Only Abortion Clinic in Asheville, North Carolina Closing Down

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 18, 2014   |   1:16PM   |   Asheville, NC

The only abortion clinic in Asheville, North Carolina  is closing down. The closing o the abortion business follows on the heels of it temporarily losing its license last year following an inspection by state officials.

Following a routine inspection last year—the first since 2006– the Femcare abortion clinic in Asheville, North Carolina had its license suspended. It was the third North Carolina abortion clinic to have sanctions imposed in just a matter of months.

northcarolina6Now, local media report that the abortion practitioner who owns and operates Femcare has put the building up for sale and is no longer accepting appointments.

According to a real estate listing from a week ago, Femcare’s building, near downtown Asheville, is now for sale for $1.275 million. Dr. Lorraine Cummings, who owns the business and serves as its sole physician, declined to comment on the matter when contacted on Monday.

An Asheville woman who said she has been a gynecology patient of the clinic told Carolina Public Press on Friday that when she recently tried to schedule a return visit, she was told that the clinic was closing and taking no new appointments.

While the closing is good news for pro-life advocates in North Carolina, the Planned Parenthood abortion business, which has increased its share of the abortion industry to doing about one-third of all abortions in the United States, is coming to town to open up its own abortion facility.

The Raleigh-based Planned Parenthood Health Systems plans to open a new clinic in Asheville this summer that will provide abortion services.

Melissa Reed, the company’s vice president of public affairs, told Carolina Public Press this morning:

“Planned Parenthood is very committed to insuring the continuity of care for women in the western part of the state, and we do plan on offering abortion care in Asheville, probably beginning in the mid summer. We’re opening a new health center that will have comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion care.

“We have been in constant contact with Dr. (Lorraine) Cummings” — Femcare’s owner — “to ensure her support and make sure that that care continues in the Asheville area.”

During the inpsections of Femcare, state officials found multiple problems. According to a statement from the state DHHS office inspectors found “egregious violations of existing rules that revealed an imminent threat to the health and safety of patients.” Femcare failed to meet 23 separate rules.

“We take rule violations very seriously and, when necessary, take firm action to prevent harm to patients and clients in the facilities that we license, regulate and inspect,’ said Drexdal Pratt, director of DHHS’ Division of Health Service Regulation.

The 49-page report found (according to The Citizen Times) that the clinic failed to:



• Maintain anesthesia (nitrous oxide gas) delivery systems in good working condition, with torn masks and tubing held together with tape;

• Ensure emergency equipment had weekly checks to ensure the equipment was suitable for use in patient care and failed to ensure that emergency medicine wasn’t expired;

• Have a resuscitator available;

• Sweep and mop the operating room floor and failed to properly clean operating room beds;

• Have a director of nursing responsible and accountable for all nursing services;

• Have an agreement or contract with an anesthetist or anesthesiologist; and

• Have an agreement or contract with a registered pharmacist to assure appropriate methods, procedures and controls for obtaining, dispensing and administering drugs.

A new bill signed into law last year by Gov. Pat McCrory included a provision to mandate that abortion clinics must meet requirements similar to but not identical to those required of ambulatory surgical centers. All three of these suspensions took place before new standards could be written.