Alabama Abortion Center Director Arrested Over Health Code Violations

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 11, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Alabama Abortion Center Director Arrested Over Health Code Violations Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
December 11
, 2006

Birmingham, AL (LifeNews.com) — Authorities arrested the former administrator of an abortion center on Friday and charged her with misdemeanor charges including performing illegal abortions. Janet Onthank King, 58, illegally gave a woman late in pregnancy the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug.

Following the incident, King fabricated the abortion center’s records in an attempt to cover up what happened.

King worked at the Summit Medical Center abortion facility that was permanently closed in June after state health officials found numerous violations.

On Friday, King surrendered to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office and was later released on $1,000 bond for each of three charges she faces.

According to an AP report, King has been charged with knowingly or recklessly doing abortions as a non-physician in two cases and making false health reports.

The woman Summit gave the abortion drug to had a severely high blood pressure and needed medical attention, and later gave birth to a stillborn baby. According to the state health department suspension order LifeNews.com obtained, the woman had a "critical and dangerously high" blood pressure reading of 182/129.

Only a doctor is supposed to dispense the dangerous abortion drug and the mifepristone pills are only intended to be used in the early stages of a pregnancy. The woman went to an emergency room six days later and gave birth to a 6-pound, 4-ounce stillborn baby.

The state medical board has temporarily prohibited abortion practitioner Deborah Lyn Levich and King from practicing.

Levich and King have been prohibited from working with each other again after Levich allowed King to dispense the abortion drug.

At Summit, state health officials said they found "egregious lapses in care, including non-physicians performing abortions, severely underestimating the gestational age of a fetus, failure to appropriately refer or treat a patient with a dangerously elevated blood pressure, and performing an abortion on a late-term pregnancy."

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.

Following the incident at Summit, the state began inspecting the state’s other abortion facilities, which led to finding problems at Reproductive Health Services in Montgomery.

The Alabama Department of Health suspended RHS’s license in August saying that the abortion business did not have a backup physician on hand kept inadequate medical records and conducted poor follow-up abortion care.

State health officials postponed a September hearing on the suspension. Because the facility says it is working on making improvements, State Health Department attorney Pat Ivie said the agency decided to postpone a hearing.

Last month, state officials found the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives in Huntsville violated 10 different health codes. The state health department found the abortion center put women at risk by having those who called the facility experiencing medical problems after an abortion routed through to the abortion business administrator rather than a doctor.

Women who had serious bleeding or other complications following an abortion were not put in touch with a licensed physician.

Others were sent home early without allowing them any recovery time following the surgery.

The state health department also said the AWCRA abortion center routinely failed to document the gestational age of the unborn child prior to doing the abortion.

Also last month, the Birmingham New Woman All Women Health Care abortion facility agreed to go on probation over several violations found by state health inspectors including tests not being done on women before abortions and the abortion facility’s administrator taking narcotics from the facility for her own personal use.

Some of the violations included patients who were not given medications on time, failing to verify if ultrasound or pregnancy tests had been conducted before abortions, and the administrator’s personal use of the abortion center’s drugs.

The administrator has since been fired and state health inspectors are monitoring the abortion facility’s misuse of the drugs.