Abortion Practitioner in Alabama Surrenders Medical License After Improper Practices

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 4, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Abortion Practitioner in Alabama Surrenders Medical License After Improper Practices

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 4
, 2008

Birmingham, AL (LifeNews.com) — Alabama abortion practitioner Deborah Lyn Levich surrendered her medical license permanently after state officials charged her with letting non-physicians do abortions and other improper practices. The case is another of an abortion practitioner who put women’s health at risk by engaging in unsafe medical practices.

As LifeNews.com reported, Levich worked at the Summit Medical Center abortion facility that was permanently closed in June 2006 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 in February 2007 though she was still licensed in Georgia, where she lives.

On Thursday, she permanently surrendered her medical license, which stops the investigation by Alabama medical officials of her actions.

Larry Dixon, the executive director of the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners, said Levich did let her license lapse in 2007 but could have reinstated it at any time. He told the Associated Press that Levich remains licensed in Georgia.

According to Dixon, Levich could start a process to try to get her license back in Alabama but he said it appears he is no longer interested in doing abortions there.

"That’s not going to happen. She doesn’t want to come back here,” he said.

Because the investigation is ending, the state’s findings will not be presented to the public — a fact that rankles pro-life advocates who say Levich is the tip of the iceberg in terms of possible violations of medical law in Alabama and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, AP indicates the charges filed against King are still pending and has been delayed as an appeals court weighs whether or not King was allowed to dispense abortion drugs without Levich’s presence.

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.

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.

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 2006, state officials found the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives in Huntsville violated 10 different health codes.

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