An incident that sent two abortion patients to the hospital from a Birmingham abortion clinic in January resulted in the state health department in Alabama ordering the closing of the abortion clinic in question. Now the New Woman All Women (NWAW) abortion facility is attempting to get around the order.
The abortion clinic is due to close on May 18 – following the revocation order from the Alabama Department of Public Health – due to 76 pages of health code violations.
However, according to public records reviewed by Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF) attorneys, there is already an applicant for a new license to take over operations after the NWAW license must be surrendered. Public records show that the new applicant has ties to current clinic owner Diane Derzis, which according to the Consent Order, “the applying entity or individual must be ‘independent from and not affiliated with New Woman or its officers or directors…’.”
LLDF attorneys suspect this is a way for Derzis to continue to operate once she has surrendered her license. LLDF attorney Allison Aranda sent a letter on April 24 to the ADPH in order to be sure that the Consent Order is strictly followed.
“How can a clinic’s license be revoked by Consent Order of the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and be allowed to remain open?” Dana Cody, Executive Director, Life Legal Defense Foundation, asked. “Despite 76 pages of code violations that endanger the public safety and health of women entering the New Woman All Women (NWAW) abortion clinic, the ADPH Consent Order revoking their license does just that. If this was a restaurant with as many violations, it would have been shut down immediately.”
Among the LLDF findings in public records, on April 7, 2012 media in Birmingham News reported that ADPH’s Brian Hale said that there were no applicants for a new license at that time. However, the LLDF found a copy of the license application from Marianne Kelley Rain-water, who is connected to Derzis dated March 30 — nearly a week before the media announcement and three days before Derzis even signed the order to surrender her license.
According to the consent order prepared by the ADPH, the entity applying for a new license must be “independent from and not affiliated with” New Woman or its officers or directors, including Diane Derzis. The LLDF letter asks, “How would Ms. Rain-water, a person who claims no previous affiliation with the mentioned parties, know to apply for the license of the New Woman facility days before Diane Derzis signed her consent agreement and ADPH notified the public?”
Rain-water’s address is listed on the application as 1316 16th St S, Birmingham, Alabama, which is a home LLDF found is owned by Diane Derzis.
The pro-life legal group says a background check on Rain-water reveals the use of multiple aliases across several different states and it says her current driver’s license uses the name M K Rain, not Rain-water.
The LLDF also says the applying LLC on the Initial Licensure Application, Ochata Management, was created by Ms. Rain-Water on March 21 — just days prior to submitting her application. The lawyer who handled the incorporation of this LLC, Steve Cochrun, also handled the incorporation of Diane Derzis’ LLC for her abortion facility in Columbus, Georgia.
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“If the Alabama Department of Public Health allows this ‘shell game’ to continue, the LLDF will use all means necessary to make the ADPH abide by laws designed to protect women,” said Cody.
Fr. Terry Gensemer of the local pro-life group CEC for Life is asking Alabama residents to call the state health department to complain.
“An applicant has submitted their request to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) for a new license, which will allow them to take over operations at the New Woman All Women abortion clinic,” he explained. “Originally this clinic was set to close on May 18th, but only if a new owner was not approved by May 4. — now that time period is shorter.”
When people call, Gensemer said, “Remind them that this clinic has shown no compliance with the law in the past, and that you do not believe a simple change in owners is enough to guarantee the safety of women’s lives. Ask them how they will ensure that the 76-pages of current violations have been corrected in this facility, and how they know that the current applicant (who applied for this license nearly a week before New Woman signed their consent agreement and ADPH notified the public) is not connected to the current owner Diane Derzis.”
“Keeping pressure on these state officials is absolutely vital to closing down this abortion mill,” he said.
To complain, contact these Alabama officials:
Brian Hale, Legal Counsel
Phone: (334) 206-5209
Dr. Walter T. Geary, Medical Director, Bureau of Health Provider Standards
Phone: (334) 206-5366 Email: [email protected]