Four Maryland abortion clinic licenses suspended: woman died at one clinic
BALTIMORE, May 24, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Less than two months after proudly announcing they were reopening their doors after their licenses were temporarily suspended for violating what they called "minor" state regulations, four abortion clinics owned by Associates in OB/GYN Care have once again been shut down by the state.
In a letter dated May 9, but only released publicly today, Patricia Tomsko Nay, the activing executive director of the Office of Health Care Quality (OHCQ) of the Maryland Department of Health, said that based on the evidence she had concluded "that the public health, safety or welfare imperatively required emergency actions" against the clinics.
In the letter Tomsko Nay also complained that the clinics had failed to respond to "repeated" phone calls from the OHCQ.
The previous closure of three of the clinics in early March followed the discovery by state inspectors that a woman had died at Associates in OB/GYN Care’s Baltimore facility. While the woman was said to have died from an underlying condition, inspectors had learned that the abortionist and staff at the facility weren't certified in CPR, and a defibrillator at the clinic didn’t work.
After taking steps to meet state standards, the abortion centers reopened on March 27.
But just today the state released documents revealing that the clinics had once again lost their licenses after inspectors discovered that all four clinics routinely administered the drug Misoprostol to cause abortions in women who were past 11 weeks gestation, "even if the patient has not be evaluated by a physician, and even if no physician is available on site."
In their own press release announcing their re-opening in March, Associates in OB/GYN Care had said they only provide non-surgical abortions up to nine weeks.
The state also discovered that an employee with no medical training had administered misoprostol to induce an abortion, and had also performed an ultrasound on a woman who was pregnant with "multiple" babies, and whose uterus therefore measured 22 weeks. When the abortionist did arrive, he declined to perform the abortion telling the woman that "this facility is not equipped to do this procedure safely." He then offered her a referral to OB/GYN Care's Frederick facility.
Acording to the Department of Health, staff at the facility "provided no written discharge instructions." Additionally, "the patient's medical record did not accurately describe what occurred and what was discussed with the patient during the encounter."
The state decided to inspect the clinics following an anonymous complaint regarding the treatment of this client.
The Department of Health's letter announcing the license suspensions also revealed that the abortion clinics have not "provided acceptable plans of correction for all of the deficiencies" discovered during inspection.
During a hearing on May 21, the abortion clinics admitted that their protocols for Misoprostol abortions were improper, but disagreed with the suspension and blamed the problem on one abortionist.
According to Tomsko Nay, during the hearing OB/GYN Care also "demonstrated a lack of understanding of the importance ... of cooperating with the Office of Health Care Quality to submit acceptable plans of corrections for all outstanding deficiencies, and of its previous disciplinary history."
Updated May 25, 2013 at 8:36 am.
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