by Steven Ertelt
March 16, 2007
Englewood, NJ (LifeNews.com) — The head of 15 pregnancy centers in New York City is taking his group’s mobile crisis pregnancy center to New Jersey in an effort to help women following the closing of an abortion center there.
Chris Slattery hopes the RV will be able to assist pregnant women after the Metropolitan Medical Associates abortion center closed over health and safety code violations.
Slattery unveiled the mobile clinic earlier this month and said it was the first one in the nation’s largest city. Women who go inside are offered free pregnancy tests and an ultrasound of their unborn child — something Slattery hopes will persuade New Jersey women to opt against an abortion.
"When women later see ultrasounds of babies that are at the same stage as their baby was, they always say, ‘I didn’t know! I wouldn’t have had an abortion had I known,’" he told the Bergen Record newspaper. "It’s that reaction that we’re after."
He expects great results given that 17,000 women have decided against abortions at his centers over the last 22 years.
The RV will have a counselor and a certified ultrasound technician but will also have an attorney who specializes in malpractice issues who can help women.
The goal is to give women who may have been injured at MMA the opportunity to contact state officials or to file litigation if appropriate.
The problems at the New Jersey abortion center have been front page news in the state and received the attention of people who monitor abortion issues across the nation.
Frank Capece, Metropolitan’s attorney, did not comment on Slattery’s helping women but said he expected MMA to reopen eventually, though he couldn’t say when.
"It is the intention of the facility to be in full compliance with all health and safety requirements," he told the Record.
State health officials closed the abortion business last month after it botched a woman’s abortion and nearly killed her in the process. The abortion center failed a followup inspection last week and authorities released information to a local newspaper this week on the shoddy conditions.
Health inspectors found dirt and debris throughout the abortion facility, open packages of items that were supposed to remain sterilized before their use, and other problems.
"Two plastic open top bins of sterile forceps, speculum and gauze prep kits are stored directly on the carpeted floor next to the copier in the main office," the report said.
Officials found forceps encrusted in "brownish blood-like residues" and rusty crochet hooks used in abortions. They also discovered dark red "dirt and debris" under an exam table that was a quarter-inch thick.
Metropolitan Medical Associates was originally closed when a botched abortion recently put a woman into a month-long coma.
The state said MMA failed to notify it "of an event occurring within the facility that jeopardized the health and safety of a patient" — referring to Newark resident Rasheedah Dinkins.
She became severely ill following the abortion and was transferred to Beth Israel Medical Center where she needed blood transfusions and had her uterus removed. She also suffered a stroke due to the serious blood loss and had one of her lungs collapse.
Dinkins said her mother and hospital officials told her she died en route to the medical facility from the abortion center but medical personnel were able to revive her.
"I was laying in my bed and I got the cold shakes," Dinkins, who filed a lawsuit against the abortion facility last week, said about her ordeal. "My body kept going numb. After that, I don’t remember anything."
Other problems at the abortion center include a failure to institute an infection control plan and a staffer appointed to oversee infection control did not know about the expected responsibilities and did not have appropriate training.
This is only the second time state health officials ordered one of the state’s 650 ambulatory health centers closed but the second time MMA has been shut down. It was temporarily closed after health and safety violations in 1993.
Dinkins isn’t the only woman who had an abortion at MMA and experienced problems.
Gloria Mozas of Cliffside Park is also suing the abortion center saying staff there misdiagnosed a tubal pregnancy and told her she miscarried the baby when she was actually pregnant with twins.
She told AP an abortion practitioner there did an abortion on her and told her he was just removing dead tissue. B ut a week later she had to undergo a medical procedure to remove the babies who had implanted into her fallopian tubes, causing her severe internal bleeding.
"I’ve been waiting for those doors to be locked for 3 1/2 years," she told AP.