AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 1, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Two Texas abortion clinics and the disposal company Stericycle have been slapped with fines in excess of $83,000 for illegal dumping of aborted baby remains, according to documents released to the pro-life organization Operation Rescue.
The fines are the result of complaints filed by Operation Rescue against Whole Woman’s Health of McAllen and Austin after a three-month undercover investigation.
Their investigation had found that Whole Women’s Health was dumping aborted babies in open dumpsters. They also found that Stericycle would pick up boxes containing aborted baby remains once a week. The contents were then autoclaved, or steamed, then dumped at the BFI Sunset Farms Landfill.
By Texas law, aborted baby remains are considered “pathological waste,” something the Austin Stericycle Autoclave facility is not permitted to handle. Properly treated remains are required to be dumped in a special kind of landfill, not a municipal one like the BFI Sunset Farms facility.
The Texas Commission on Environment Quality (TCEQ) subsequently conducted its own investigation and broadened the case to include Stericycle. In June, the TCEQ notified Operation Rescue that the two abortion clinics and Stericycle had all been cited for violations involving the improper disposal of human fetuses.
Fines for the violations were finalized three months later. TCEQ also ordered the abortion clinics and Stericycle to make specific changes in their operations.
– Whole Woman’s Health of McAllen was fined at total of $17,430. It is required to make monthly payments of $385.
– Whole Woman’s Health of Austin was ordered to pay a total of $22,980. It must pay off its fine with $510 payments each month.
– Stericycle received the largest fine of $42,612, which was paid in one lump sum minus twenty percent, which is deferred contingent upon satisfactory future compliance.
The two abortion clinics also received a deferral of twenty percent of their fines on the same compliance contingency as Stericycle. However, if the TCEQ finds that they are not satisfactorily complying with the order, they will be required to pay the full amount.
“Our investigation only scratched the surface of what is really going on at abortion clinics in Texas. These hefty fines totally over $83,000 show that the violations we discovered were valid and serious,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “We can only imagine what would be found if every abortion clinic was thoroughly investigated.”
“Abortion clinics cannot be trusted to follow the law or tell the truth about it even if they are caught,” said Newman. “Time and again we have seen that abortionists have the attitude that they are above the law. Abortion clinics need to be inspected and violations strictly enforced for the sake of the public’s welfare.”
In addition to the TCEQ fines, ten abortionists must answer to the Texas Medical Board for other abortion abuses discovered by Operation Rescue. Word on the extent of their discipline is expected in February.
TCEQ documents are available at OperationRescue.org.