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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John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

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Pope Francis eases forgiveness of abortion for Jubilee Year of Mercy

John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
By John-Henry Westen

ROME, September 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- In an announcement today, Pope Francis said that he is enacting an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy from December 8, 2015 through November 2016. As part of the Jubilee, the pope has allowed priests to forgive the sin of abortion, which St. John Paul II taught in Evangelium Vitae (paragraph 58) is “murder.”

The statement marks the most extensive remarks on abortion that Pope Francis has made during his pontificate. Rather than downplaying the seriousness of abortion, as some media contend, in the statement the pope encourages the millions of women who have aborted their children to go to confession and seek God’s forgiveness.

In the Catechism, the Church calls abortion a “criminal” practice, and imposes the penalty of excommunication on those who do it -- essentially, removing those who commit abortions from the Church. In the past, typically re-entry into the Church for those who have separated themselves from it by excommunication can only be undertaken by a bishop. However in much of North America priests have already been given standing permission by their bishops to forgive abortion.

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput explained in an email sent to LifeSiteNews today, “For many years now, parish priests have been given permission to absolve the sin of abortion here in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.” The Philadelphia archbishop, who will play host to Pope Francis during the pontiff’s visit later this month added, “But the practice has not been common in various other regions of the world.”

“This action in no way diminishes the moral gravity of abortion,” concluded Chaput. “What it does do is make access to sacramental forgiveness easier for anyone who seeks it with a truly penitent heart.”

The pope declared that all priests may forgive the sin of abortion for “those who have procured it and who with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it.'"

The pope says in his letter that abortion is a “tragedy” wherein “extreme harm” takes place, and calls it “profoundly unjust.”  He admits however, as does the pro-life movement, that it is an “agonizing and painful decision” and many women “believe that they have no other option.”

In order to be forgiven by God of such a serious offence, the pope says the one who has procured the abortion must be made aware of the “gravity of the sin committed” and be truly repentant. They must come, says Francis, with a “contrite heart, seek forgiveness for” the abortion and hoping for “reconciliation with the Father.”

The full statement from the Pope on the matter of abortion follows:

One of the serious problems of our time is clearly the changed relationship with respect to life. A widespread and insensitive mentality has led to the loss of the proper personal and social sensitivity to welcome new life. The tragedy of abortion is experienced by some with a superficial awareness, as if not realizing the extreme harm that such an act entails. Many others, on the other hand, although experiencing this moment as a defeat, believe they they have no other option. I think in particular of all the women who have resorted to abortion. I am well aware of the pressure that has led them to this decision. I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal. I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision. What has happened is profoundly unjust; yet only understanding the truth of it can enable one not to lose hope. The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented, especially when that person approaches the Sacrament of Confession with a sincere heart in order to obtain reconciliation with the Father. For this reason too, I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured itand who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it. May priests fulfil this great task by expressing words of genuine welcome combined with a reflection that explains the gravity of the sin committed, besides indicating a path of authentic conversion by which to obtain the true and generous forgiveness of the Father who renews all with his presence.

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TLC stars Kody Brown and his four "wives"
Fr. Mark Hodges

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Surprise, surprise: New suit says gay ‘marriage’ ruling laid ground for legal polygamy

Fr. Mark Hodges
By Fr. Mark Hodges

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, September 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – When "The Pill" was made available to the public in 1964, Christians warned it could lead to promiscuity and disassociation of sex with marriage and children.  They were ridiculed as religious fanatics.

When abortion was made legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy in 1973, Christians warned that it would not save women's lives, but would instead lead to devaluing all human life, especially children's lives. They were dismissed as moral-legislating hate-mongers.

When euthanasia was legalized in Oregon and other states, Christians warned that the non-terminally ill and eventually the mentally handicapped, or simply the unwanted, would be killed in the name of mercy. They were mocked as right-wing crazies.

When sodomy laws in Texas and elsewhere were stricken from the books in 2003, Christians warned that societal approval of that harmful practice would lead to an increase in disease and further perversion. They were ignored and vilified.

When DADT (Don't Ask Don't Tell) rules for the military were reversed, Christians warned that the epidemic of rapes in the armed services would increase, not decrease, and that combat readiness would continue to diminish. They were called bigots, their words "hate speech."

And so on. Recent history is rife with examples of conservatives warning against societal degradation being vilified as "slippery slope" straw man creators, who want only to legislate morality.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

That's how those who warned that the Supreme Court's same-sex "marriage" decision would lead to legalization of any and all kinds of "marriage," such as a man and several wives or vice versa.

And, as in every case cited above, what Christian conservatives warned is exactly what has now happened.

In a U.S. 10th Circuit court filing, reality TV polygamist Kody Brown and his wives point to the U.S. Supreme Court's historic ruling on same-sex marriage to buttress their pro-polygamy case.

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth, summarized to LifeSiteNews, "The left's chaotic cultural agenda knows no boundaries. Once 'marriage' could be redefined to accommodate sexual perversion, it would be impossible to stop other perversions from being recognized." 

The American Family Association's Ed Vitagliano told LifeSiteNews, "It has been clear for decades that sexual radicals in America have been targeting the God-ordained institution of marriage for destruction. Toss in a handful of U.S. Supreme Court rulings, beginning in 2003 (Lawrence v. Texas), and ending with this summer's debacle (Obergefell v. Hodges), and we are on the verge of seeing the secularists succeed." 

The AFA executive vice president concluded to LifeSiteNews, "We have no doubt that the polygamists will be next to step into the federal courts."

Indeed. Brown and his four wives, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn, have asked the court to uphold a judge's ruling striking down part of Utah's law against polygamy. To prove their case, they cite precedents involving same-sex marriage (United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges), and a case that struck down a ban on sodomy (Lawrence v. Texas).

"From the rejection of morality legislation in Lawrence, to the expansion of the protections of liberty interests in Obergefell, it is clear that states can no longer use criminal codes to ... punish those who choose to live in consensual but unpopular unions," Brown's filing states. "This case is about the criminalization of consensual relations."

LaBarbera told LifeSiteNews that the move to legalize polygamy is no surprise. "Once the argument for homosexual so-called 'marriage' became 'Love Is Love,' it was only a matter of time before multiple-partner activists would start defending the 'right' to have THEIR [perversion of] 'love' legitimized by state-recognized 'marriage.'"

The Browns, who appear on the television show "Sister Wives," sued the state of Utah over its ban on polygamy, which Brown calls "plural relationships." They argue that the law violates their right to freely practice their religion and their right to equal protection under the law.

Specifically, Brown is challenging the state's assertion that polygamy is harmful to societies that condone it.

Brown argues that the state should not have "the right to impose criminal morality codes on citizens, compelling them to live their lives in accordance with the religious or social values of the majority of citizens."

LaBarbera concluded, "Social conservatives and Christians must work to overturn Obergefell, just like homosexual activists worked to overturn the Supreme Court's Bowers v. Hardwick decision in 1986 that allowed anti-sodomy laws. Otherwise, we are guaranteed to lose more and more freedoms as 'gay' power grows, using legalized 'marriage' as leverage."

Arguments in the Brown polygamy case could take place before the 10th Circuit Court in Denver before the end of the year.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, MD, on March 6, 2014. Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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Sen. McConnell: GOP won’t push Obama on Planned Parenthood defunding

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Planned Parenthood won't lose its funding for at least 18 months, says America's top senator.

Speaking on WYMT TV, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, said, "The president’s made it very clear he’s not going to sign any bill that includes defunding of Planned Parenthood, so that’s another issue that awaits a new president, hopefully with a different point of view about Planned Parenthood."

“We just don’t have the votes to get the outcome that we’d like,” he said. “Again, the president has the pen to sign it. If he doesn’t sign it, it doesn’t happen. But, yeah, we voted on that already in the Senate, we’ll vote on it again, but I would remind all of your viewers the way you make a law in this country, the Congress has to pass it and the president has to sign it.”

McConnell's comments came despite pressure from Senators and Representatives alike, as well as pro-life groups, who want Republicans to make defunding a priority.

"If the president of the United States and Harry Reid think it's more important that Planned Parenthood get your tax dollars than to pay our troops, then they are shutting down the government,” Freedom Caucus leader Jim Jordan, R-OH, told CNN last week.

Jordan and others have pushed GOP leaders to attach defunding efforts to must-pass pieces of legislation, such as a highway bill earlier this summer and the upcoming Continuing Resolution to keep the federal government running. GOP leaders have generally opposed this strategy, which has created a schism within the party.

Conversely, Democrats have been largely united. Leaders and rank-and-file members in both parties have generally supported taxpayer funding of the abortion giant, despite the possibility of illegal abortions being done to illegally harvest fetal organs and other body parts.

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