by Steven Ertelt
May 18, 2006
Birmingham, AL (LifeNews.com) — The Alabama state health department has suspended the medical license of a Birmingham abortion business after learning that a non-doctor gave a woman there the dangerous abortion drug RU 486 in February. State law says that only licensed physicians are eligible to do abortions in Alabama or give women abortion drugs.
The Alabama Department of Public Health indicated that an employee at Summit Medical Center abortion business violated the law.
The agency suspended Summit’s medical license Wednesday, and the suspension lasts for a minimum of 90 days, which means the center cannot do abortions during that time.
The state agency will also hold a hearing on the matter, which will determine if the suspension will be permanent or Summit can have its license restored.
State health officials said the non-doctor gave a woman the abortion drug who had abnormally high blood pressure. According to the state, the woman’s blood pressure was so "critically and dangerously high that (it) indicated a need for immediate medical treatment."
In its order suspending Summit’s license, obtained by LifeNews.com, the state health department said a Summit staff member did an ultrasound on the woman and determined she was six weeks pregnant. Only licensed physicians are allowed to perform medical ultrasounds in Alabama.
The abortion drug did not complete the abortion successfully and, six days later, the woman went to a local ER in Birmingham and delivered a "macerated" stillborn baby.
The state health department indicated Summit attempted to cover up its violations.
"Though Patient A was not seen by a physician at Summit, the facility’s records inaccurately reflect that a physician, who was not present at the facility on that date, performed the ultrasound and provided the medical abortion," the suspension document said.
State officials said the incident involved "multiple, serious" violations of state law and "practices and conduct that are detrimental to the health, welfare, and safety of the public." The health department said it had no choice but to revoke the abortion center’s license in order to protect public health.
The state health department ordered Summit to refer current patients elsewhere and to "cease all operation" as an abortion facility. It set a hearing date on the matter for June 20.
Summit Medical Centers operates seven abortion businesses in five states and has another abortion center in Montgomery, Alabama.
It is the abortion business that employed Malachy Dehenre, who lost his medical license in both Alabama and Mississippi because of botched abortions.
The New Woman Medical Center abortion facility in Jackson, Mississippi, which also employed Dehenre, closed two years ago after failing to respond to a woman’s lawsuit after he botched her abortion.
Dehenre closed the abortion business in August 2004 and, in March, the Mississippi state medial board suspended his medical license.
In one case, a woman died 18 hours after having an abortion. The women involved in three other cases had to have hysterectomies to stop massive hemorrhaging from uterine perforations.