by Steven Ertelt
November 14, 2007
Atlanta, GA (LifeNews.com) — Georgia lawmakers will soon hold a hearing on whether taxpayer funded abortions were done at Grady Memorial hospital. They are planning a hearing on November 29 to question officials with Grady Health System and Emory University to determine whether public money was used in the abortions.
The Grady-abortion issue has caused a sensation in the state and both state legislators and pro-life groups are concerned that abortions were done with state funds and that Grady and Emory physicians were trained in doing abortions at the hospital.
"Grady is no doubt a huge recipient of both state and federal dollars," said Rep. James Mills, a Gainesville Republican who is chairing the panel that will investigate the problem.
"The amount of money is well over $500 million. This certainly is a tax accountability issue," he added in comments to the Atlanta Business Journal.
Legislators held a press conference Wednesday and said any use of taxpayer funds at the health center would violate both federal and state laws that prohibit public funds from being used for abortions except in very limited circumstances.
Lawmakers have sent open records requests to the hospital and Emory has declined to comply — saying it is a private institution that doesn’t have to follow the rules that guide public facilities.
But Mills told the Journal that Emory officials must comply because the university does services for "a government agency which is funded by public dollars."
Grady officials also say they have never received an open records request from legislators.
"An open records request for information about that program has not been received by the health system," Grady said. "Grady complies with all state and federal laws relative to its programs and services."
Meanwhile, Grady Hospital spokeswoman Denise Simpson says Grady CEO Otis Story stopped the performance of abortions there at the end of June after doing them for several years.
That was something Georgia Right to Life told LifeNews.com last month that it appreciated.
“It’s a wonderful thing to see someone act so quickly and decisively,” said Caryl Swift, president of Georgia Right to Life. “Mr. Story was in charge of Grady for only a month before he prohibited the abortions at Grady. This shows strength and character.”
Related web sites:
Georgia Right to Life – https://www.grtl.org