Georgia Abortion Clinics Caught Using Unsterilized Equipment and Expired Drugs

State   Steven Ertelt   Nov 20, 2015   |   1:53PM    Washington, DC

A local news investigation reveals that abortion clinics in Georgia are not being regularly inspected, though state documents show numerous health and safety violations at the clinics over the past five years.

The state’s five licensed abortion clinics failed to sterilize equipment, stored clean and dirty materials together and used duct tape to hold together medical equipment, according to the Channel 2 Action News investigation.

According to the station’s research:

Those violations were for items like expired medications and medical instruments, including speculums. Others listed unsterilized equipment, sterilized and non-sterile supplies stored in the same room with a traffic cone, the vent in a biohazard room taped off with cardboard, soiled linens in surgical rooms and stirrups wrapped in duct tape. One violation was for iodine swabs to prevent wound infections that had expired 10 years ago.

Planned Parenthood runs only one of the five surgical clinics. It’s located in Augusta and had 23 violations in 2011, and paid a $1,400 fine.

In a very candid interview, the organization’s CEO told Geary there was a change in leadership at the clinic, and a corrective action plan was submitted. Still, state records show, inspectors didn’t visit the clinic until two years later, in March 2013.

The station also discovered that the state does not have a set policy in place about regular inspections of abortion facilities.

“(The clinics) are inspected periodically,” said Melanie Simon from the Georgia Department of Community Health. “Every two to three years, but there’s no set rule for what periodic means under state or federal law.” Later, she added, “We are absolutely committed to making any changes that are necessary in the future to address patient needs.”

Even a Georgia Planned Parenthood spokeswoman admitted to the station that the abortion business’s facilities in Alabama are inspected more often than in Georgia.

“I think there probably is more Georgia could be doing,” said Staci Fox, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood.

However, in regard to the violations, Fox claimed that some state reports could be deceiving because some state inspectors they dealt with “have biases” against abortion.

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Virginia Galloway of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, told the station she was shocked to learn that restaurants are inspected more often than abortion facilities in Georgia.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal had ordered a review of all five abortion facilities in July after the Center for Medical Progress released undercover videos showing top Planned Parenthood officials discussing how they harvest and sell aborted babies’ body parts. However, inspectors only looked at how the facilities handled the aborted babies bodies and did not find any violations, according to the local news report.

These new discoveries in Georgia echo similar findings in Philadelphia about five years ago when inspectors raided the abortion facility of Kermit Gosnell.

At the time, Pennsylvania, like Georgia, had no required policy for regular abortion clinic inspections. As a result, Kermit Gosnell’s “house of horrors” abortion facility went uninspected for 17 years before the state finally shut it down. State inspectors discovered filthy conditions, unlicensed staff and late-term babies being killed outside the womb in Gosnell’s Philadelphia abortion center.

There was “more oversight of women’s hair salons and nail salons” than over abortion facilities in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said at the time.

Since the Gosnell horrors, Pennsylvania and several other states passed regulations requiring that abortion clinics are regularly inspected and meet the same basic standards as ambulatory surgical facility standards.

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