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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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

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By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

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Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
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Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

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By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

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Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

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Red Alert!

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By John-Henry Westen

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

You can also donate by phone or mail. We would love to hear from you!

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