Inspections Uncover Violations of State Law in Abortion Center

The following is a press release we sent out late this afternoon: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 11, 2013

 Follow Up Inspections Uncover Violations of State Law in Abortion Center
- Continued violations disclosed as Board of Health votes on regulations -
RICHMOND – As the Virginia Board of Health prepares to vote tomorrow on abortion center health and safety standards, documents obtained by The Family Foundation of Virginia from the Virginia Board of Health indicate continued widespread health and safety violations at Virginia’s abortion centers and widespread failure to fulfill plans of correction for earlier findings.  At one facility, startling evidence of violations of the Commonwealth’s parental consent law was found.

“These reports from more recent, follow up inspections of abortion centers continue to show dozens and dozens of deficiencies, some worse than before,” said Victoria Cobb, president of The Family Foundation. “Not cleaned up.  Not fixed.  Ongoing.  Even after submitting plans to correct these deficiencies they have not done so.  The abortion industry continues to claim that it is safe, but these inspection reports are indisputable evidence that nothing could be further from the truth.  This industry simply cannot be believed.  It cannot be trusted.  It has covered up its inadequate health and safety record long enough.  This Board owes it to the people of Virginia, the women of Virginia, to protect the health and safety of Virginians.”

“In testimony before the Board of Health last fall, we heard representatives of the industry tell us that the problems found in earlier inspections had been fixed.  Some of those same representatives told the General Assembly this year during testimony on bills that would have repealed the standards that the deficiencies had been fixed.  But now we know that isn’t true.”

At the Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Virginia facility in Virginia Beach, the follow up inspection report states: (1) “Employee 6 failed to perform hand hygiene following a vaginal exam and terminating the products of conception.  (2) At approximately 1:45 P.M. during the initial tour with Employee #1 and 2 exam room #6 was observed to have a small trash bin sitting on the floor with water in it. Employee #2 stated, ‘That is used to put speculums in after use.’ The bin was uncovered and a dead insect was floating inside.  (3) Employee #7 picked up a group of instruments from the mat, placed them in the bin and covered them to carry to the clean utility room. She was asked to remove the cover.  The speculum she stated was clean and ready to be autoclaved had dried blood on it.”

At the Richmond Medical Center for Women in Richmond, (1) “Dried blood was observed on the outside metal cover of the exam light in the procedure room.” (2) The exam light next to the procedure table also had a dried reddish brown stain on the metal lamp shade and again this inspector pointed to it and asked, what do you think this is?  The Administrator looked at the light and responded, “That’s blood.”

At the Roanoke Medical Center for Women abortion center, the inspection reports found (1) “On 12/18/12 at approximately 9:00 a.m. during a review of clinical records, the survey team discovered 3 (three) of 4 (four) patients who received a procedure to terminate pregnancy were minors and no evidence of parental consent was present in the clinical record.  Patient #2 had a procedure to terminate pregnancy in November 2012, and was 16 (sixteen) years of age at the time of the procedure.  There was no documentation/evidence in the clinical record of any written informed consent obtained from the parent/guardian of Patient #2 for the procedure.  On 12/18/12 at 9:30 a.m., Staff #2 stated, “I don’t know why this one wasn’t done.  I don’t know how it slipped through the cracks…”  Patient #4 had a procedure to terminate pregnancy in December 2012, and was 14 (fourteen) years old at the time of the procedure.  There was a document in the clinical record, “Certificate of Acknowledgement- Consent Letter” which had been signed but was not notarized by the facility proving/validating the identity or relationship of the signee as the parent/guardian of Patient #4.”  (2) Review of thirteen clinical records from the months of October 2012 to December 18, 2012 did not have documentation by the facility’s licensed physician of the patients’ medical diagnosis.  The facility’s licensed physician did not document a gestational age prior to the termination of fourteen pregnancies.”  (3) An interview was conducted on December 19, 2012 from 9:43 a.m. to 10:22 a.m., with Staff #2.  Staff #2 reviewed the clinical records and verified the finding. “We don’t chart a medical diagnosis.  We use the sonogram to determine the gestational age.  What you’re asking is not part of our practice.”  Staff #2 acknowledged that neither he/she nor the person performing the sonogram were licensed physicians.”

The inspection report from the NOVA Women’s Healthcare facility in Fairfax stated, “In the ‘Recovery Room’ Chair #3 had what appeared to be dried reddish brown residue on the tray on the right side.  Employee #2 stated, “It could be blood…”

At the Alexandria Women’s Health Clinic, the initial July 2012 inspection found no documentation that the abortion doctors are licensed to practice medicine in Virginia or have the required training/experience.  Nine months later in the follow up March 2013 inspection, the administrator still had not inquired into the three doctors' licenses/qualifications.  Her reason:  “I have not been able to make the corrections from the last survey ... I just didn't get to make the needed corrections or pull their data.”  Other corrections had not been made either, and when asked why, the administrator stated, “I've been busy and have not gotten to it yet."

“We only obtained these documents late this afternoon so this is just a small example of what has been found in these reports,” added Cobb. “These reports are from existing abortion centers that want to be grandfathered in so they don’t have to clean up their act.  They don’t want to be held accountable to the Virginia Board of Health or public health officials.  They want to continue to operate as they have for more than two decades – with bloody equipment and inadequate, untrained staff.  That simply cannot be allowed to happen.”

Copies of the inspection reports are available upon request.