Judge orders Michigan late-term abortion clinics temporarily shut down
November 9, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Michigan judge late yesterday ordered two late-term abortion clinics in the state to be temporarily shut down.
The order was given the day after Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a lawsuit to permanently dissolve Health Care Clinic, of Delta Township, and the affiliated Women’s Choice Clinic, of Saginaw.
Both of the facilities are owned by Richard Remund, whom the attorney general is seeking to bar from organizing another abortion company.
The complaint by Schuette followed a year-long investigation launched when pro-life activists discovered the bodies of 17 aborted unborn children in a dumpster outside Woman’s Choice Clinic in early 2010. They also found unredacted medical records and trash bags containing bloody or soiled cannulas, gloves, gauze, and surgical sheets, which require disposal as biohazardous waste.
A funeral mass for the babies was held last November, celebrated by Bishop Earl Boyea of the Diocese of Lansing.
According to Pamela Sherstad, the media spokesman at Michigan Right to Life, the judge’s order will shut the clinics down until the first hearing in the case, scheduled for November 21st.
Because hearings in the case had not even begun, Sherstad observed, the judge’s choice to order the clinics closed was extraordinary, suggesting that he finds the attorney general’s complaint compelling.
In a press release, Monica Miller of Citizens for a Pro-life Society, who has been involved in the case from the beginning, said that her organization “is thrilled about this court action as we hope it will result in babies saved from abortion.”
“These clinics cannot perform abortions on any of the woman who are already scheduled,” she observed. “Please pray for all of these women - and please pray that the ultimate outcome of the action taken by the Michigan Attorney General will result in a permanent shut down of these killing centers.”
State authorities had previously determined that they lacked the legal standing to pursue the clinics for the improper handling of medical records or of the bodies of the unborn babies. Instead, Shuette’s complaint argues that the two clinics were improperly incorporated and licensed, and therefore they “cannot lawfully offer and/or provide medical services to the public.”
“To ensure accountability and patient safety, Michigan law requires medical facilities to be incorporated with a licensed medical professional at the helm,” said Schuette. “Strict enforcement of the law ensures medical clinics cannot put profit ahead of responsible patient care.”
Shuette’s action against the abortion clinics has already received support from two Michigan lawmakers.
“It’s widely known that employees at these facilities tossed unborn babies in the trash, so it is not surprising to find more evidence of callous disregard for state laws intended to protect patient safety,” said Senator Rick Jones. “I applaud Attorney General Schuette for taking steps to hold these facilities accountable.”
“This commonsense enforcement of state law governing medical clinics is long overdue,” said Representative Deb Shaughnessy. “No one should be exempt from following laws passed to preserve health, safety and welfare. I thank Attorney General Schuette for working to shut down this clinic and put patient safety first.”
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