by Steven Ertelt
March 22, 2007
Englewood, NJ (LifeNews.com) — A New Jersey abortion center, where a botched abortion went so badly that a young woman nearly died as a result, is set to reopen on Friday. State health officials have confirmed that the Metropolitan Medical Associates abortion business corrected all of the deficiencies it found after recent inspections.
State health officials closed the abortion business last month after a complaint was filed by Newark Beth Israel Medical center reporting that a 20 year-old woman nearly died from a botched abortion done there.
The abortion center failed a followup inspection two weeks and authorities released information to a local newspaper recently on the shoddy conditions there.
The health department announced Wednesday that it is satisfied with the corrective actions the abortion center has taken to clean up and they say it can reopen.
Health officials plan to attend the opening in order to monitor compliance with health and safety codes and will likely conduct several unannounced inspections in the future.
However, pro-life groups are disappointed by the decision and say that it puts women at risk. They had hoped MMA would be shut down for good after the problems.
Marie Tasy of New Jersey Right to Life, told LifeNews.com that her group will hold a press conference Friday with other pro-life organizations to protest the health department’s decision.
Tasy said she was disappointed to see health department officials admit that "they failed to inspect New Jersey’s largest licensed abortion clinic for five years, despite the department’s own rules that require visits every other year."
"The Department of Health claims that their failure to inspect the clinic did not result in a threat to patients’ safety," she said.
Papers from the state obtained by the Bergen Record newspaper indicated that health authorities inspected the abortion center every year from 1990 to 1996 but did not show up again for an inspection until 2000 and then once again in 2002. There were no inspections after that.
Metropolitan Medical’s attorney, Frank Capece, tried to assure New Jersey residents tat the abortion center is now safe.
"Any patient who goes to the clinic can now go with a high degree of confidence that the facility meets an exceptionally high standard for patient care. We passed the most rigorous state inspection possible," he said.
In their review, 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. But 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.