Abortion records found in unsecured building could put patient’s privacy at risk
Pro-lifers in Michigan say that an abortionist may have improperly stored thousands of records from former abortion patients in an unsecured building in Michigan.
According to Michigan State Law [statutes 333.16213 and 333.20175] which govern the proper retention of medical records: “Records shall be maintained in such a manner to ensure their confidentiality and proper use and to ensure their accessibility and availability to each patient or his or her authorized representative.”
Michigan Public Health Code 333.13811 also governs the proper disposal of medical waste including medical sharps.
According to local pro-life activist, Lynn Mills, who went to the site after receiving an anonymous tip, the records were housed at the now closed, Feminine Health Center, owned by retired Michigan abortionist Abraham Alberto Hodari.
Mills said that she visited the old abortion facility to check out the informant’s information, concerned that patient records were left exposed.
She described the site as having a chain link fencing that had been cut with several gaping holes in the walls of the building.
In addition, Mills said that she also discovered that the building was unlocked an unsecured, which would mean that anyone could enter the premises and violate the privacy of the clinic’s former abortion patients.
Hodari once owned five different abortion clinics in Michigan, the Woman Care clinics located in Southfield, Lansing, Livonia, Downriver and Macomb. Several boxes, completely visible through the door, were marked on the outside that indicated that the records came from these Hodari abortion clinic locations such as an abbreviation SFLD, meaning Southfield.
According to a press release sent by the Citizens for a Pro-life Society (CFPLS), when Mills checked the door and found it unlocked she immediately saw stacks upon stacks of boxes that appeared to contain files of Hodari’s patients, many marked with the words “charts” and “records.”
Mills, concerned that the privacy rights of women were seriously at risk, returned to the unkempt and dilapidated building later on March 15th with Monica Migliorino Miller, director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society to investigate further and document evidence to take to the Flint police.
Together the two discovered that a large gaping hole was cut into the garage door in the back of the building large enough for a grown man to easily gain entry to the facility. In addition to the unlocked side door, the huge hole in the garage door, the former clinic may also be entered through a hole on the right side of the building.
Monica Miller, director of (CFPLS) said in her release that manila folders are visible though small slots in the boxes and appear to be stored alphabetically as many boxes recorded a beginning and ending last name.
In addition to the stacks of medical record boxes, the building contains other boxes of medical records vulnerable to accessibility as well as several loose piles of medical records, including literally hundreds of records that are haphazardly strewn all over the floor of the open building mixed with trash and debris.
Not only does the open building contain sensitive medical documents, but Mills said that they also found two large piles of syringes with sharps are also in the building which may be a violation of Michigan State Law regarding the proper disposal of medical waste.
“This isn’t the first time medical records and patient files have been found, but it should be the last,” Mills told Saynsumthn, “Patients have the expectation of privacy when they go to any doctor, even an abortion doctor. Where is the government oversight on this and why are their laws not being enforced? The number one responsibility of the government is the protection of its citizens. These woman were victimized in their abortion and again now because of this careless record keeping.”
In 2008 members of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society discovered the remains of aborted babies in Hodari’s Lathrup Village, Michigan Woman Care clinic, as well as over 200 intact patient records and biohazard waste that prompted a formal investigation by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality that cited him for violating Michigan law and charges filed against him by the Oakland County prosecutor for improper maintenance of patient records to which he pled “no-contest” and was placed on a six months probation.
Late last year, hundreds of abortion clinic medical records were discovered unsecured at a warehouse in Houston, Texas.
The sensitive medical records were found by the warhouse owner after her dog entered the property, tore up several files, and dragged them outside.
Esmeralda Cedillo, who found the records in her warehouse, said that the records contained sensitive information such as abortion details and Social Security numbers.
She told local news outlets who cared enough to report the story that the records were left in the warehouse by a now-estranged relative who works at an abortion clinic.
It was later discovered that the medical files belonged to patients at the now closed abortion clinic which operated under the names, a”Cunningham Clinic, KNS Clinic, and Women’s Clinic,” located at 2600 Southwest Freeway #1010 and 5555 West Loop South Suite 200, in Houston.
Cedillo was later rewarded for exposing the way they were haphazardly stored.
Unfortunately, Mills and Miller say they have not seen the same concern from media or authorities they contacted.
They claim that in addition to notifying local police, they have reached out to an attorney with the Genesee County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to discuss possible criminal violations. But, to date, the two have been unsuccessful in getting any public official to investigate this.
Mills told Saynsumthn that she went forward with the information for two reasons, one was to warn former abortion clinic patients that their privacy may be at risk and two was to get the public to insist that the records, many which have now been mysteriously removed, are now stored in a proper manner.
Mills and Miller say they now plan to take their evidence to the Michigan Attorney General.