by Steven Ertelt
February 3, 2007
Birmingham, AL (LifeNews.com) — An abortion practitioner who allowed a staff member at a local abortion center to illegally gave a woman late in pregnancy the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug has let her Alabama medical license expire.
Deborah Lyn Levich worked at the Summit Medical Center abortion facility that was permanently closed in June after state health officials found numerous violations.
Levich let Janet Onthank King, 58, give the abortion drug to a woman with severely high blood pressure who needed medical attention. The woman later gave birth to a stillborn baby because the drug is only allowed for use in the early parts of pregnancy.
Levich did not file papers to renew her license and let it expire on Wednesday but she is still licensed in Georgia, where she lives.
She now is no longer under the jurisdiction of the Alabama State Board of Medical Examiners, which investigates doctors.
"Once the physician lets his or her license lapse, we no longer have jurisdiction, especially if the physician lives in another state," Larry Dixon, executive director of the medical examiners board in Alabama, told the Associated Press. "The Medical Practice Act only gives us jurisdiction on license applications and active licenses."
He indicated that Levich’s file would be flagged and officials would be alerted to past problems should she reapply for a medical license in the future.
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."
Following the incident, King fabricated the abortion center’s records in an attempt to cover up what happened.
Authorities arrested King in December and charged her with misdemeanor charges including performing illegal abortions.
Her attorney, Richard Jaffe, said King did not do any illegal abortions and he told AP that she is still licensed to work as a nurse in Alabama. He also indicated she will plead not guilty at a pretrial hearing next month.
Levich and King have been prohibited from working with each other again.
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.
Then, in November, 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.