The Texas Commission on Environment Quality has released documents showing two Texas abortion businesses and the disposal company Stericycle have been slapped with fines in excess of $83,000 for illegal dumping of the remains of aborted babies.
A three-month-long investigation conducted by pro-life groups into abortion centers in Texas reveals a pattern of evading parental consent laws and illegally dumping both medical records and hazardous waste.
Operation Rescue released the results of its probe on the widespread abortion abuses it uncovered during an investigation conducted from August 2010 through February 2011. The report contains evidence that crimes have been committed by a dozen abortion clinics throughout Texas.
The pro-life group told LifeNews.com it is in possession of the names and other medical information of hundreds of patients who obtained abortions during the time period because staff at the abortion centers illegally dumped the records outside the facilities in violation of the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The organization turned over documents, photographs and other evidence of the crimes to the custody of the Texas Attorney General’s office tomorrow.
The fines OR announced today are the result of complaints filed by Operation Rescue against Whole Woman’s Health of McAllen and Austin. The TCEQ then conducted its own investigation and broadened the case to include Stericycle. In June, the TCEQ notified Operation Rescue that the two abortion clinics and Stericycle had all been cited for violations involving the improper disposal of the bodies of unborn children victimized by abortion.
Fines for the violations were finalized three months later. TCEQ also ordered the abortion clinics and Stericycle to make specific changes in their operations.
According to Operation Rescue, Whole Woman’s Health of McAllen was fined at total of $17,430. It is required to make monthly payments of $385; Whole Woman’s Health of Austin was ordered to pay a total of $22,980. It must pay off its fine with $510 payments each month; and Stericycle received the largest fine of $42,612, which was paid in one lump sum minus twenty percent, which is deferred contingent upon satisfactory future compliance.
The two abortion clinics also received a deferral of twenty percent of their fines on the same compliance contingency. However, if the TCEQ finds that they are not satisfactorily complying with the order, they will be required to pay the full amount.
“Our investigation only scratched the surface of what is really going on at abortion clinics in Texas. These hefty fines totally over $83,000 show that the violations we discovered were valid and serious,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “We can only imagine what would be found if every abortion clinic was thoroughly investigated.”
“Abortion clinics cannot be trusted to follow the law or tell the truth about it even if they are caught,” said Newman. “Time and again we have seen that abortionists have the attitude that they are above the law. Abortion clinics need to be inspected and violations strictly enforced for the sake of the public’s welfare.”
In addition to the TCEQ fines, ten abortion practitioner must answer to the Texas Medical Board for other abortion abuses discovered by Operation Rescue. Word on the extent of their discipline is expected in February.
The investigation also involved undercover calls and visits to the abortion centers that OR says revealed a pattern of willingness to help minors evade parental consent laws and ignore the mandatory reporting of child sex abuse. The calls found widespread abuses to the Texas-mandated informed consent laws, the 24-hour waiting period that requires abortion centers to give women information about abortion’s risks and alternatives prior to the procedure.
“We also found disturbing evidence of attempts to evade parental consent laws and child sex abuse reporting laws. This illegal activity endangers the safety and welfare of children throughout Texas,” Newman said.
“Our investigation focused on what the average woman would experience if she sought an abortion in Texas, and how the abortion clinics appeared and operated on an everyday basis,” said Newman. “From what we found, women are subjected to a variety of abortion abuses as a matter of routine. Violating the law is standard operating procedure for abortion clinics in Texas.”
During one conference call recorded on January 10, 2011, abortionist William West of Whole Women’s Health can be heard mocking the information he is required by law to tell women. After he says that he is required to say that abortion presents a risk for breast cancer, he launches into a mocking rebuttal of the information he just told them.
The anti-abortion folks have waged this fear campaign for years now, um, making numerous false charges about the quote dangers of abortion, and uh, one completely fictitious this is drummed up spread all around is that there is an increased risk of breast cancer and interfernce with future childbearing and so forth. None of these are true. It’s their attempt to scare you out of having an abortion.
“If this does not violate the letter of the law, it certainly undermines the intent of the legislature, which determined that women should have certain information on which to make an informed decision,” said Newman. “It is his remarks that are grossly untrue, and he should be held accountable for misleading women about abortion risks.”
Later in that same call, one woman expresses concern that her appointment is not 24 hours from the time of the conference call, as required by law.
appointment is tomorrow morning and if I called now, is this enough time? It’s less than 24 hours.
Caller: And that’ll be okay?
Caller: Thank you.
One undercover conversation with a receptionist named “Lupa” at Franz Theard’s clinic, Hill Top Reproductive, in El Paso was particularly disturbing. The caller posed as a 17-year old minor who wanted an abortion. The receptionist quickly scheduled an abortion for her for the following Saturday at 9:00 am and told her to bring and I.D. and $460. That is when the call to a disconcerting turn.
Caller: Can I get a note for the doctor? Um…
Caller: For school?
Caller: ‘Cuz I’m still in high school.
ow old are you?
Lupa: If you’re 17, your parent needs to come with you.
Caller: Oh, uh, I don’t want the–
Lupa: Do they know you’re pregnant?
Caller: No. No.
Lupa: We have another clinic. It’s in Sunland Park in Santa Teresa–
Caller: Santa Theresa where?
Lupa: Uh-huh. There you don’t need an appointment and you don’t need your parents. You could go on Tuesday.
Caller: On Tuesday? Oh.
Lupa: Yes, and it will be at 1:30.
Caller: 1:30? With the same doctor?
Lupa: Yes, ma’am.
Caller: Okay. So on Tuesday, in Santa Teresa I can go–?
Caller: I need the addres
Lupa: It’s 5290 McNutt Road.
Lupa then assures the caller that she will see Dr. Theard and that she does not need to tell her parents.
The youth group Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust assisted Operation Rescue in this investigation.