Sarah Crawford

14 Texas abortion clinics cited for health violations: only one fined

Sarah Crawford
By Sarah Crawford
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February 13, 2013 (TexasRighttoLife) - Last week, a young woman and her child both died allegedly at the hands of notorious late-term abortionist, Leroy Carhart, in Germantown, Maryland.  Texas Right to Life is saddened by these untimely, preventable deaths.  We are even more determined to hold negligent abortionists accountable to the law. 

What happened to 29-year-old Jennifer Morbelli can happen again, right here in Texas, because of the lax standards to which abortionists and abortion centers are held. 

Just like Carhart, abortionists in Texas may operate out of one of many abortion facilities.  When abortionists skip from town to town and do not acquire admitting privileges at local hospitals, fatal problems arise.  When Carhart’s victim began to suffer complications, the local emergency room was unable to obtain information from either Carhart or the abortion facility.  Had Carhart been required to contract with a hospital, Morbelli’s life could have been saved when her symptoms were first realized. 

Furthermore, abortion facilities in Texas put the women who visit them at risk of infection, abortion complications, and even death.  Currently, abortion centers are required to be inspected just once a year by the Department of State Health Services.  Per a freedom of information request, Texas Right to Life obtained inspection reports of all abortion centers in Texas from July 2011-2012, and the results are shocking.

Fourteen abortion centers were cited as having infractions that violated inspections, yet due to the weakness of the current law, only one was fined by the state.  Although many of the violations were recorded, much of the reports was blacked out.  Below is a summary of the little that is actually legible:  

The Reproductive Services Abortion Facility of El Paso was fined for performing two abortions where the unborn child was over the age of 16 weeks, but the center is only licensed to perform abortions up to 16 weeks.  The original fine of $1,300 was administered, but was later reduced to only $200. 

Another facility, Whole Woman’s Health in Beaumont was the worst violator and had a 17 page report.  Several of the pages and plans for corrective actions were blacked out and remain unknown.  From the pages that were not blacked out, the inspectors noted that staff was not trained in sterilizing surgical instruments and many sterile instrument packages were found with holes in them.  No full-time nurse was on staff as required by state law, and the part-time nurse, who lives in Houston, had never been oriented to the facility.  Staff at the center had never been properly trained, educated, and oriented for their job description, facility personnel policies, philosophy, and emergency procedures. 

The state found that the center failed to provide a safe and sanitary environment: 

  • A broken bed in an exam room and uncovered drain underneath;
  • The suction machine used for abortion had rust in various spots;
  • Floors were stained and discolored;
  • 112 curettes in 4 different sizes had expired;
  • Staff providing direct patient care was not trained in CPR; and
  • The clinic had not followed its own policy on record that outlines decontamination, disinfection, sterilization, and storage of sterile supplies.

State-required evacuation plans were not found posted anywhere in the building and all three fire extinguishers were expired.  Employees had never participated in and the facility had failed to conduct fire and disaster drills.  However, Whole Woman’s Health was not fined for any of the violations recorded by the state.  

Of the remaining centers, many were cited as unable to keep routine surgical and emergency equipment sterile and up-to-date with staff unable to identify and use emergency equipment.  Though the equipment was expired, it was still available for use on women.  Many open, expired, and unsecured vials of medication were identified by inspectors.  The points below are in addition to many of the violations listed above.

Abortion Advantage - Dallas 

  • Expired gauges and curettes, some over two years. 
  • Methotrexate, a medication used for abortion, was open, unsecured, and unlocked in a room, which violates state and federal law. 
  • This center was recommended for re-licensure.

Routh Street Women's clinic - Dallas 

  • Cited for having an outdated sonogram machine being used daily on patients; 
  • Curettes and lancets were in the medical and procedure rooms, expired; 
  • Manual Vacuum Aspiration syringes had been expired since 2006 and 2007; and 
  • Medications furosemide and epinephrine, which were located on the emergency crash cart and available for patient use, were also expired. 
  • No fines were assessed by the state for this clinic.

West-Side Clinic, Inc. – Fort Worth 

  • 18 abortion patients’ charts showed three patients were released before the clinic assessed vital signs.  
  • Facility did not have a policy or procedure describing what an attending physician indicates to be “stable vital signs, prior to discharge.” 
  • Re-licensure of this clinic was recommended. 

Suburban Women’s Medical Center – Houston

This center had a seven-page report with the majority of which was blackened or blurred out.  Some of the corrective plans for the clinic were legible, giving indication of what the violations were.  Requirements include:

  • Staff to be properly trained in emergency response and have treatment guidelines posted in patient rooms. 
  • Medical director must ensure that all equipment will have stickers indicating current maintenance and will arrange to have the suction pump inspected to prevent reverse pump suction. 
  • No fines were assessed for this clinic.

AAA Concerned Women's Center, Inc. - Houston
Facility failed to have any policies in place for the preparation and storage of medication to ensure safe administration. 

  • There were many unsecured, open vials and unlabeled syringes throughout the facility. 
  • Many instrument packages in a treatment room had broken sterile seals and vials containing Lidocaine were not sterile. 
  • No fines were assessed for this clinic.

These violations are serious and put women at very real risk.  Do you think the media ever cites these ghastly infractions or how these abortion centers jeopardize the lives of women?  Of course not.  In fact, CNN just praised Whole Woman's Health on national television.

Clinics that perform elective abortions in Texas need to be held accountable to the state and the medical community that is responsible for actually serving the health needs of Texan women.  This accountability will not occur without new legal requirements. 

Abortion advocates wax poetical about being there for women and having their best interest at heart.  But do these violations and facility standards bear out that claim? 

Abortion facilities need to put their money where their mouth is.  And the Department of State Health Services must assure women, and the state of Texas, that the Jennifer Morbelli tragedy does not happen in Texas.  

Reprinted with permission from Texas Right to Life

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Sofia Vazquez-Mellado

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11-year-old in Uruguay refuses to abort after rape

Sofia Vazquez-Mellado
By Sofia Vazquez-Mellado

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, May 25, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An 11-year-old girl in Uruguay is making headlines for refusing to abort after being raped by a 41-year-old relative. Pro-abortion organizations in the country are using the case to ask for a broadening in the law, which allows for abortion up until 12 weeks gestation, 14 weeks in cases of rape, and up to 9 months when the life or health of the mother are at risk or when the baby is “unviable.”

Local media report that the girl, who is 18 weeks pregnant, lived with her abuser for over a year prior to the pregnancy. Her mother is now asking authorities to make her abort, but according to the local newspaper La Diaria, a team of psychiatrists from Uruguay’s Child and Adolescent Institute (INAU) has said that “the girl’s position has been confirmed without a doubt: she wishes to be a mother.”

According to her relatives, the girl suffers from a mild mental incapacity, although she is not considered handicapped.

In a press conference, Susana Muñiz, president for the Association of State Health Services and former minister of health, said: “An 11-year-old girl obviously has a body not prepared to be pregnant, with a very small uterus.”

However, according to Monica Silva, head of the INAU’s Health Division, “There is no risk to the life of the girl nor that of the baby. We cannot force her to abort.”

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“Even if her mother wants it, it would be inhuman to force her to abort,” continued Silva. “The fact that there was a rape doesn’t allow me to force her to abort. This [aborting] may seem like a protection of her rights but it is against the girl’s will.”

Nevertheless, a press release “demanding” that the girl abort “immediately” was issued by several pro-abortion NGOs soon after, on May 12. “The hypocritical and bureaucratic system allows for her rights to be undermined without considering the cost this will bring to the girl,” it read.

“Who will take charge now to stop the undermining of her rights and protect her health and her life? How much longer do we need to wait before somebody decides responsibly on the interruption of that pregnancy?” it concluded.

In her interview, Silva also said the girl’s parents “never visited, with exception of one of the six siblings she has.”

 “The best that could happen would be to ensure that she has a ‘welcoming family,’ that would receive the girl with her baby,” continued Silva. “I doubt we can achieve that because it’s hard to find families who want this challenge.”

The girl remains under INAU’s care and her abuser has been imprisoned.

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Steve Weatherbe

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Christian jeweller made gay couples’ rings but still got targeted by gay lobby

Steve Weatherbe
By Steve Weatherbe

MOUNT PEARL, Newfoundland, May 25, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) –While North Americans are used to reading about Christian business people being fined and excoriated for refusing to cater to homosexual weddings, Newfoundland has added a novel twist: there a Christian jeweller has been punished financially and deluged with hate mail even though he did do business with a homosexual couple.

Nicole White and Pam Renouf liked the service they got from Esau Jardon of Today’s Jewellers in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador, who took their deposit and proceeded to design and build them two engagement rings. They even recommended the store to friends.

But by the time one friend went there, the Mexican-born Jardon had put up a sign in his shop window marking Mother’s Day—and his strong, traditional Christian beliefs: “The Sanctity of Marriage IS UNDER ATTACK; Help Keep Marriage Between Man & Woman,” it read.

The friend went ballistic. Her picture of the sign went viral. The couple went back on their deal and back to the store, demanding their deposit. Today’s Jewellers’ Facebook page was so deluged with hundreds of hateful emails and many threats that Jardon and his brother, who is his business partner, have to shut it down.

LifeSiteNews asked White if Jardon had been punished enough. “Omigod, yes,” she responded. “Way, way too much.” But earlier she explained to a local newspaper why the couple cancelled their order. “The ring symbolizes love, and just knowing that that’s the sign that they have up there — every time I look at my ring, yes, I’ll think of us, clearly, but also everything we went through. So I don’t want my ring from there anymore. I just want my refund.”

At first, she reported, “They just said that that's their beliefs, and they think they can put up whatever they want. I just said it was very disrespectful, it's very unprofessional and I wanted a refund,” White said. “I have no issues with them believing in what they believe in. I think everyone's entitled to their own opinion. But I don't think they should put their personal beliefs inside their business.”

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Jardon, at first, was loath to return it, lest this be seen as an apology for his beliefs. Reached in Toronto, he told the St. John’s Telegram, “When I walk on Church Street in Toronto, where I am right now, and I see [LGBT rainbow flags], and I see a lot of signs and a lot of things on public property, I don't have a problem with them. I accept it. I chose to come to Canada... and we accept the whole package... I don't discriminate against that, nor do I come and tell them to take them down. For the same reason, I ask to have the same respect in return, especially when it's in my own business.”

But what is sauce for the gander is not sauce for the geese, or for the LGBT community that crowded onto the bandwagon, or for the CBC which was all too ready to label the jeweller’s sign “homophobic.”

However, some have offered support and sympathy. Rod Dreher, blogging at The American Conservative, observed that only so-called sexual minorities expected this kind of treatment. “Is a fundamentalist Christian permitted to send her osso buco back to the kitchen if she discovers that homosexual hands cooked it? Of course not. Some delicate snowflakes are more delicate than others.”

Referring to recent decisions by courts and human rights tribunals against Christian vendors who refused to serve homosexuals, Dreher concluded on an ironic note. The pressure on Jardon to return the deposit marked “the next phase in the March of Progress. You must not only bake the cake, or arrange the flowers, or make the ring, you must hold the correct opinion when you do it.”

Jardon defends his right to his own opinion. “One of the reasons my family chose to move to Canada was the rights that it offered, the freedom of religion and freedom of speech, both of which at the time seemed to be very limited in Mexico,” he said.

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Canadians headed to the ballot box for the fall federal election should remember the right to life is 'the most basic thing in society,' the archbishop tells LifeSiteNews. Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews
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Exclusive: Clinging to Christ will help those struggling with sexual identity, says Montreal’s archbishop

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By Pete Baklinski

OTTAWA, May 25, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Montreal’s archbishop, Christian Lépine, weighed in on what the Catholic Church actually has to offer people struggling with the biological sex they were born with, telling LifeSiteNews in an exclusive interview that it’s no mistake that God creates the human person as male or female and that every person must look for their identity within a “view of God.”

“The teachings of the Church as such, its most basic one, is that we’re made in the image of God. That's always the starting point. And when you lose track of that — that you're made in the image of God — then somehow you come to lose trust in who you are as a human being, and you know less of who you are, and you don't know anymore who you are, and you [find yourself] looking for your own identity outside of a view of God,” Lépine told LifeSiteNews last week one day prior to the annual National March for Life that drew an estimated 25,000 pro-life advocates.

Following the first book of the Bible, where it is stated that God created human beings as “male and female,” the Catholic Church has always taught, and continues to teach, that the male/female binary is God’s plan for mankind.

As the book of Genesis (1:27) states: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church stresses that recognizing and preserving the male/female sexual difference is necessary for a healthy society.

“Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out,” the Catechism states.

Lépine said that anytime questions about sexual identity arise for the faithful, “we must go back to the basics,” namely that “every human is created in the image of God, and of course, biblically, every human being exists as a woman or as a man.”

The archbishop’s words are foreign to mainstream notions of so-called ‘gender fluidity’ where male/female difference is construed as a social construct and ultimately as a personal choice.

Lépine acknowledged that some people suffer when it comes to accepting their own sexual identity as either a male or female based on biological characteristics.

“Sometimes people have sufferings about their own desires, or about their own sense of identity, or about the fact that masculinity and femininity exists, or about the fact that you as ‘human being’ [exist] as a male or female, as a man or as a woman.”

He called the male/female binary “a reality that is part of the [human] experience,” adding that it is also “taught in the Bible.”

Lépine stressed that the Church does not leave people “looking for a meaning in their lives and their own sense of identity” to struggle on their own, but offers them many helps and aids, including a clear anthropology on the nature of the human person.

“As Christians, we have the Bible to help people. We have Jesus Christ to help people. We have faith in God to help people. So, going back, [we must be] conscious that we are made in the image of God. And our own sexuality — what is the meaning of being a man or woman — is related to our vocation to love. And, every human being as such, made in the image of God — being a man or woman — is called to love.”

“So, how [are we] to help [such] people? You can talk about things theoretically, which is one thing. But also, we have to be conscious of people who live through situations where they're looking for their own identity and we need, I think, the Bible and faith to help them.”

Fluid notions of gender have been criticized by Pope Francis on at least three occasions, and prior to this, by Pope Benedict XVI.

“Gender theory is an error of the human mind that leads to so much confusion," Pope Francis told young people during his voyage to Naples, Italy last March.

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In his 2012 Christmas greeting, Pope Benedict condemned gender theory as a “profound falsehood” since it denies the male and female sex as a “given element of nature.” According to Benedict, instead of acknowledging that God created people male and female, gender theory posits the existence of sexual social constructions that people can decide to conform to or not.

“The profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves.”

“When the freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God, as the image of God at the core of his being,” Benedict concluded. “The defence of the family is about man himself. And it becomes clear that when God is denied, human dignity also disappears,” he said.

Earlier in the interview, Lépine spoke about the need to “promote relentlessly life and respect for life” in the face of the country’s top court setting the legal stage for allowing doctors to end the lives of their patients under the pretext of compassion and mercy.

“You don't take care of someone when you suppress the life of someone, because you're not solving a problem. You're suppressing the person. It doesn't work,” he said.

Referring to the upcoming federal election this fall, the archbishop called “life and the right-to-life and dignity of the person” an “important subject, because it's the most basic thing in society.” 

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