North Carolina health officials have allowed a southeast Charlotte abortion clinic to reopen, but vow they will closely monitor operations at A Preferred Woman’s Health Center. The abortion clinic was shut down in early May, the second time the clinic has lost its license.
The first occasion was in February 2007, when, as the Charlotte Observer reported, “state investigators found as many as 16 safety and regulatory issues at the clinic, according to a letter DHHS sent the clinic.”
More recently, investigators found that staffers were administering methotrexate (an abortifacient) in liquid form. The regimen requires that methotrexate be injected or taken in pill form.
According to the Observer, A Preferred Woman’s Health Center resumed operations May 15 “after the state received affidavits showing that physicians and staffers had changed their policies and ‘ceased the use of methotrexate in an oral manner.’”
An unnamed Department of Health and Human Services official told the newspaper, “There will be ongoing monitoring of A Preferred Woman’s Health Center to ensure compliance.”
The most recent suspension stemmed from a complaint sent to state health officials.
“This is the first case in which the route of administration (of methotrexate) was contrary to the manufacturer’s recommendations,” the DHHS official told the newspaper.
The Observer cited one nineteen year old woman who returned to the abortion clinic one month after receiving methotrexate orally. She was “still pregnant, and had to undergo a surgical abortion procedure, according to state documents.”
An earlier story reported that, according to state documents, a 33-year-old woman also received the drug orally. What happened is unclear.
“Based on the investigative findings, an imminent threat to the health and safety of patients was identified,” according to a summary of findings by DHHS.
Interestingly, Planned Parenthood kept its distance from A Preferred Woman’s Health Center, one of three abortion clinics in Charlotte. “We are not affiliated with that clinic at all and did not make referrals to it at all,” said Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Melissa Reed. “Planned Parenthood puts patient safety and women’s health care as our primary concern.”
By contrast the National Abortion Federation recommends A Preferred Woman’s Health Center.
The most recent Charlotte Observer story included a back and forth on the safety of administering methotrexate in liquid form.
Dr. Mitchell Creinin is a veteran pro-abortionist, who was among the earliest to study the use of methotrexate to abort. He defended its use but not administered orally. “It’s no different than hearing about an orthopedic surgeon cutting off the wrong leg,” he told the Observer.
Since it recommends A Preferred Woman’s Health Center, not surprisingly, NAF said the use of methotrexate administered by mouth is not as risky as Creinin says.
But “The drug’s manufacturer, the assistant director of the Carolina Poison Center and the medical adviser for the Division of Health Service Regulation don’t recommend the oral administration of methotrexate,” the Observer reported.
LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. He writes NRL News Today — an online column on pro-life issues.