52 Pages of Greed

In a remarkable action, the state Health Department recently suspended the license of a Fairfax county abortion center after an inspection uncovered multiple violations of Virginia’s abortion center health and safety standards.  In fact, the inspection report is 52 pages long!

The abortion center is owned by Dr. Steven Brigham, a notorious abortionist.  Two years ago The Family Foundation began calling for the closing of Steven Brigham’s abortion centers in Virginia Beach and Fairfax (go to our website, stopthenextgosnell.com to learn more).  

Brigham’s long history of disregarding the well-being of the women who unfortunately find themselves in one of his facilities includes losing his license to practice medicine in multiple states, being charged with vicious crimes, and inspections have shown over and over that he has no regard for basic health and safety. 

Of course, none of what was found at his abortion center in Fairfax would have been discovered if not for the abortion center health and safety standards the $1 billion abortion industry fought so hard to prevent, and Governor Terry McAuliffe is working so hard to water down and eliminate.  In fact, in 2011 when the General Assembly adopted legislation requiring abortion center health and safety standards, the abortion industry opposed a bill (HB 1428) that would have required only licenses for, inspections of, and emergency equipment at abortion centers.  Clearly, the industry was afraid of inspections of its facilities and lied when it said abortion centers were well maintained.  It is an industry that simply cannot be trusted.

We’re still combing through the 52 page report, but some of the most horrific violations include:

  1. A botched abortion where a woman’s cervix was cut, but the abortion center had no sutures on site to fix the injury, so the woman had to be rushed to a local emergency room to stop the bleeding.

  2. While performing an abortion, on staff member (difficult to tell from inspection report if it was the doctor, a nurse, or other staff member) gloves were observed to be visibly soiled with blood. After the procedure, that staff member removed his/her gloves and used hand sanitizer. The surveyor did not observe Staff #1 wash his/her hands with soap and water after exiting the procedure room.

  3. One staff member used a plunger to clear a clogged toilet, didn’t change scrubs, and proceeded into a patient room where they held the patient’s hand and were in contact with them during a procedure.

  4. Facility staff failed to ensure the availability of sinks for proper handwashing, proper cleaning of environmental surfaces, proper disinfection of equipment, ability to verify the recommended level of sterilization was achieved and periodic and ongoing maintenance of equipment.

The list goes on and on.  Over 50 pages worth of violations!  As the Washington Post noted, this included “dirty equipment, expired medication in unlocked cabinets, lax storage of medical records and a failure of staff to sterilize and maintain medical equipment and follow hand­washing protocols.”

It is absolutely appalling that it took so long for the state to shut this facility down but it’s more appalling that Brigham’s facility may still be allowed to operate again if they “fix” the multitude of problems. 

Think about it this way:  The health and safety standards have been in place for over 4 years; inspections are supposed to be regular and some can be unannounced.  But this facility was in horrific condition meaning either, one, they believed that under a McAuliffe administration they were free to ignore health and safety standards or, two, they simply don’t care about following the standards!  Brigham’s history tells us that his facilities are some of the worst in the country.  Does anyone honestly believe he'll suddenly change his ways and "fix" the problems?  He should never be allowed to operate an abortion center in Virginia again.

Remarkably, after opposing common sense health and safety standards for abortion centers in Virginia, the National Abortion Federation is now claiming Brigham’s facility “poses a significant threat to patient safety, and which cannot be allowed to go unchecked in Virginia.”  The ACLU argued that “’one rogue provider’s failure’ to follow standards of medical care should not draw increased political scrutiny on providers who follow the rules.” 

The irony and hypocrisy of these statements should be evident to all.  Not only did Governor McAuliffe, the National Abortion Federation and ACLU oppose even the most basic standards to protect women who enter facilities like Brigham’s, but for the regulations they oppose, the deplorable conditions at the Farifax facility would continue unchecked and women would be in danger.

Somehow, I don’t believe they will stop their assault on health and safety standards designed to protect women.

It is telling that just a few days after Terry McAuliffe took his dog and pony show to a Planned Parenthood facility to pay back the abortion industry for its campaign contributions, public health officials discovered the horrific conditions inside this abortion center.  It is the Steven Brighams of the world that Terry McAuliffe has committed himself to protecting at the expense of women’s health care.  But Brigham's Fairfax abortion center is so bad, even public health officials under McAuliffe's watch couldn't turn a blind eye.