Alabama Abortion Activists Blame Pro-Life Advocates for Health Violations

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 18, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Alabama Abortion Activists Blame Pro-Life Advocates for Health Violations

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 18
, 2006

Montgomery, AL ( — Two Alabama abortion businesses have been closed in recent months because of violations of several different state health and safety codes. One regulation involves making sure a backup physician is on hand in case an abortion is botched and abortion activists say their violation of that law is the fault of pro-life advocates.

The Alabama Department of Health suspended the license of the Reproductive Health Services abortion center in August. Officials said the abortion business also did not have a backup physician on hand, kept inadequate medical records and conducted poor follow-up abortion care.

Meanwhile, the Summit Medical Center abortion facility in Birmingham closed down permanently in June for numerous violations including abortions done by a non-doctor.

Larry Rodick, the director of Planned Parenthood in Alabama, claimed pro-life advocates there are harassing doctors who are serving as backup physicians for abortion businesses.

He told the Associated Press that some physicians are reluctant to work with abortion centers "because of the harassment techniques that occur."

"It is a concern that the anti-choice people are able to do these things and it isn’t just the physicians who are targeted, but also the women who are going in and out of these clinics," Rodick claimed.

Susan Hill, who owns the only abortion business in Mississippi, agreed.

"We’ve actually had doctors in other cities that have been told by abortion opponents that if they back us up, they will be targeted," Hill told AP.

"They say ‘We want to help, but we can’t do that to our (business) partners.’ So, it’s really almost impossible to find someone who really can do it and not be worried about it," she added.

Pro-life advocates say they are not using any harassing tactics, but when a doctor decides to work with an abortion center, they will let people know.

"It’s not harassment — it’s exposure," Huntsville resident Carol Henderson, who joins others in protesting outside local abortion centers, told AP. She said women who go to doctors for non-abortion care should know if their physicians are also helping with abortions.

"These women have a right to know if the doctor who is taking care of them and their unborn babies during the day is involved with a clinic that is killing babies at night," she said.

Rev. Jim Pinto, founder of Sanctity of Life Ministries in Birmingham, agreed.

"Their presence is allowing the clinics to be open," he told AP.