An Alabama-based abortion business that sent two abortion patients to the hospital from its Birmingham location and was closed earlier this year was dealt another setback by state officials.
In April, the state health department ordered the closing of the abortion clinic in question. As LifeNews reported, the health department issued a scathing 76-page deficiency report written by the Alabama Department of Public Health that detailed dangerous and deceptive practices that continue to endanger the health and safety of women.
The report found violations in nine categories after a complaint lodged by a pro-life activist prompted a health inspection of New Woman All Women clinic owned and operated by Diane Derzis, who was once dubbed by Alabama legislators as the “Abortion Queen.” Derzis owns abortion clinics in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
The Alabama Department of Public Health stated that the clinic had been ordered to surrender its license on or before May 18, 2012.
The New Woman All Women clinic has fought the decision but, yesterday, a state hearing officer ruled against Kelley Rain-Water in her appeal of the state health department’s denial of her license application to reopen the abortion clinic. Rain-Water says she is trying to reopen the abortion facility.
“I am very optimistic. I cannot see a reason I would be denied if we have an acceptable lease,” she told the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper.
The newspaper provided more details on why the application was denied:
The health department’s agreement with the operator, Diane Derzis, allowed her to lease it to a new operator that ran it independently of her. Rain-Water, a friend of Derzis, got a lease, but the health department denied her application for a license. Department attorney Brian Hale said her lease let Derzis or her company, All Women Inc., have a role in determining how much profit the new operation makes and requires that all profit go to Derzis’ company. Hale said that gave Derzis an active role in the new operation.
Rain-Water appealed to state hearing officer Dorothy Norwood, who recently sided with the department.
“The new corporation was making nothing. Everything was going to the former corporation,” Norwood said Wednesday.
Rain-Water could have taken the issue to the state health officer, but she said she would try a new lease and new application instead.
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On January 21, 2012, two abortion patients were transported to UAB Hospital after suffering overdoses of the drug Vasopressin. The women were carried by hand out of the clinic to awaiting gurneys by emergency responders who had to negotiate a trash-strewn back alley to reach a rear entrance with several steps and a broken safety rail. Pro-life activists photographed the incident and obtained copies of two 911 calls placed by Derzis that understated the condition of the women.
Pro-life activists filed a complaint with the Department of Public Health, which prompted the investigation. A second complaint was also filed with the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners against abortionist Bruce Elliot Norman, who conducted the abortions at Derzis’ clinic that day.
The Department of Public Health conducted an investigation from February 2 to March 1, 2012, that included a facility inspection and interviews with Derzis and several of her clinic employees. The DPH noted that NWAW was cited for violations in the following categories:
* Clinic staff was not properly trained to provide safe quality patient care.
* Failure to have policy and procedures related to medication errors and the administration of medications. This resulted in the hospitalization of three abortion patients on January 21, 2012, with one patient placed in ICU.
* There was no documentation that the two abortionists employed by Derzis were even qualified to do abortions.
* Abortionists made illegible notations on patient charts that made determining critical information about patient care impossible. In several cases, the abortionist’s notes about patient care and/or condition were completely false.
* Lack of documentation of medications administered.
* Inaccurate preparation and administration drugs resulting in overdoses or inadequate pain management.
* Use of equipment with inspection dates from 2007 or no inspection date at all.
* Failure of on-call nurse to return patient calls, document correct dates on reports, or notify the physician of patient problems.
The clinic’s lack of training or orientation policies led to abortion complications. It was because of this lack of training that the RN on duty on January 21, 2012, drew up and administered 2 cc’s of Vasopressin instead of the ordered 0.2 cc’s, or ten times the recommended dosage, sending a total of three patients to the hospital.
The clinic owner, Diane Derzis, was confronted specifically about the regular practice of a non-licensed employee administering medications. She responded, “She’s been doing it for years.”