Abortion Clinic That Got Supreme Court to Overturn State Health Codes Found Guilty of Dozens of Health Violations

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Oct 31, 2017   |   6:03PM   |   Austin, TX

Whole Woman’s Health, the Texas-based abortion chain that challenged abortion clinic regulations to the U.S. Supreme Court, violated dozens of health and safety standards over the past five years.

New state inspection reports obtained by pro-life advocate Abby Johnson’s And Then There Were None show numerous failures to properly sterilize equipment, rusty spots on medical equipment that had the “likelihood of causing infection,” rips in exam tables and more.

“As is common in the abortion industry, making a hefty profit is the bottom line and must be achieved over anything else, including the health and safety of patients,” Johnson said. “The reports we obtained show a blatant disregard for women’s health and safety, as well as the safety of the abortion workers themselves, on the part of Whole Woman’s Health. Women deserve this information.”

Whole Woman’s Health runs four abortion facilities in Texas and several others in Maryland, Minnesota and Illinois. It also recently applied to open a new abortion facility in Indiana.

Some of the findings at its Texas facilities included:

  • Failed to properly disinfect and sterilize instruments that were used from woman to woman
  • Failed to provide a safe and sanitary environment – products of conception were being examined and contaminated instruments were being washed in the same room
  • Emergency cart contained expired supplies and medications
  • Cracks, rips and tears on the vinyl covers of exam tables
  • There was a hole in the cabinet flooring that had “the likelihood to allow rodents to enter the facility”
  • Suction machines had numerous rusty spots having the “likelihood to cause infection”

Johnson said she toured the abortion chain’s Austin facility right after it shut down and was appalled by what she saw. She said there was dirty equipment and what appeared to be blood on the walls.

“It looked more like a prison than an actual facility where patients went for healthcare. Disgusting does not do it justice,” Johnson said. “No wonder Whole Woman’s Health took their case all the way to the Supreme Court. They needed to win in order to keep their doors open and make money. They had everything to lose if they didn’t win.”

Back in 2013, abortion chain owner Amy Hagstrom Miller blasted the state abortion clinic law, saying: “The point of this legislation was to make abortion inaccessible. It wasn’t about safety . . . there is no safety problem around abortion in Texas.”

But her abortion chain has a poor reputation for health and safety conditions that goes back many years.

State inspection reports obtained by Texas Alliance for Life in 2013 showed dozens of violations that threatened the health and safety of its patients, including lack of sterilization of abortion instruments, lack of an RN or LVN on staff, rusty suction machines and expired and unlabeled medications.

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The pro-life group wrote at the time: “Contrary to her claim, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), which regulates abortion facilities, has cited four of the five Whole Woman’s Health facilities for violating current safety laws during the last three years, some dozens of times. Many the violations threaten the health and safety of the patients, including lack of sterilization of abortion instruments, lack of an RN or LVN on staff, rusty suction machines, and expired and unlabelled medications. In most cases, the violations have been acknowledged by the administrator of the corresponding abortion facility indicating that Whole Woman’s Health is fully aware that they are operating abortion facilities in violation of the law.”

In addition, Operation Rescue documented three 911 emergency responses to patient emergencies at the Austin clinic in a 30-day period in 2012, including one whose condition was potentially life threatening. The pro-life group said the frequent calls were an indication of “a poor track record when it comes to women’s safety.”

In 2012, the Texas Medical Board also disciplined two abortion practitioners from the troubled Whole Woman’s Heath abortion chain, Alan H. Molson and Robert E. Hanson. Molson and Hanson both admitted to conduct that constituted violations of the standards of patient care. Both were fined $3,000 and ordered to take continuing medical education classes in risk management.

Whole Woman’s Health in Austin and McAllen also were caught illegally dumping aborted babies’ body parts and were fined $83,000, LifeNews reported in 2012.

In 2013, Whole Woman’s Health closed its Austin facility rather than comply with a new state law requiring that abortion clinics meet ambulatory surgical center standards. According to the Chronicle, the facility needed about $1 million in renovations to meet the new health and safety standards.

Instead, the abortion chain challenged the regulations to the U.S. Supreme Court and won. Since then, it has opened a new abortion facility in Austin.