Alabama Will Investigate Abortion Biz Operating Without License

State   Steven Ertelt   Mar 20, 2013   |   12:46PM    Montgomery, AL

State officials have responded to complaints and indicated they will investigate an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama is operating illegally despite a state mandated order to close.

A coalition of pro-life groups, including Operation Rescue, CEC for Life, Life Legal Defense Foundation, Priests for Life, and others have documented numerous problems of women being injured by abortions at the New Women All Women abortion clinic at the hands of abortion practitioner Bruce Elliot Norman. However, the clinic is advertising for and conducting abortions in violation of Alabama law that requires any facility advertising as an abortion clinic to be licensed by the state.

They also say the abortion clinic is operating in violation of a closure order issued in April, 2012, by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) due to massive health and safety violations.

In response to their concerns, the Alabama Department of Public Health said it will look into the matter.

“Congratulations to the Alabama Department of Public Health for monitoring New Woman, All Women,” said Dana Cody, Executive Director of the pro-life Life legal Defense Foundation.

“While Life Legal Defense Foundation never supports abortion, we do support protection for women,” explained Cody. She added, “It appears the Atlanta Department of Public Health has the same goal. Women deserve better than abortion and they certainly deserve better than an unlicensed clinic.”

The health department made the announcement following a Tuesday morning press conference in which Life Legal Defense Foundation joined concerned citizens in calling for closure of the illegally operating abortion business. Fr. Terry Gensemer of CEC for Life held the conference to make public the evidence that the previously shut down clinic was operating in defiance of Alabama law and health regulations.

The ADPH responded by releasing a statement that said in part, “The Alabama Department of Public Health is conducting an ongoing investigation into whether an unlicensed abortion/reproductive health center is being operated at 1001 17thSt. S. in Birmingham… ADPH does not comment on the status of open investigations.”

In addition, Fr. Gensemer was also contacted by Kevin Turner, a representative of the State Attorney General’s office, to convey that “Attorney General Strange and his office are actively looking into the matter.”

“It is encouraging that the ADPH and the Attorney General’s office are both engaged on this matter, but the fact remains that New Woman All Women is continuing its dangerous criminal abortion business, and as of today, no action has been taken to protect the public and close it down,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Derzis and Norman have the attitude that they are above the law. The only way to make sure people like them comply with it is to lock them in jail.”

On January 21, 2012, pro-life activists photographed two women being carried out of the clinic’s back door to ambulances waiting in a trash-strewn alley, and obtained the 911 recordings that indicated both women had been overdosed by clinic staff. Pro-life groups filed a complaint with the ADPH, which conducted an inspection and discovered that a third woman was also hospitalized on that same day suffering from abortion complications and 76-pages of other deficiencies, many of which were repeat violations.

In a Consent Order entered on April 3, 2012, owner Diane Derzis and her associate Norman were ordered not to have any further involvement in the Birmingham clinic. Two attempts by a close associate of Derzis’ to relicense the clinic failed. The most recent application for licensure was denied just last month. Ignoring the law and the closure order, Derzis reopened her abortion clinic illegally without proper licensing.

Pro-life activists have witnessed abortionist Norman at the NWAW clinic in recent days. An undercover phone call made on March 8, 2013, by an Operation Rescue investigator to the number on the New Woman All Women web site confirmed that NWAW and Norman were illegally providing abortions in violation of the consent order and Alabama law that requires abortion businesses and offices that advertise abortions to be licensed by the state.

According to information from Operation Rescue, in a Consent Order last year, owner Diane Derzis and her associate Norman were ordered not to have any involvement in the Birmingham clinic. Two attempts by a close associate of Derzis’ to relicense the clinic failed. The most recent application for licensure was denied just last month. After that, Derzis reopened her abortion clinic in violation of the ADPH order.

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On January 21, 2012, pro-life activists photographed two women being carried out of the clinic’s back door to ambulances waiting in a trash-strewn alley, and obtained the 911 recordings that indicated both women had been overdosed by clinic staff. The pro-life groups filed a complaint with the ADPH which conducted an inspection and discovered that a third woman was also hospitalized on that same day suffering from abortion complications and 76-pages of other violations.

Pro-life advocates are urged to contact the Alabama Department of Public Health and demand they take immediate action to halt New Woman All Women’s illegal abortion operations.

Contact Information:

Brian Hale, ADPH Assistant General Counsel
Voice: 334-206-5209 | FAX: 334-206-5874
E-mail: brian.hale@adph.state.al.us