Health Department Shuts Down Abortion Clinic After Finding Even More Health Violations

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jun 7, 2017   |   6:40PM   |   Harrisburg, PA

The Pennsylvania Department of Health shut down a Harrisburg abortion facility this week after finding even more health violations during an unannounced inspection Monday.

Earlier this year, Hillcrest Women’s Medical Center, an abortion clinic, was cited for numerous health and safety violations. A follow-up inspection on Monday found even more violations, prompting the state to order its closure, according to a news release from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

In a statement Wednesday, state Secretary of Health Karen Murphy said the abortion clinic is not safe for women.

“On Monday, Department of Health staff conducted an unannounced monitoring visit to Hillcrest Women’s Medical Center,” Murphy said. “The department concluded that it was no longer safe for the facility to continue providing medical services to patients. Therefore, I have ordered the facility to suspend all services until such time that it can demonstrate it is safe for women to receive care.”

State inspectors said they found additional violations during their visit Monday, including expired sterilization and medical supplies.

Murphy said patients at Hillcrest can call the department or talk to their primary health care provider if they have concerns. The state department phone number is 1-877-PA-HEALTH.

During routine inspections earlier this year, state inspectors found dozens of health and violations at the abortion facility, including failures to have a certified RN and OB-GYN on staff.

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The inspectors found failures involving trained medical staff, documentation of anesthesia information, employee background checks and other issues. They also found expired medicine/medical supplies dated as far back as 2004.

Among the most egregious findings were that dozens of patients were left without a registered nurse’s supervision, according to the report.

Between Jan. 27 and Feb. 21, “the facility has done 55 procedures and has not had an RN to assist the doctor and to assess the condition of the patient before and following the procedure,” according to the report.

They also failed to document patients’ anesthesia, and failed to obtain background checks on employees working with young girls, according to the inspection reports.

Maria Gallagher of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation reports more:

Several Pennsylvania state Senators recently sent a letter to the Secretary of the PA Department of Health, asking why the abortion center’s license had not been revoked.

The letter followed the release of a 44-page document noting the health and safety failures of the long-time abortion operation.

Violations included everything from failing to maintain proper medical credentials to maintaining supplies that were 13 years old. Hillcrest also performed a number of abortions without having a nurse present. In addition, staff members failed to undergo the criminal background checks mandated for seeing patients under 18 years old.

Hillcrest’s troubles date back at least six years, when the abortion outfit was first cited for safety failures. The abortion center has been cited three times since, with the latest report suggesting that the violations have become more egregious.

Undefeated Courage, a group of pro-life sidewalk advocates who reach out to women at Hillcrest, told LifeNews that they were not surprised by the findings.

In June 2016, they witnessed an ambulance arrive and take a woman to the hospital. Later, emergency services documents indicate the woman was suffering from a serious vaginal hemorrhage. There are no known updates about the woman’s condition.

The sidewalk counseling group described abortionist Delhi Thweatt and his staff as “cold and callous” toward women and their unborn babies. The pro-lifers said they have watched women leaving in severe pain and abortion clinic staff walking past them without offering to help.

Until recently, Pennsylvania did not inspect abortion facilities regularly. The horrific findings inside convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell’s Philadelphia abortion facility changed that. In 2011, the state began conducting unannounced inspections annually.