Abortion Biz in Rockford, Illinois Shut Down Permanently

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 13, 2012   |   4:55PM   |   Rockford, IL

The abortion business in Rockford, Illinois that has been closed down permanently after recently reopening following an agreement with the state after violations it engaged in that caused its closing temporarily late last year.

The Northern Illinois Women’s Center in Rockford had its license suspended by the Illinois Department of Health after failing an inspection following up on previous violations state officials found in June. The state told the abortion business it needed a plan of correction and, despite the plan, the corrections had not been sufficiently made and health inspectors still found numerous violations.

Department of Public Health officials gave the abortion center a three-page report of deficiencies on September 29 signed by Damon T. Arnold, the director of the state department. The notice says officials “found conditions at (the Northern Illinois Women’s Center) that are directly threatening to the public interest, health, safety and welfare requiring immediate, emergency action.”

After that, the state Department of Health approved the abortion clinic’s request to reopen as long as it pays a $9,750 fine. Dr. Kenneth Soyemi, the health department’s acting director, signed the agreement, agency spokeswoman Melaney Arnold told the Chicago Tribune and it includes a provision that would allow the state to immediately revoke its license to operate if violations are repeated.

Now, the 40-year-old abortion business is shutting down for good as the director of the abortion clinic told the Rockford newspaper it will close for good after being shut down for three months during the negotiations with the state.

“The clinic would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our supporters, both personally and professionally who continued to service and work with us during our many years of business. We recognize the challenge that your affiliation with us may have presented from time to time, and we honor that you were willing to make the commitment regardless,” it said in a statement. “We also want to acknowledge the Winnebago County Citizens for Choice for walking with us and the women coming to the clinic in the face of harassment, intimidation and hostility. The WCCC are women and men who will continue to work to preserve women’s right to reproductive health.”

“The staff is very saddened by the closing. We are not done grieving this loss and still are struggling with surrendering to the idea that we will not be able to do this work tomorrow or the day after,” the statement continued.

Stephenson County Right To Life applauded the news in a statement: “NIWC said they would not reopen for many reasons, one of which is “lack of support”.  Certainly their inability or their unwillingness to comply with existing laws is one of the major factors in their own demise.  Some in the pro-abortion group would like to blame the pro-life community for this occurrence.  Their unprofessionalism, their blatant disregard for the laws, and their lack of concern for the health and safety of women, to the point of contempt towards women, is another major part of this closing.”

“The staff of the Rockford Pro-Life Initiative and the Pro Life Corner would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the prayer warriors, sidewalk counselors, and the countless individuals who worked and prayed so hard to bring light and truth to the Rockford area,” it continued.

Peter Breen, Executive Director and Legal Counsel, Thomas More Society, told LifeNews upon  hearing the news, “This facility is just one of the many Illinois abortion clinics not required to meet the same standards as the other non-abortion outpatient surgical facilities in Illinois. How many more women have to be subjected to substandard medical care before the General Assembly will act?”

After the clinic received the go-ahead to reopen, Joseph Scheidler of Pro-Life Action League said protesters will return to the abortion business and will be providing information for women about abortion alternatives.

“It will all start over: the pickets, protests,” Scheidler told the Tribune.

The state health department report found the Northern Illinois Women’s Center abortion business violated the stipulations of the Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Center Licensing Requirements Code and Illinois Administrative Procedure Act, which makes abortion centers abide by the same rules and regulations that apply to legitimate medical centers doing outpatient surgeries.

Some of the violations, according to the newspaper, include not having a registered nurse on hand during abortions, not having a registered nurse supervising other abortion facility staff, not having two physicians with admitting privileges at a local hospital to admit patients when abortions are botched and women need immediate medical treatment, and not having a valid written agreement with a laboratory for lab work.

The Northern Illinois Women’s Center is the abortion clinic that, last year, threatened pro-life advocates.

“Sidewalk counselors tell us the facility owner, friends and staffers consistently display extreme perversion and hateful bigotry toward anyone opposing their efforts. In Rockford, it seems they’ve seen it all: eggs thrown at cars, racial slurs, vehicular assault, rubber chickens hanging from nooses in the windows, a nun mannequin placed in a coffin, insults hurled at praying priests, and, in short, an unending stream of mockery and hate directed toward pro-lifers,” Brad Mattes wrote in an article for LifeNews. “Perhaps most shocking was when owner Wayne Webster charged outside with a running chainsaw this summer. Or the sign depicting Jesus Christ raising his middle finger with the words “Even Jesus Hates You” written below. These are just a few examples of what’s been going on there. Truly, it’s difficult to rate which among them is most offensive.”

Mattes continued:  “On Friday, yet another police report was filed outside the facility. According to witnesses, a man escorting a woman into the clinic “pulled his hand out of his pocket in the shape of a handgun and looked directly at the pro-lifers and said, ‘What would you do if I pulled out my .45 and put a bullet in your head?’” Shortly after, Webster came out and taunted one of the pro-lifers saying, “Maybe he should have shot you.”

The license suspension also comes after the Chicago Tribune newspaper released the details of a new investigative report revealing the number of abortions in the state has been massively underreported. Those numbers include six women who have died from botched abortions and 4,000 who were injured.

Although state law on abortion that Illinois adopted in 1975 requires abortion centers to report numbers and complications to the Illinois Department of Public Health , the Tribune found the state system for tracking abortions is so broken that officials are likely missing as many as 7,000 abortions annually.

The Tribune also indicated that Illinois has no process other than the abortion statistics reporting to monitor whether abortion facilities or abortion practitioners have high rates of complications and may be killing or injuring women in abortions. Although Illinois currently tabulates abortions from 26 locations that do abortions in the state, Guttmacher lists 37 places as doing abortions in Illinois.

The newspaper also found that 4,000 women injured by botched abortions failed to have those injuries noted in detail in official reports.