Dustin Siggins

News

State inspectors say Arizona’s largest Planned Parenthood fails to meet medical standards of care

Dustin Siggins

GLENDALE, AZ, April 7, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Arizona's largest Planned Parenthood clinic is fighting the results of an inspection by the state's Department of Health Services in February, which found the clinic was deficient in its treatment of a patient. The inspection also found that the clinic did not provide the requisite licensing and certification records for three employees.

According to the Associated Press, which received the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) report after a public records request, the clinic did not give ADHS the "required licensing and certification records" for one health aide and two nurses. The AP also reports that ADHS found a patient's vital signs were not properly monitored, and required laboratory and ultrasound tests were not performed.

Planned Parenthood disputes the department's claim, however, and wants all allegations dismissed. Planned Parenthood Arizona President Bryan Howard told the Associated Press on Friday that the patient was properly cared for, and licenses and certifications were provided after inspectors left the clinic.

The inspection, which was conducted in February, was the result of a report from Planned Parenthood about what the Associated Press is calling "an abortion complication" in April 2013.

A spokesperson for the department said in March that the inspection, which required a warrant, was initially intended for November 2013, but was delayed. The inspection gave the state records of policies, audits on compliance, and "a corrective action plan" from May 8, 2013, says the Associated Press. Records to two patients were also taken.

According to the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), abortion clinics are the only medical facilities in the state of Arizona that are not able to be spontaneously inspected. CAP says a bill being considered, H.B. 2284, would bring abortion clinics up to the same standards as all other medical clinics in the state with regards to inspections by the state.

"Abortion clinics are shockingly the only health care institutions in Arizona that the Department of Health Services (DHS) cannot immediately inspect upon reasonable cause to believe a violation is occurring," writes CAP on its website. "To even conduct an inspection, government authorities must first obtain a warrant. Furthermore, after a clinic’s initial inspection upon licensure and follow-up inspection one year later, abortion clinics are only subject to further inspections every two years."

The conservative policy institute says H.B. 2284 "corrects this problem" by letting ADHS respond to concerns and complaints about abortion facilities "in a timely manner." It also makes helping a minor avoid parental consent laws a misdemeanor, and "requires that abortion clinics report whenever an infant is born alive after a botched abortion and report what steps are taken to save that child’s life."

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According to Arizona Right to Life Executive Director Jason Walsh, H.B. 2284 is "a commonsense bill that is truly attempting to help women."

"This [bill] is in response to the Gosnell house of horrors," Walsh told LifeSiteNews, "and it's about time the state started holding Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics accountable to the standards that all other medical facilities are held to."

CAP's website says a Live Action video released in 2013 was influential in creating support for H.B. 2284. In a statement to LifeSiteNews, Live Action Communications Director Drew Belsky said, "Our investigative video from Arizona shows the alarming extent to which abortionists will push their gruesome moneymaker. From telling our investigator that a 24-week-old fetus 'doesn't even look like a baby yet' to assuring her that they would withhold life-saving treatment even if the child survived the abortion and was born, these bad actors prove time and again how little they care about the welfare of mothers and their babies."

Belsky also told LifeSiteNews that had bills like the one being considered in Arizona "been enforced in Philadelphia, [they] would have stopped Kermit Gosnell's killing spree before it began.”

The Associated Press report comes as New York State is coming under fire for doing scant oversight of the state's 225 abortion facilities. Over a dozen Texas abortion facilities were cited for health violations in 2013, as well, and one former Planned Parenthood employee in Indiana said her clinic was an "evil" place to work, as well as "money-grubbing."

Mike Phelan, director of the Diocese of Phoenix’s Marriage and Respect Life Office, told LifeSiteNews, "It is certainly alarming to all of us in the pro-life community that abortion clinics are not held to the same standards as other medical facilities. There are lives at stake here, and Planned Parenthood needs to be accountable."

A spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Health Services told LifeSiteNews that inspectors were "in the field," and not immediately available for comment.

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