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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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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