AUSTIN, TX, March 12, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Dr. Bernard Rosenfeld of Houston rose to prominence by speaking out against the state's pro-life legal code, but he also violated it, according to a state pro-life group.
The Texas Medical Board has established a remedial plan for Rosenfeld after finding he performed abortions at an unlicensed location outside his Houston Women's Clinic, a local pro-life group has announced.
The Texas Alliance for Life said its offices had been “tipped off by a local pro-life leader” that Rosenfeld had been performing abortions, not only at Houston Women's Clinic — which advertises itself as “among the best abortion clinics in Houston” — but in his private medical office. He even advertised his private abortion services online.
TAL staff attorney Erin Goff filed a complaint last October and later testified that Rosenfeld performed approximately two abortions every other day, violating state law requiring anyone who performs 50 abortions a year to have a license – and to meet the relevant health and safety standards required of any ambulatory surgical center.
After filing the complaint, TAL said that all reference to Rosenfeld's private abortion practices disappeared from his online ads.
On February 13, the Texas Medical Board found that Dr. Rosenfeld “failed to register his private practice office as an abortion facility with the Texas Department of State Health Services, even though such registration was required due to the number of abortion procedures performed there and because that office was used 'substantially' for the purpose of performing abortions.”
While Rosenfeld “does not admit or deny” their findings, the TMB said he has agreed to settle the matter out of court “to avoid the cost, expense, and uncertainty of litigation.” He will instead follow a plan drawn up by TMB.
“While the TMB could have denied, suspended, or revoked his license, they chose to merely issue a remedial plan that has two requirements: eight additional hours of continuing medical education and a payment of $500 per year for administering the plan,” the Texas Alliance for Life noted in a press release.
Mark Crutcher, the president of Life Dynamics, a national pro-life organization based in the northern Texas city of Denton, agreed that the Texas Medical Board’s action amounted to a slap on the wrist.
“Nobody else gets this sort of sweetheart deal,” said Crutcher. “It’s only available to the abortion industry.”
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Rosenfeld became a voice of the abortion industry's opposition to Texas Senate Bill 2, which required strong health and safety protections for Texas women. Rosenfeld objected that the bill would financially squeeze him and others in his industry. “We cannot meet the new standards and the estimate to build a new clinic is $3.8 million not including land and machines,” he told the London Telegraph.
He denounced sidewalk counselors as “religious extremists” who are “trying to force their religion on other people.”
“They don't care so much about the children once they are born,” he told an Australian news outlet.
When state law required him to shut down his abortion facility for a time, he complained that it left women seeking an abortion in the lurch.
“These were people trying to do the right thing, trying to be responsible,” he said.
While Rosenfeld appears to have avoided serious legal ramifications once again, Texas pro-life leaders hope the board will give greater scrutiny to a claim leveled by Abby Johnson against Dr. Paul Fine, the medical director of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, whom she said presigned prescriptions for narcotics and signed consent forms for abortion patients whom he had never treated.
“We are grateful that the Texas Medical Board penalized Dr. Rosenfeld for his flagrant violation of the law,” said Joe Pojman, Ph.D., the executive director of Texas Alliance for Life. “We are hopeful that the investigation against Dr. Fine will be taken more seriously and that he will be appropriately penalized.”