Photos, undercover phone calls prove Alabama abortion clinic operating despite losing license
BIRMINGHAM, AL, July 25, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Photographs, eyewitness testimony, online advertisements, and an undercover phone call all prove that an Alabama abortion clinic that was supposed to have shut its doors last year is still operating illegally, according to a pro-life legal group.
The evidence against the New Woman All Woman (NWAW) abortion clinic in Birmingham was all compiled by the Life Legal Defense Foundation and submitted as part of an amicus curiae brief in support of the state’s request for a permanent injunction against the facility.
After a state inspection last year uncovered 76 pages of serious violations of state health and safety regulations inside the office, the state had revoked NWAW’s license to operate, and the abortion facility signed an agreement in March 2012 to close its doors.
However, despite the agreement, LLDF says the clinic has continued to advertize its services and staff have continued to be seen regularly on the premises.
In one photograph taken as recently as July 3, "former" owner Diane Derzis, whom the state had ordered to have nothing to do with the clinic, is seen walking up the path to the front door of the facility.
Additionally, a pro-life activist who telephoned the clinic in a recorded call on March 8, verified that the clinic was still scheduling abortion appointments.
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After a public campaign by pro-life activists earlier this year, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) had agreed to investigate the possible illegal operations of NWAW. That investigation found that the office is continuing to provide abortions, which are performed by Dr. Bruce Norman. In response the state filed a civil complaint in Jefferson County Circuit Court seeking a permanent injunction against NWAW.
Norman has claimed that the abortion facility is no longer associated with Derzis, and that it is performing less than 30 abortions a month, relieving it of the obligation to be licensed under state law. However, the state has not bought these claims, pointing out that Norman has been contracted to perform the abortions by a Georgia company headed up by Derzis.
Meanwhile, LLDF has said that if the abortion facility were indeed performing less than 30 abortions per month, it "could not be a productive business," and it would mark a dramatic decrease from the 150 abortions/month that NWAW was previously committing.
“To continue to allow the defendants to operate a business at the facility not only endangers women's lives but, makes a mockery of this court and the rules and regulations applicable to all businesses,” contends LLDF in its amicus curiae brief, in support of the state’s complaint.
NWAW has “shown contempt for the Alabama Department of Public Health by advertising and continuing to provide abortions in direct violation of the terms of a signed agreement,” said Dana Cody, the executive director of Life Legal Defense Foundation, this week.
“This is the same type of conduct that abortionist Kermit Gosnell engaged in at his abortion clinic in Pennsylvania. Gosnell's utter disregard for the law resulted in the tragic killing of women and children at his clinic, aptly dubbed a 'house of horrors.' No one wants Alabama to be responsible for enabling the next Gosnell."
The 2012 inspection found that NWAW was routinely allowing non-licensed employees to perform procedures that require a licensed nurse or doctor, using equipment that hadn’t been inspected for years, keeping inaccurate, incomplete, and sometimes deliberately altered medical records, and failing to follow up with patients, among other violations.
The inspection came after pro-life activists filed a complaint against the clinic after they witnessed two victims of botched abortions being hand-carried to an ambulance’s gurney on the same day, because the facility is not accessible for emergency care workers. A subsequent investigation discovered that a third abortion patient was also taken to hospital on the same day.