John Jansen

‘Beautiful, immaculate, clean’ abortion clinics? Hardly.

John Jansen
By John Jansen

January 18, 2013 (ProlifeAction) - Are abortion clinics in Virginia “beautiful, immaculate, clean facilities” that pass inspections “with flying colors”?

According to NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Executive Director Tarina Keene and her Huffington Post water carrier, the answer is yes.  But are they right?

In March 2011, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed into law regulations that required the State’s Board of Health to write new rules for regulating abortion facilities, which had been largely unregulated for more than 20 years.

Late last month, McDonnell signed into law permanent regulations that will now hold the state’s abortion facilities to the same health and safety standards as hospitals. To no one’s surprise, abortion advocates are gnashing their teeth about these regulations, which they contend are unnecessarily “burdensome” and will serve only to limit “access” to abortion.

A recent segment of HuffPost Live looked at the issue of the situation in Virginia, and it’s well worth watching.

Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall and Operation Rescue‘s Troy Newman did an admirable job of explaining why regulation of abortion clinics is so vitally necessary, but you have to hear for yourself the jaw-dropping claims uttered by NARAL’s Keene.

The first one comes at the 3:40 mark, in which Keene says that most of Virginia’s abortion facilities “have been operating for decades, and they have totally been offering the most, the top-notch care that most abortion providers across the country already offer women.”

Later, at the 10:55 mark, after Troy Newman highlights some of the most outrageous conditions found in numerous abortion facilities across the country in recent years, HuffPost Live host Alicia Menendez throws Keene the softest of softballs:

The challenge seems to be that there are beautiful, immaculate, clean facilities that are there to provide the women of Virginia with safe, legal abortions — abortions that, again, law of the land allows them to have. Should those facilities be penalized because there are these very rare outlier facilities?

Newman then jumped in to point out the insanity of using such fawning words to describe abortion clinics.  Menendez then threw Keene another softball, and Keene responded:

All 20 of our state’s abortion providers…have been given unconditional licenses by the Department of Health. So let me just say that when you get an unconditional rating from VDH, that means that there are no safety concerns. They have passed the first test already. They have already lived up to the all of the other regulatory requirements in putting together new protocols that are in line with hospitals. And that was no easy task.

They passed that with flying colors. And when the inspectors came in, they also passed with flying colors.

 

The Pro-Life Action League has obtained records of the inspections conducted at the 20 abortion facilities in Virginia in 2012 by the state’s Department of Health, and they tell a very different story.  All 20 abortion facilities had deficiencies, meaning that not one Virginia abortion clinic passed inspection.

In fact, under the specific category of infection prevention, only one out of 20 was not cited for deficiencies.

Some of the most outrageous examples [PDF] are detailed below.

Tidewater Women’s Health Clinic in Norfolk was inspected in May 10, 2012.  Among its deficiencies:

The freezer which is used to store the collected conception material, had blood and un-bagged conception material frozen to the inner bottom surface.  The air vents in the clean utility room had a thick dust build up. …

A bucket that held water to rinse the suction pump lines after procedures was turbid with floating black particles.

Doesn’t sound very “beautiful,” “immaculate,” or “clean,” does it?

Roanoke Medical Center for Women was inspected on July 18, 2012.  Inspectors cited its staff members for reusing vacutainer blood collection tubes, with one staff member claiming that “there was no need to clean” them between patients, despite the fact that inspectors found one vacutainer that “had visible dark red splatter within the hub, which attached to the needle to draw the patient’s blood.”

Falls Church Healthcare Center was inspected on August 2, 2012.  Among its deficiencies: In one procedure room, an observation “revealed the procedure table had visible dried blood on the metal joints that connected the metal leg stirrup/supports.”

What’s more:

Observations in the “Second Recovery” area revealed four of the five recovery recliners had an un-identifiable substance spilled on the lower inner rail.

Richmond Medical Center for Women was inspected on May 16, 2012.  Among its deficiencies, an observation in one recovery room:

revealed two (2) of the three (3) Recovery recliners had an area of five (5) inches or greater of dark reddish brown substance  on the sling between the seat and the footrest.  Staff #2 identified the dark reddish brown substance as dried blood.

Not “clean,” and definitely not “immaculate.”

Then there’s Peninsula Medical Center for Women in Newport News, which was inspected on May 31, 2012.  From its inspection report:

Based on the review of the facility’s policies and interview there were no policies/procedures for the facility management of: hand hygiene, cleaning, disposal, storage and transport of equipment, linen and supplies; product specific instructions for use of cleaning agents; procedures for handling, storing and transporting of medical waste; policy/procedure for pest control/ and other infection prevention procedures necessary to prevent/control transmission of an infectious agent in facility.

 

One has to wonder: Did they actually have any policies or procedures for anything?

Recall, once again, that NARAL’s Tarina Keene said that when Department of Health inspectors showed up at Virginia’s abortion clinics last year, they all “passed with flying colors.”  Either Keene is lying through her teeth, or she has absolutely no idea what the inspectors actually found.

In any case, it’s clear that the elected officials of Virginia have done the right thing by enacting into law more stringent regulations of abortion facilities.

Reprinted with permission from the Prolife Action League.

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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