RICHMOND–Virginia Department of Health abortion center inspection reports obtained by The Family Foundation of Virginia through the Freedom of Information Act uncovered continued violations of federal and state drug laws at multiple abortion centers. “Any doctor or medical professional will tell you that if they or their facility failed to follow federal or state laws regarding the handling of narcotics like what’s been found in abortion centers they would at the very least lose their license,” said Victoria Cobb, President of The Family Foundation of Virginia. “We are nearly three years into having these standards on the books and the drug laws have been around for years. There is no excuse for this kind of lawbreaking. But we know the abortion industry receives preferential treatment where any other medical industry would be held accountable. In any other instance people would face penalties, but instead these abortion centers and doctors get a wink and a nod from the very health care agencies that are supposed to be protecting us.”
In its October 14, 2014 inspection report of the A Capital Womens Health Clinic in Richmond, Department of Health officials found unlicensed staff handling narcotics and improper documentation of narcotics:
“Observations were conducted on 10/14/14, at approximately 11:00am, with Staff #1 and #2. During the initial tour of the facility, the observation revealed Staff #1 and #2 were in control of the keys to the locked narcotic cabinet. Staff #2 prepared to count the narcotics with the surveyors. Staff #1 informed Staff #2 and the surveyors that he/she had accepted delivery of narcotic medications, which ‘have not been added to the count.’ Staff #1 stated, ‘The narcotics I received today are in a plastic bag inside the [narcotic] cabinet.’ Review of personnel files revealed Staff #1 and Staff #2 were not licensed healthcare professionals. The personnel files for Staff #1 and Staff #2 did not have documented approval from the governing body to accept the delivery of narcotics and to possess keys to the locked narcotic cabinet.”
In its December 17, 2014 inspection report of the Annandale Women & Family Center, officials reported a lack of required background checks for staff handling narcotics, failure to properly document narcotics and lack of oversight of narcotics:
“The COV section 32.1-126.02 requires a CRC be obtained on any compensated employee not licensed by the Board of Pharmacy, whose job duties provide access to controlled substances within the facility. CRC checks had not been obtained for Staff Person #1, a Registered Nurse, Staff Person #7, a physician, and Staff Person #8, a physician.
“Review of the facility’s narcotic log book revealed multiple instances where documentation in the book, including patient names, drug names and amounts, and dates had been scribbled over or marked through making the entry illegible.
“[T]he survey team noted the keys to the narcotic medications remained in the same, unsecured drawer in the back hallway. At that time, patients and staff were in the area and could have potentially accessed the keys. The staff present on 12/17/14, included staff whose job responsibilities would not have included access to medications.”
In its December 8 and 9, 2014 inspection report of the Alexandria Women’s Health Clinic, public health officials reported more lack of training on use of narcotics and a lack of proper documentation:
“A tour of the facility was conducted on 12/08/14 at approximately 1:30pm with Staff #1 (Administrator). Staff #1 reported all narcotics are stored in the double locked medication cabinet…. Staff #1 confirmed he/she is not licensed as a health professional. Staff #1 confirmed the narcotics are received by him/her from the vendor….A review was done of the Code of Virginia 54.1-3408 Professional use (of controlled substances) by Practitioners. There was no allowance for non-licensed persons to handle narcotic medications, even if under the supervision of a physician.
“A review of Staff #1 and Staff #2’s employee file were conducted on 12/08/14. Staff #1’s date of hire was 07/01/2000. Staff #1 has no professional license which would allow him/her to handle controlled substances. Staff #1 has no evidence of training in medications in his/her employee file. Staff #1 has a job description for administrator. Staff #2’s date of hire was 09/042004. Staff #2 has no professional license which would allow him/her to handle controlled substances. Staff #2 has evidence of attending nursing school and training in medications in his/her employee file. Staff #2 has job descriptions for alternate administrator and surgical laboratory technician.”
These discoveries come after inspections last year uncovered several similar violations of state and federal drug laws at the Charlottesville Medical Center for Women. Public health officials discovered that the doctor at the facility has been dispensing narcotics without documentation of a valid DEA license, but there are no indications in the follow-up inspection of the facility that a DEA license was ever presented. The Charlottesville Medical Center for Women is owned by W.K.G. and J., Incorporated (the secretary is Marianne Fitzhugh), which also owns the Roanoke Medical Center for Women, the Richmond Medical Center for Women and the Peninsula Medical Center for Women.
“The abortion industry is right about one thing – it is being singled out – singled out from being held to the same standards as any other medical practice,” added Cobb. “These facilities’ blatant disregard for federal and state drug laws, for the health and safety of the women who enter their doors, is beyond appalling. The question continues to be, will any state agency hold these abortion centers and their personnel accountable or will they continue to ignore the law and protect the abortion industry at all costs.”