An ‘absolute nightmare’: Planned Parenthood nurses tell of horrific conditions at clinic
WILMINGTON, DE, May 30, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Two former nurses at a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Wilmington, Delaware, testified before a Senate hearing yesterday, describing what they said were “nightmare” conditions characterized by a “meat-market assembly line” style of performing abortions in which patients were treated like cattle, and profit was king.
The nurses also recounted how they repeatedly attempted to get authorities to intervene – but in vain. Action against the clinic was only taken in April after the nurses, frustrated that their appeals were falling on deaf ears, decided to go to the media.
“It was an absolute nightmare,” said nurse Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich. She added, “I'm surprised that more people have not lost their lives there.”
The nurse, who only worked at the clinic for 27 days, said that on the average day at Wilmington Planned Parenthood, an abortion would be completed every eight-to-10 minutes.
“The doctor would be in such a hurry to get the patients in and out himself that he would bring patients back into unclean procedure rooms where the examination table would still have bloody drainage and body fluids from the previous patients,” she said.
The nurses also recounted how surgical instruments were improperly sterilized, surgical suites were not properly cleaned between patients, equipment was outdated and in some cases broken, staff were unqualified and untrained and drugs used were expired.
At one point, Vasikonis said, she was the only person in the clinic who was sterilizing medical instruments, because none of the rest of the staff knew how.
Vasikonis added that the reason for the hurry and shoddy practices was obvious. “What I discovered was that the culture at Planned Parenthood of Delaware was focused on maximizing profits and the bottom line,” she said. “Not quality healthcare for women.”
The two women showed lawmakers copies of numerous e-mails that they sent to state authorities and Planned Parenthood senior officials reporting the horrendous conditions they witnessed.
"There was no real response to fix it," said Joyce Vasikonis. "Planned Parenthood is a very powerful organization."
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Mitchell-Werbrich complained that while other medical facilities are subject to thorough oversight, Planned Parenthood is apparently tasked with policing itself.
“I said, who regulates them, who watches over them?” she said. “Planned Parenthood has no one. Planned Parenthood Federation watches themselves, which didn't make sense.”
In one of her letters to Planned Parenthood, Mitchell-Werbrich had described how on various occasions she witnessed abortionist Timothy Liveright ogle, slap, and play peek-a-boo with patients.
She told the Senate hearing yesterday how on one occasion Liveright “left sedated patients in the middle of an abortion procedure waiting for hours in order to handle a mechanical issue with his private airplane.”
The state’s Division of Professional Regulation revealed this week that Liveright has surrendered his license after the department found evidence of unnamed unprofessional conduct, according to The News Journal.
The clinic briefly shut down in April after news of the conditions inside broke in the media. Even after it re-opened it temporarily suspended all surgical abortions, while providing chemical abortions and other services. In an effort to clean up its image, several staff members, including Liveright, were removed, and a new CEO appointed.
This week the state’s Division of Public Health released the results of its inspection of the clinic, which found 14 violations of health regulations. A letter, dated April 14, gave the clinic 10 days to submit an acceptable plan of correction.
In a statement the new Planned Parenthood Delaware CEO Ruth Lytle-Barnaby said that the clinic has taken steps to correct the violations, and denied that the results of the state’s inspection corroborated the two nurses claims.
“While it is important to adhere to every medical regulation, the Division of Public Health findings do not in any way support the allegations of former employees who are now working with organizations whose mission is to oppose our services,” said Lytle-Barnaby.
In an original statement introducing herself earlier this month the CEO had denounced what she said were “speculation and falsehoods” about Planned Parenthood Delaware’s services.
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