Suspended Abortion Center Gave RU 486 to Woman With Late-Term Pregnancy

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 19, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Suspended Abortion Center Gave RU 486 to Woman With Late-Term Pregnancy Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 19, 2006

Birmingham, AL ( — More details are emerging in a case involving an abortion business that has had its medical license suspended by the Alabama state health department. That happened when a member of the staff gave a woman in her third trimester of pregnancy the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug.

The Alabama State Board of Health issued an emergency order Wednesday suspending the abortion center’s license.

That happened because the abortion center staff member was not a physician, the woman was in a tenuous medical condition and was given an abortion drug instead of emergency treatment, and because the center tried to hide its actions.

"That’s not something we do very often," Dr. Donald Williamson, state health officer, told the Birmingham News. "The incident involved multiple and serious violations of the rules. There was no other means to address it except an emergency suspension."

The abortion drug is meant for women to use early in pregnancy, but the Summit Medical Center abortion facility staff member gave the woman the drug even though she was late in pregnancy.

It resulted in a botched abortion and the woman later delivered a 6-pound, 4-ounce stillborn child at a hospital.

"She was almost certainly in the third trimester and near term," Williamson told the News about the woman.

"What’s clear here is that it wasn’t used appropriately," he said of the abortion drug, which is only legal for a licensed physician to dispense.

According to the suspension order obtained, the woman had a "critical and dangerously high" blood pressure reading of 182/129.

"That in and of itself would have demanded immediate medical attention," Williamson said. Instead, the staff went ahead with the abortion.

Summit’s license has been suspended for 90 days and a hearing on the incident has been set for June 20 and the abortion center could lose its medical license for good.

"Any action is possible as a result of the hearing," Williamson told the Birmingham paper. "The license could be reinstated. They could be facing a permanent revocation of the license."

"This is the first time I’ve ever ordered an emergency suspension for an abortion clinic," Williamson added. "I’ve done it for assisted living facilities, in cases where the staff might have left the patients unattended."

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.