Profits over people? Former abortion worker warns of continuing clinic abuses

by MATT HADRO
Thu, Jul 7th 2016 02:05 pm
Catholic News Agency  [ View Original Article ]

WASHINGTON, DC (CNA/EWTN News) - After the Supreme Court struck down Texas' abortion clinic regulations last week, a new report claims that these clinics are ignoring health standards and continuing to put women at risk.

"It just shows that, over and over again, the abortion industry is more concerned about putting profit ahead of the safety of women," said Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood employee and founder of the pro-life "And Then There Were None" ministry, which helps abortion clinic workers leave the industry.

The #NotOver campaign is a "multi-phase" project launched after the Supreme Court struck down safety regulations of Texas abortion clinics on June 27. It aims to draw attention to poor health standards at abortion clinics and push Congress to pass clinic regulations.

In Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, the Supreme Court ruled that Texas regulations of abortion clinics - that they be constructed to the safety standards of ambulatory surgical centers and that abortionists have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles - unconstitutionally put an "'undue burden' on a women's right to decide to have an abortion."

Pro-life advocates contested that the regulations, passed in the wake of the Kermit Gosnell scandal, protected the health and safety of women at the clinics.

"It's really just holding you to the same standards that any other surgical center is held to," Johnson said of the laws.

The #NotOver campaign released a White House petition on June 29, asking for Congress to require clinics to adopt the building standards of ambulatory surgical centers.

According to 12 inspection reports of Houston-area clinics by the state's health services department, clinics were flagged for "unsanitary" and "unsafe conditions for women," Johnson said, with multiple health and safety infractions. Two of those reports from 2015 can be seen now on the #NotOver website, with nine more reports to be released.

For example, in an El Paso abortion clinic, six out of six charts for patients who were minors showed no "proper documentation of parental consent," she told CNA. "So we don't know if they had parental consent or not, to have the abortion. Parental consent is a law here in the state of Texas."

In another clinic, instruments "were not being properly sterilized" which poses a "huge infection risk for women," Johnson said. Tables that women lay on to have abortions had torn fabric. A registered nurse didn't have the required competency to administer drugs.

"I don't want anyone to have an abortion, period," Johnson said, "but the health and safety of women is important to me. And I think that this shows sort of a systemic breakdown of women's healthcare in our country, that the Supreme Court would rule that it's perfectly fine for women to walk into facilities that are dirty and unsanitary and pose a very dangerous risk for them."

During her time as a Planned Parenthood clinic worker, Johnson said that seeing an abortion on live ultrasound "changed my heart" and that Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, intentionally tries not to use ultrasounds during an abortion so as to conduct it in a "blind manner."

To do so would have cost them an "extra three minutes of time," Johnson said, and "time is money in the abortion industry."

"That's just one example of many that I saw, where it really wasn't about putting women first, it really wasn't about women's health care," she said.

"It was always about that bottom line, funneling women through the abortion system as quickly as we could to turn a profit."  

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