Substandard Women's Health
In 2011, the General Assembly passed a law that required abortion clinics performing five or more first trimester abortions per month to comply with standards for out-patient hospital requirements. Abortionists at that time complained that many of their businesses would close because they could not meet the new safety standards.
Virginia’s regulations implemented by the Virginia Board of Health were modeled after regulations approved by the Fourth Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond in the Greenville Women’s Clinic v. Bryant (2000) case. The South Carolina regulations were derived from Planned Parenthood, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the National Abortion Federation and the American Institute of Architects.
Pro-abortion critics call such efforts, TRAP, for Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers. They claim that requiring hallways to be a minimum width constitutes harassment and that such requirements are irrelevant to patient safety. A minimum hallway width is necessary to safely transport women from a clinic to a hospital after a botched legal abortion.
The infamous Philadelphia abortionist, Dr. Gossnell, was responsible for the death of at least one woman from Prince William County, for this very reason. The January, 2011 Philadelphia Grand Jury indictment of Dr. Gossnell for murder referenced the lethal effect of the lack of sufficient hallway width:
“Even then, there might have been some slim hope of reviving Mrs. Mongar. The paramedics were able to generate a weak pulse. But, because of the cluttered hallways and the padlocked emergency door, it took them over twenty minutes just to find a way to get her out of the building.” page 8/11
“The physical layout of the clinic, a confusing maze of narrow hallways and multiple twisting stairways, should have been an obvious bar to its use for surgical procedures.” page 45/48 [http://www.phila.gov/districtattorney/pdfs/grandjurywomensmedical.pdf]
VA Politicians Endanger Women’s Health:
It is regrettable that pro-abortion politicians and candidates in Virginia oppose sensible regulations for out-patient surgery.
On May 4, 2015 Attorney General Mark Herring, (who decided in late 2014 that abortion clinic nurses do not have to report statutory rape), told the Health Commissioner (http://www.oag.state.va.us/index.php/citizen-resources/opinions?id=422) that abortionists do not have to comply with a 2011 law passed by the General Assembly applying professionally designed safety regulations devised by the American Institute of Architects to ensure safe evacuation of women to hospitals after a botched abortion.
On January 17, 2013 the Senate Education and Health Committee rejected then Senator Mark Herring’s SB 1116 http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?131+sum+SB1116 that would have exempted abortion clinics from the very construction standards he now claims do not apply.
Since the Senate did not pass Senator Herring's bill he sought to replace the law of Virginia and conclusions of the American Institute of Architects, with his own personal opinion that regulations the General Assembly made possible in 2011 should be repealed. Attorney General Herring is acting like a one-man legislature.
Mr. Herring falsely claims the General Assembly is penalizing clinics because these standards were not required in the past. Not true! The law we passed applies equally to existing and future clinics. Some clinics complied, others have not. Mark Herring has no authority to give them a free pass, there is no exemption in the law, and Mr. Herring cannot create one. Nor does he have authority to veto an Act of the General Assembly signed by the Governor.
Manassas Abortion Clinic Fails Safety Tests:
The Manassas Amethyst abortion clinic on business Rt. 234 was inspected in late May and early June 2012. The VA Board of Health found the following deficiencies:
- Expired medication, undated medication, opened medication labeled for single patient use & expired sterilization supplies;
- Failure to change gloves between patients;
- Quality assurance violations by failure to address proper staffing patterns and supervision, patient records, complaints, infections, complications and other adverse events;
- No clean storage area, staff admitted increased risk for contamination by storing medicine and cleaning supplies in the soiled utility room;
- Expired bleach/water that had no ability to sanitize, no clean utility room to store medicine, oral and topical medication, cleaning supplies and cleaning supplies were kept under a sink;
- Improper cleaning of linens to prevent spread of infection;
- Lunches stored in a “soiled” utility room refrigerator that also contained drugs and blood samples;
- Tears in recovery area stretchers that could not be sanitized, and recovery recliners not disinfected between patients;
- Inadequate width of corridors, no safety glass for windows or doors; operating room too small to perform abortions using moderate sedation; inadequate humidity and temperature control to store sterile supplies. [See http://familyfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Amethyst-Health-Center-for-Women-Initial-LIC.pdf]
The misnamed Falls Church Healthcare Center Abortion clinic filed a law suit in June, 2013 challenging the Commonwealth of Virginia’s abortion clinic regulations.
Previously, in August, 2012 the Falls Church Center underwent an inspection from the VA Health Department. Even though the clinic was advised ahead of time about the inspection, the Health Department filled over 40 pages of violations of standard medical safety requirements, and wrote out 20 pages of recommendations to improve safety for women undergoing abortions.
The violations resulting from the ANNOUNCED visit included the following:
- No adequate infection control for equipment, prevention policies, patient education, reporting to authorities;
- No criminal background checks for staff administering powerful narcotics;
- No complication follow-up with patients;
- No complaint logs, intake process or policy for keeping records;
- No procedure to prevent staff with communicable diseases from infecting patients;
- No written training manuals;
- No written policies available to VA Health Department;
- No adequate staff training practices or policies for patient supervision and service;
- No backup if the supervisor is not present;
- No employee records for job descriptions for 6 of 12 staff;
- No documentation for Hepatitis B vaccine for workers exposed to blood;
- No written infection control policies;
- No sufficient compliance with OSHA blood borne pathogens;
- No directions for cleaning vacutainer holders between drawing blood on different patients; blood discovered on vacutainer tubes labeled "clean and ready for use;"
- No directions for cleaning vacutainer holders-running water considered sufficient for sterile technique to"clean" blood collection tubes;"
- No documentation of retraining of staff for Infection Control;
- No adequate procedures to prevent contamination of linens to prevent infection spread;
- No sufficient sterile technique as evidenced by dried blood on "two of two procedure tables and four of five recovery recliners which had unidentified substance on lower inner rails ... Dried blood splatters were found on the wall, door and door frame between the 'Wet Lab' and procedure room;."
- No sufficient sterile technique in operating room -"procedure table had had visible dried blood on the meta joints;"
- No adequate sterile technique for Wet Lab area, "physician used the same gloves to examine the products of conception and to handle each pathology container;"
[View the full list of citations and recommendations here: http://familyfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Falls-Church-Healthcare-Center-Initial-LIC-POC-08-02-2012.pdf]
There is a “War on Women,” but it is being conducted by politicians who accept money from abortionists, not pro-life advocates who rely on volunteers, charity donations and private funds to assist women without charge through crisis pregnancies regardless of their age, race, religion, ethnicity or country of origin.