Judge Closes Down Illegally-Run Abortion Clinic in Alabama

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 8, 2013   |   5:26PM   |   Birmingham, AL

An Alabama judge has released a permanent injunction to close the abortion facility known as New Woman All Women in Birmingham, Alabama that was operating illegally.

On Monday, abortion clinic owner Diane Derzis faces a judge about the accusation she is illegally operating the New Woman All Women abortion clinic in Birmingham, shut down by the state of Alabama since 2012, but now operating illegally. Today’s decision appears here.

Derzis is well-known to pro-life advocates, she runs the last remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi and she is still operating a clinic in Birmingham doing abortions despite a previous order by the state to close after it sent two women to the hospital in one day.

The state is suing New Woman All Women for acting as an abortion provider without a license after pro-life activists demanded the Department of Public Health take action.  Derzis and her attorneys withdrew their motion to dismiss the case against New Woman All Women, and Judge Joseph Boohaker ruled to expedite the hearing against the infamous abortion center, held Monday.

Dana Cody, Life Legal Defense Foundation Executive Director, previously said, “Life Legal Defense Foundation was instrumental in getting this clinic closed for health code violations a year ago, and has now requested that the Alabama Department of Public Health enforce its own rules by issuing an emergency administrative order of closure against the illegal clinic.  Clinic owner Diane Derzis and abortionist Bruce Norman are deliberately violating the law through operation of this clinic, and it ought to be closed immediately.”

In March 2012, the health department issued a 76-page deficiency report about the conditions at New Woman All Women and in April 2012, the health department announced that New Woman All Women had been ordered to surrender its license by no later than May 18, 2012.

The deficiencies included inadequately trained staff; failure to have policy and procedures related to medication errors and the administration of medications, which resulted in the hospitalization of three abortion patients, one of whom was placed in the ICU; no documentation indicating that Derzis’ two abortionists were even licensed to perform abortions; inadequate preparation and administration of drugs, which led to overdoses and inadequate pain management; and use of uninspected equipment.

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.

The report indicated that notations made on the patient charts were illegible, nonsensical, or just blatantly false. In many instances, the state survey team found charts signed off by a nurse who was not even in the clinic that day and incredibly inconsistent time logs. For example, one record showed the patient’s procedure time nearly an hour after her documented discharge.

The survey team also found that records which had been forwarded to them before the investigation had been altered when they arrived on-site.

One patient reported for an abortion at 16 weeks 2 days gestation with higher than normal blood pressure, a history to two cesarean section delivers, surgery for the removal of her right ovary, and a weight of 230 pounds, all risk factors for potential complications. The abortionist took an hour to do the Dilation and Extraction (dismemberment) abortion. At one point he stopped and ordered Pitocin, a drug that increases the intensity of uterine contractions, for the patient because he was having difficulty with the procedure. The patient was not monitored while the Pitocin was given, in violation of patient standards of care. The abortion was later completed.

Patient records revealed that allergies to latex and the antibiotic Doxycycline clearly noted on patient charts were simply ignored by the abortionist and clinic workers. One patient allergic to Doxycycline was sent home with a prescription of drug.

In 2010, NWAW reported that no infections were experienced by patients that year. However, inspectors discovered several records noting cases of infection after abortions that year.

Other inspection reports detailed a employees who did not wash their hands or properly clean equipment between patients.

In addition to the filing of false information with the state regarding infections and ultrasounds, NWAW was cited in 2006 for failing to file the required termination of pregnancy reports in nearly 30% of cases.

Some of the violations are problems repeatedly noted in health deficiency reports by since 2003. The five previous reports indicate a pattern of untrained workers performing medical duties for which they are not qualified, poor or deceptive record keeping, expired medications and ill-maintained or non-functional equipment.

One report from 2006 indicated that women that were to be medicated 20-30 minutes prior to surgery were in fact being medicated more than two hours prior to their abortions, which took place after the medication had essentially worn off. However, that same year, the clinic administrator was caught improperly buying and administering narcotics to herself. She was a Licensed Practical Nurse whose nursing license had been previously revoked for drug addiction.

The massive report is one in a long series of deficiency reports issued to the New Woman All Women abortion clinic dating back to 2003.

Derzis, known as the “abortion queen” in the Southeast for owning Mississippi’s only abortion facility, and abortionist Bruce Norman—who also works at Derzis’ Mississippi abortion business—were ordered last year not to have any involvement with New Woman All Women.

Yesterday, the Mississippi abortion clinic put a woman in the hospital after a botched abortion.