Alabama Needs to Follow Up to Ensure Abortion Centers Follow State Laws

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 9, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Alabama Needs to Follow Up to Ensure Abortion Centers Follow State Laws

by Cheryl Ciamarra
July 9, 2010 Note: Cheryl Ciamarra is the Alabama Citizens For Life state director to The National Right to Life Committee.

After decades of hard work and Alabama’s Passage of Women’s Right to Know (WRTK) Legislation, I learned follow up is still needed to insure these regulations will be implemented.

Alabama passed Women’s Right to Know a decade ago for the purpose of saving babies lives by giving women information on fetal development and alternative assistance groups near her. As is frequently the case, sidewalk counselors observed many aspects of the law passed were not being carried out.

Parental consent forms were carried outside and signed in the parking lots by minors who then took them right back into the buildings to receive abortions. The women were not being shown their ultrasounds nor the Alabama State Dept. of Public Health video “Did you Know”.

Most were not provided a copy of the :Did you Know booklet with pictures of fetal development. Instead they were asked “You don’t want to read this do you? Sign here to declined it. “

Alabama Citizens For Life is a small state organization and knew we did not have the financial means to bring legal action against these wealthy abortion facilities, so we wrongly assumed there was nothing further we could do. This was a deadly error on our part.

After years of ineffective complaining to elected officials, notifying the media (a non starter – “6 on your side” won’t do anything for this situation) and calling the health department we realized we had to work for the election of a “Pro-Life” Governor.

We succeeded in electing Gov. Riley (R) and Attorney General Troy King (R). Still the state would not prosecute for these violations and our concern and frustration persisted.

Lila Rose’s Live Action team displayed these errors across cyberspace with undercover video and audio recordings and still nothing improved.

Then a few determined members of Alabama Citizens for Life (John Klein of Montgomery – son of ACL’s President Bill Klein) joined with Episcopal pastor James Henderson of Huntsville, Ben Dupre of the Center for Moral Law and Justice and Sue Turner of Physicians for Life who were able to secure meetings with the Director of Health and Human Services .

Dr. Donald Williamson arranged a series of meetings on these compliance concerns with his AL State Dept of Public Health Commissioner, State health Inspectors and representatives from planned parenthood and other abortion providers in the state were also in attendance.

During these meetings, explanations of the law were given, implementation defined and the health codes made specific. Then annual inspections began to occur on a regular basis!

This follow-up is critical to insuring the health and safety of women. Despite 6 month and one year probation’s as the first step rather than prosecution, several abortion facilities have chosen to go out of business rather than abide by the regulations. Follow-up is vital to the cause for life.

Elections matter !

Although required by law for many years the inspections had not been occurring during the previous Democratic Governor’s administration, Don Siegelman (D). When the abortion mills were reviewed they would receive a ‘warning call’ in advance instead of random inspections.

During Bob Riley (R) the AL Dept. of Public Health returned to random and systematic inspections that enforced the health and safety regulations outlined in WRTK law.

Attorney General Troy King (R) did not prosecute Planned Parenthood in Birmingham despite clear documentation they had repeatedly failed to report sexual abuse of minor girls. Nine of 9 (100%) of the charts reviewed indicated lack of parental consent. (See full inspection report at

This may have been a factor in King losing his bid for reelection in the primary. Is there a message here for Attorney Generals across the country? Pro-life constituents want Attorney Generals who will prosecute those flagrantly breaking the hard fought laws to protect the lives of women and babies.

Once unbiased accurate inspections began, serious deficiencies were exposed. Including a gruesome incident in Birmingham , where a woman , after being told she was only 4 to 6 weeks pregnant was given abortion drugs by an unauthorized staff member and gave birth a few days later to an over 6 pound nearly full term but dead baby.

Montgomery’s Beacon Clinic worker admitted “I’ve never shown anyone that video in the years I’ve worked here”. (complete deficiency report can be viewed at our state affiliate website This Montgomery Clinic closed June 18, 2010. Now Planned Parenthood in Birmingham is on probation also due to deficiencies and violations of Regulation and Health codes (details also at our website www.AL4life org).

This planned parenthood clinic is the designated location for Priests for Life Prayer Vigil led by Father Frank Pavone and Dr. Alveda King to declare the Civil Right to Life for Unborn Americans – a fitting location due to the high number of black and Hispanic babies whose lives are ended here in Birmingham, AL.

Make your plans now to attend this historic event . Come pray with us July 23 and 24th contact Cheryl at


Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From

Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report
Receive a free daily email report from with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.