and lost.

She later signed a consent order agreeing to close NWAW. She also agreed that neither Norman nor she would have anything to do any future abortion business in Birmingham should another party apply to relicense the facility.

That agreement turned out to be a bare-faced lie.

Derzis had planned to keep the NWAW clinic open using deception.  One of her long-time associates, Kelly Rain Water, applied to reopen NWAW under a new name. The catch was that Derzis would receive “all profits” from the new abortion business and would make all financial decisions. It appeared that Norman would again act as the facility’s abortionist.

That license was denied since it violated the consent agreement signed by Derzis.

Once again, Rain Water attempted to relicense the abortion facility under false pretenses and once again the license was denied by the ADPH.

The final straw

Finally, Norman reopened NWAW and resumed abortions under the guise of a “doctor’s office,” which needed no facility license to operate.  Operation Rescue documented the fact that Norman was no operating a “doctor’s office,” but rather, an illegal, unlicensed abortion business.

Diane Derzis and Bruce Elliot Norman

Life Legal Defense Foundation, representing Operation Rescue and CEC for Life, turned the evidence over to the ADPH, which filed suit against Norman and Derzis.

Life Legal Defense Foundation filed an Amici Curiae brief on behalf of Operation Rescue and CEC for Life that contributed to the final ruling that ordered NWAW to permanently close in 2013.

At the original trial, abortionist Norman was forced to admit that all he provided by way of medical “services” were abortions.  By his own testimony he conceded that these abortions violated the law at a location shut down for a litany of health code violations.

Later, the building that housed the notorious NWAW abortion facility was put up for sale and then demolished by the new owner in January 2016.

Meanwhile, Derzis and Norman retreated to Jackson, Mississippi, where they put their focus on the Jackson Women’s Health Center.  There is every reason to believe that the appalling practices that hospitalized so many women in Alabama were also present at the JWHO.

In subsequent legal proceedings unrelated to their Alabama misdeeds, Derzis attempted to cover up Norman’s association with the Jackson Women’s Health Organization. 

Hospital privilege requirement challenged

In 2012, Mississippi passed a law that required abortionists to maintain hospital privileges within 30 miles of the abortion facility where they worked.  If this new law was allowed to take effect, it would have closed the JWHO, making Mississippi the first abortion-free state.

Derzis’ immediately filed suit challenging the new law.  But it certainly wasn’t done out of concern for women’s safety.  She would have supported the law if that was her motivation.  It was done for the sake of maintaining her income from corners-cutting abortions at the expense of women’s safety.

Derzis was determined to put on the best public relations face possible for this very public case.  Since Norman was facing big troubles in neighboring Alabama for his atrocious abortion practices, Derzis hired Willie Parker to serve specifically as the lead plaintiff in her challenge of the Mississippi hospital privilege law.  

At the time, Parker was the Abortion Cartel’s go-to spokesperson.  He was an affable black man who claimed to be a life-long Christian raised in the South. Parker was popular with the press and frequently conducted interviews where he attempted to convince the public that Jesus approved of abortion.  He was the perfect spokesperson for Derzis’ seedy abortion operation.

Willie Parker, who was once the Abortion Cartel’s favorite son, was disgraced with credible accusations of sexual misconduct in 2019.

Derzis won that case with a bizarre ruling from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that claimed that Mississippi had no right to put forth legislation that would result in the closure of the last abortion facility in the state because it would force women to cross state lines to exercise a “Constitutionally protected right.”

That set the stage for the Dobbs v. JWHO, which the Supreme Court will hear on December 1.   Again, no mentions of Bruce Norman or of Willie Parker, (who was later disgraced by credible accusations of sexual misconduct), are to be found in the JWHO brief. In fact, Parker no longer works at JWHO, after having served his deceptive purpose of wrapping abortion in the veil of Christianity in an effort to distract from horrific abortion practices.

Today, Sacheen Carr-Ellis serves as Medical Director of JWHO.  She has worked for Planned Parenthood and a host of independent abortion facilities.  She also has been affiliated with organizations that promote China-like population control policies.  She serves as one of two Respondents on the Dobbs case.

“For people like Derzis, Norman, it seems deception is a way of life.  They brazenly endanger women and break the law, as they did in Alabama, then pretend they are paragons of virtue whose businesses must not be closed or their word questioned under any circumstances,” said Newman.  “These people masquerade – abetted by a complicit media — as those who help and serve women, when they pose a very real danger to the public. They don’t really care about women.  The only thing they truly care about is their bank accounts.  Keep this in mind as the eyes of the nation turn to the Supreme Court next week.”