WILMINGTON, DE, July 30, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – Three former employees at the now-infamous Planned Parenthood facility in Wilmington, Delaware, told lawmakers in the state Senate today that the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) knew about the unsafe conditions at the facility, and did nothing.

The Wilmington clinic was briefly closed earlier this year after two of the women, nurses Joyce Vasikonis and Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich, went to the media telling a tale of a dangerous “meat-market” style of performing abortions, and describing the clinic as a “nightmare.”

At today's hearing, the three former employees testified that PPFA first became aware of the dangerous conditions at the Wilmington clinic during an internal audit, but chose not to report their findings to the authorities.  Nor did PPFA insist that Wilmington bring up its standards of care.  According to Tuesday’s testimony, the national leadership simply rubberstamped the clinic’s accreditation, despite mounting evidence that women’s lives were being endangered there.

“As these hearings have progressed, we have learned that Planned Parenthood of Delaware has often operated with a startling disregard of cleanliness and patient safety,” said Ellen Barosse, founder of the Delaware pro-life group A Rose and A Prayer, whose group organized Tuesday’s hearing.

“The questions now are: If the national Planned Parenthood Federation repeatedly accredited its Delaware affiliate, knowing the conditions there, how many more facilities that endanger women have they accredited across the country?  And why didn’t it take strong action here?  It shouldn’t be left to brave nurses to campaign for basic standards of sanitation and appropriate health care.”

In April, state investigators found numerous health code violations at the facility and cited abortionist Timothy Liveright with ten separate “acts of incompetence and negligence,” including oversedation, performing unnecessary suction procedures, failing to properly administer oxygen, and failing to “act with due competence and diligence,” resulting in patients requiring emergency hospital visits.  At the time, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, Vice President Joe Biden’s son, called the abortionist “a clear and immediate danger to the public.” 

Liveright later surrendered his medical license, but called the charges against him, including the perforation of a patient’s uterus, “nit-picky,” and “a tempest in a teapot.”  He blamed Planned Parenthood for the clinic’s troubles. “They've allowed this circus to continue,” he said. “It's partly because they never listened to [the whistle-blowers] to begin with.”

Nurses Joyce Vasikonis and Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich also testified before the Senate in May about conditions in the clinic. At that time Mitchell-Werbich described how abortionist Liveright “would be in such a hurry to get the patients in and out himself that he would bring patients back into unclean procedure rooms where the examination table would still have bloody drainage and body fluids from the previous patients.”  On one memorable occasion, she said, the abortionist “left sedated patients in the middle of an abortion procedure waiting for hours in order to handle a mechanical issue with his private airplane.” 

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The nurses also claim the facility’s owners failed to inform as many as 200 women of their positive tests for sexually transmitted diseases and infections, and failed to notify 87 women of the results of their colposcopies. 

Additionally, the three women accuse Planned Parenthood of denying the lifesaving drug Rhogam to low-income, Rh-negative pregnant women who need it to protect against an increased risk of stillbirth with future pregnancies.

Vasikonis, who describes herself as “rabidly pro-abortion,” told the lawmakers in May that she was disillusioned by Planned Parenthood’s abuse of the women in their care. 

“It would take me all afternoon to describe all the deficiencies I found at Planned Parenthood of Delaware during the 10 months I worked there,” she told the State Senate. “What I found was that the culture of Planned Parenthood of Delaware was focused on maximizing profits and the bottom line, not quality health care for women.”

Tuesday’s hearing was promoted by the Susan B. Anthony List, which said in a statement that the purpose of the hearing was to shine a light on the abortion industry’s brutality toward not just babies, but women.

“The consequences of championing abortion masked as health care for women will prove tragic in state after state,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.

The group said that the Wilmington case proves that despite its billion-dollar budget and massive international influence, Planned Parenthood is no better than the rest of the industry when it comes to ignoring the safety and dignity of the women in its care.

“America’s Abortion Giant – the standard-bearer – cannot claim that Kermit Gosnell, Douglas Karpen, and a host of other abortion clinic horrors nationwide are isolated incidents while their own employees expose them for complete disregard for the health and well-being of women,” the group said.  “We won’t let the media ignore Planned Parenthood’s complete failure to stand up for the dignity and safety of women.”