Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Ex-Planned Parenthood Employees Testify About Unsanitary Clinic

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Three former employees of a Wilmington, Delaware, Planned Parenthood clinic testified before the state legislature that the organization repeatedly put women's lives at risk, performing after-hours abortions without additional staff and maintaining unsanitary conditions.

According to nurses Joyce Vasikonis and Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich, Planned Parenthood created a “meat-market style assembly line” of abortions, which ultimately led them to quit their jobs. Similarly, former Planned Parenthood manager Melody Meanor indicates that the organization’s negligence extended beyond abortions.

Life News reports:

The three former Planned Parenthood of Delaware employees testified before a bipartisan panel of the Delaware state legislature. The two nurses and one former manager said Planned Parenthood officials knew about improper, dangerous “after hours” abortions being performed by abortionist Eric Schaff without any support medical staff.

The former employees testified that Planned Parenthood constantly placed patients in danger through poor medical care and by assigning significant medical responsibilities to employees who did not have proper medical credentials. The clinic is also being accused of expediting abortions at the expense of patient safety by allowing operations to be performed on unclean tables.

Both of the nurses stated that they quit to protect their own medical licenses.

Vasikonis said, "I felt I could be held liable if a patient was harmed."

"Planned Parenthood needs to close its doors; it needs to be cleaned up; the staff needs to be trained," insisted Werbrich.

They accused Planned Parenthood of denying the drug Rhogam to low-income, Rh-negative women who need it within the first 72 hours after an abortion to protect future pregnancies from increased risk of stillbirth. They also accused the organization of failing to inform approximately 200 women of their positive tests for the sexually-transmitted diseases gonorrhea and chlamydia and failing to inform nearly 100 women of the results of their cervical biopsies.

The women testified during a hearing organized by pro-life groups Susan B. Anthony List and A Rose and a Prayer, headed by national GOP committeewoman Ellen Barrosse.

“As these hearings have progressed, we have learned that Planned Parenthood of Delaware has often operated with a startling disregard of cleanliness and patient safety,” said Barrosse. “The reason we’re continuing the hearings is a: because the legislators are willing to let us, and b: the whole story has not yet been told. It is my hope that by continuing to publicize these hearings is that women who have been harmed will come forward.”

Delaware State Senator Greg Lavelle, one of the lawmakers hosting the hearing, stated that he believed further testimony would “highlight that what occurred was not an isolated incident.”

A series of emergency phone calls made from the Planned Parenthood of Delaware this year drew attention to the clinic. April inspections of the Wilmington clinic revealed several instances of unsanitary conditions. Delaware Online reports, “A series of problems at the clinic led to citations from the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services and the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, including violations related to blood-borne pathogens and employee exposure to contaminated needles.”

In addition to concerns over the unsanitary conditions, the state attorney general’s office also filed a complaint against Dr. Timothy Liveright, an abortion doctor at the Wilmington clinic, accusing him of unprofessional and negligent conduct and asserting that he presents “a clear and immediate danger to the public.”

Liveright has surrendered his license to practice medicine in the state of Delaware, though he insists that the state’s claims are false and that he has been made a scapegoat.

Inspectors cleared the clinic last month after revisiting it and ensuring that the necessary changes were made.

In 2011, legislators passed new regulations for all medical facilities that utilize any level of anesthesia, which include Planned Parenthood. One of those regulations includes a new requirement for certification by a national agency. The Planned Parenthood of Delaware was certified by the Planned Parenthood Foundation of America, prompting some to cry foul.

Barrosse and other conservatives contend that the regulations should be even stiffer, including routine inspections by state officials of all abortion providers.

Mary Peterson of the Delaware Department of Health and Human Services admits, however, “We don’t have the manpower to do routine inspections.”

Last month, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America issued a statement in an effort to distance itself from Planned Parenthood of Delaware.

“Planned Parenthood of Delaware was aware that some staff and contractors did not meet our high standards of care and should have taken action sooner to remove them,” the statement said. “We are adding an enhanced follow-up protocol to our accreditation process to make sure that issues are addressed quickly when they are identified.”

But Barrosse highlighted the underlying flaw of an organization such as the Planned Parenthood Foundation of America certifying the Planned Parenthood of Delaware:

Now we know that many of the shortcomings that endangered patients outlined in General Assembly testimony had also been uncovered by national Planned Parenthood Federation audits. The national Planned Parenthood found serious issues related to patient safety — even allegations of improper, dangerous "after hours" abortions — yet never closed the Delaware affiliate down or reported its findings to public health officials. Instead, it continued Planned Parenthood of Delaware’s accreditation.

While the abortion industry has been busy protesting that the filthy conditions in Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s abortion clinic are unknown in the rest of the industry, evidence presented in these hearings by professionals who resigned in protest show that inadequate and unsterile conditions did occur elsewhere, and suggest that they might be the norm.

But Planned Parenthood president and CEO Ruth Lytle-Barnaby contended that the accusations leveled against the organization are unfounded.

“While we cannot speculate about the contents of this meeting in advance, information circulated by anti-women’s health organizations so far either references concerns that have been thoroughly addressed by oversight agencies including the Delaware Department of Health, or are incorrect,” she claimed.

Lytle-Barnaby argued that the nurses who complained about the clinic's conditions are working on behalf of anti-abortion groups, even though Nurse Vasikonis had described herself during an earlier hearing as being “radically pro-abortion.”