WILMINGTON, DE, May 31, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The two former Planned Parenthood nurses who blew the whistle on dangerous conditions at a Wilmington, Delaware, abortion facility say that they repeatedly contacted state and Planned Parenthood authorities over the space of many months to alert them to what was going on - to no avail.
Rather than the help they sought, the nurses say they were met with either indifference, incompetence, or what had all the appearance of outright corruption.
The result, they said, was that more women were injured at a clinic where even the most basic safety precautions were flouted by woefully untrained and unqualified staff.
Just this week the state’s Division of Public Health announced that they had found 14 violations of health regulations at the clinic. The attorney general’s office has also filed a complaint against former Wilmington Planned Parenthood abortionist Timothy Liveright, saying that he presents a “a clear and immediate danger to the public."
However, these actions only came well over a year after the nurses began reporting conditions at the Planned Parenthood affiliate to authorities - and then only after their story first broke in the media.
Republican State Senator Greg Lavelle said this week that the attorney general’s complaint is “too little, too late.”
“It smacks of reactionary, ‘we-have-to-cover-our-butts’ bureaucratic practices,” said Lavelle. Planned Parenthood and state officials, he said, are “partners in crime.” “This is typical abortion politics.”
At the Delaware Senate this week nurse Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich outlined in painstaking detail the innumerable telephone calls and e-mails to the office of the state governor, the Delaware Division of Public Health Department, the Planned Parenthood Federation, and other authorities.
She described the pattern of non-response, and worse, as “heartbreaking.”
For Mitchell-Werbrich the saga began in April of last year, when she first began working for Planned Parenthood.
By May, she says, she had already begun reporting her concerns to Planned Parenthood management. When no changes were made by July, she then took her concerns to the state's Division of Professional Regulation and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Among other things, Mitchell-Werbrich says she told these agencies about how “there were no guidelines, no standards of care, no procedure, or protocol manuals to be found anywhere" and "intravenous (IV's) were being started using an unsterile technique.”
She also related how Liveright once struck a patient during an abortion, how patients given sedation “were found outside walking down Market Street dazed and confused,” how medication and equipment had expired, and other offenses.
When the state agencies took no action against the clinic, Mitchell-Werbrich finally resigned in early August, worried that she could lose her license simply for working at the clinic. But her attempts to remedy the dangerous practices in the clinic did not end there.
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On August 22, she telephoned the governor of Delaware’s office, where she spoke at length with the governor’s assistant, and the Board of Nursing.
Then, on September 7, she contacted Mary Peterson at the Delaware Health and Social Services. However, Ms. Peterson explained that she could only take complaints from patients, and that the department “had more facilities to inspect than inspectors to inspect them.”
Disturbed by what she had heard from Peterson, Mitchell-Werbrich again called the governor’s office, but received no reply.
Between July and December of 2012, testified the nurse, she contacted the State of Delaware Division of Professional Regulations and the State of Delaware Division of Public Health Department on a monthly basis. On five different occasions she was told that a different “new” investigator was assigned to the case.
Finally, at the end of December, the Division of Professional Regulation told Mitchell-Werbrich that it had completed an inspection and had discovered "several small housekeeping issues,” none of which merited either closure of the aboriton facility or even a citation.
“Needless to say, I was in complete shock,” said the nurse.
She alleges that there are only two reasonable explanations for the results of that inspection: either state inspectors were “too ignorant” to discover the violations, or the state had given Planned Parenthood advance warning of the inspection.
Her suspicions were borne out in February, when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration performed its own inspection, and discovered serious violations, for which Planned Parenthood was fined.
Even then, however, the office continued to operate, with Liveright continuing to perform his shoddy abortions, some of which landed his patients in hospital.
In the first few months of this year pro-life activists witnessed five ambulances take women from his table to hospital.
Mitchell-Werbrich continued to stay in touch with the Division of Public Health and the Division of Professional Regulation, but promises for new information were repeatedly not followed through on. The nurse concluded she “was receiving the run around.”
It wasn’t until Mitchell-Werbrich and her colleague, Joyce Vasikonis, exasperated by the non-response from politicians and Planned Parenthood higher-ups, went to the media with their story that any serious action was undertaken against the facility. Even then, says the nurse, she was shocked by the incompetence of officials.
“I love my state,” Mitchell-Werbrich told senators this week, “and believed in our state's leaders but this incident has forced me to see that our state agencies and leaders are failing us."
“I so trusted our state agencies would do their jobs, do the right thing, and truly investigate reports of abuse, and poor and unsafe care," she said. "I have a hard time laying my head down on my pillow at night. I cannot help but to think of all the patients who are continuing to be mistreated and uncared for at Planned Parenthood. I toss and turn and feel helpless that I cannot do more to help them.”
Vasikonis herself worked at the unsanitary institution for 10 months, and has a similar tale to tell of institutional inaction and coverup, as well as active, aggressive efforts by Planned Parenthood management to undo her attempts to clean up the facility.
The testimony of the two nurses recalls other similar instances of persistent and apparently politically motivated inaction against abortion facilities in recent memory, not least of which is Kermit Gosnell’s “House of Horrors,” which he was allowed to operate unmolested for decades despite repeated serious complaints.
As well, recently three nurses from another abortion facility in Texas stepped forward telling of horrendous “abortions” in which living newborn babies literally had their necks twisted off by abortionist Douglas Karpen. They only went public with their story after repeated attempts to get state authorities to investigate failed.
Shortly after they released their video, Texas authorities announced that they were opening an investigation against Karpen.