The abortionist in the film Blue Valentine, starring Hollywood A-list actors Ryan Gosling and Michele Williams, is none other than former Planned Parenthood abortionist Timothy Liveright, whose license was recently suspended in Delaware. The state’s attorney general has accused Liveright of presenting a “a clear and immediate danger to the public.”
In the movie, Williams’ character goes in for an abortion, but changes her mind while on the operating table
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By his own account, Timothy Liveright has performed about 50,000 abortions across the country over nearly three-plus decades, most recently for Planned Parenthood of Delaware.
He even played an abortion doctor in a 2010 movie starring Hollywood heavyweights Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams.
Last week, though, Liveright, 68, found himself under scrutiny in Delaware as nurses criticized his practices and behavior during a packed state Senate hearing, and state officials formally accused him of incompetence and misconduct that put patients in danger.
He now lives on a farm near Allentown, Pa., and for the past few years Liveright flew his single-engine plane to Delaware about once a week to work at clinics in Wilmington and Dover. He’d perform as many as 30 abortions a day, he said, making about $60 per procedure and from $5,000 to $10,000 a month, depending on demand.
Liveright’s work in Delaware came to an abrupt end in April after the state began a second round of investigations in less than a year into complaints that his practices were sloppy and his behavior strange.
Liveright said he often worked for nonprofits and before becoming an abortionist had treated the homeless and patients with AIDS, explaining that he was an advocate of “social medicine.”
When he came to Delaware in late 2002, he worked for Planned Parenthood. He said the experience was rewarding but he let his license lapse in 2005 while he worked for their clinics in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. “I love the organization,” he said.
He returned to Delaware in 2009 after renewing his license, and usually flew every Friday to New Castle County Airport for a day of work at the Wilmington clinic.
It was during this period that he made a brief appearance in the movie, “Blue Valentine,” playing an abortionist. In his one scene, Liveright begins giving the character played by Michelle Williams an abortion, but she decides she doesn’t want to go through with it and leaves the treatment room.
During his second stint in Delaware, Liveright said, Planned Parenthood was beset by “a rather tumultuous administrative set of headaches.”
The Wilmington clinic’s practices also left much to be desired, he said. “I’ve been around, and this place was definitely less well-organized than other places I’ve been,” he said. “A lot of it was management was not at the top of their game.”
Liveright also questioned the judgment of state regulators who investigated allegations by former clinic nurses Joyce Vasikonis and Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich about him and the clinic. They cleared him late last year of any wrongdoing but now consider him a danger, an action he labeled “double jeopardy.”
The Delaware Attorney General’s Office filed a complaint Thursday against former Planned Parenthood abortion doctor Timothy F. Liveright, citing him for unprofessional, incompetent and negligent conduct during his practice at the Wilmington clinic and calling him a “clear and immediate danger to the public.”
Contacted by phone Thursday evening, Liveright, 68, said such charges were “scandalous” for the state to make.
Liveright, who last month voluntarily surrendered his license to practice medicine in Delaware, performed abortions at the Planned Parenthood clinic on Shipley Street. He called the complaint “double jeopardy,” noting that similar complaints were investigated and dismissed last fall.
“It’s pure bullshit,” he said. “They’re jumping on whatever they can jump on. I don’t know what their agenda is, but I don’t think I’m a danger to the public.”
According to the complaint, Liveright was reprimanded by Planned Parenthood of Delaware for “unprofessional, disrespectful, and inappropriate” conduct that included “yelling, screaming, and cursing” in front of employees and patients and sexual harassment of female employees.
The state also charged Liveright with incompetence and negligence related to abortions he performed on five patients from Feb. 12 to March 13 of this year.
Liveright has 20 days to respond to the complaint, according to James Collins, director of the Division of Professional Regulation. The Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline will hear the case or refer it to an administrative hearing officer for recommendation.
Read formal complaint filed by the Delaware Department of Justice on May 30, 2013 concerning Dr. Timothy Liveright who worked for Planned Parenthood in Wilmington, Delaware !
Collins said the board has several sanctions available, including license revocation, a fine, suspension, probation and reprimand.
Specifically, the complaint cited Liveright for:
• Oversedating patients
• Performing unnecessary suction procedures
• Failing to properly assess a patient’s airway, lungs and heart prior to administering sedation
• Failing to properly assess patients
• Failing to properly administer oxygen
• Failing to adequately document procedures and results of procedures in patient charts
• Failing to consider alternative treatments
• Causing at least one perforation during surgery
• Failing to properly supervise resident physicians during procedures
• Failing to act with due competence and diligence to avoid unnecessary complications, resulting in patients requiring emergency hospital treatment
Liveright said his attorney will go “full force ahead” in his response to the complaint.
“They’re beating the same drum,” he said. “It’s an echo. They feel they have to do something – but it’s already been done.”
The state started the investigation earlier this year when several emergencies arose after abortions Liveright performed at the Wilmington clinic. A small cadre of anti-abortion protesters witnessed the arrival of ambulances and raised questions. Two former Planned Parenthood nurses then came forward with complaints they had filed in 2012 against the doctor and clinic.
Liveright left the staff of Planned Parenthood in late March. In April, he sent a letter to the Division of Professional Regulation, saying he had “retired from practicing medicine in Delaware and [had] no intentions of ever seeking practice there in the future,” according to the complaint.
“He is still accountable for any actions that may have occurred while he was licensed here,” Collins said. “He is still subject to sanctions.”
Liveright has performed abortions in several states across the country, but several of those medical licenses are no longer in effect. He still is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania. When asked if he was practicing there, Liveright said, “None of your business.”
BACK STORY HERE
Delaware Planned Parenthood staffer RN Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich, , who worked at Planned Parenthood Delaware’s Dover and Wilmington clinics for 3-1/2 months in 2012, spoke to Jill Stanek and revealed many troubling aspects of the abortion clinic she walked out of.
Jane claims she sent documentation and letters of complaint about the abortion clinic to Planned Parenthood who ignored them.
Other incidents, excerpted from a letter Jane wrote to her bosses (with slight grammatical editing):
“During a procedure that another doctor was performing, Dr. Liveright entered the room to see how things were proceeding. The doctors had a conversation regarding the faulty equipment in front of the patient…. After the doctors finished their conversation, Dr. Liveright struck the patient’s right lateral thigh with force with his opened hand, stating ‘BREATHE!’ The patient, shocked and puzzled, looked at me as if to say, ‘What is he doing?’ I suggested that Dr. Liveright must have some sort of unusual technique to help distract patients from the discomfort of the procedure. The patient looked at me, rolled her eyes, held my hand tight, and tried to relax and concentrate on her breathing. That is when Dr. Liveright peeks around the curtain (as he had not exited the room) and plays peek-a-boo with the patient. The patient then rolls her eyes and shakes her head stating, ‘He’s not right.’ The entire time this is happening, the other doctor is continuing to dilate the patient! I then stated, ‘Goodbye Dr. Liveright,’ as I pulled the curtain around his head….”
“Sexual harassment: I have noted Dr. Liveright inappropriately look up and down patients as well as staff members in a sexual kind of way. He actually stands back with a grin and slowly directs his eyes up and down a patient’s body.”
Jayne said management told her Liveright had previously been disciplined for sexual harassment against a staff member.
Jayne’s letter also described Liveright as a racist in a bizarre incident with an African-American patient:
“Dr. Liveright enters the room… and states… ‘Did you know that the Belgians took over Africa and did really bad things?’…. He continues to carry this conversation on with himself while he roughly dilates and then belittles the patient…. (by the way, a patient that is crying and holding on to my hand tight, as I try to distract her from him)…. He states, ‘The United States does the same thing. Did you know that?’ The patient, with tears falling down her cheeks, shakes her head, indicating, ‘No,’ which Dr. Liveright replies, ‘I didn’t think you’d know anything about that. Yup, the United States is a big bully.’”
Jane is one of two former employees of Planned Parenthood Delaware – both registered nurses – have publicly called for investigations into the operation’s practices.
“What I believe should happen is that Planned Parenthood should no longer be self-regulated,” said Joyce Vasikonis, a Dover nurse who also worked at the Wilmington site. Vasikonis was interim surgical services manager when she resigned last August.
Vasikonis describes herself as “radically pro-abortion,” but said she could not continue to work under the conditions she saw.
According to the Washington Post, the two nurses testified at a state Senate hearing about problems at the facility.
“He was a very small part of it,” nurse Joyce Vasikonis said Thursday about Liveright. “The biggest issue for me was sterility. The staff didn’t know how to maintain sterility from beginning to end.”
Vasikonis, who worked at the clinic from October 2011 to August 2012, said Liveright often failed to wear sterile gloves during abortions, but that she never saw any problems with the actual physical procedures themselves.
She also said she never saw Liveright yelling or cursing, but that she did witness an incident of sexual harassment. That incident involved Liveright teasing a young female intern about a cellphone photograph of a pierced penis that he and another male employee were looking at.
Liveright said the two nurses had legitimate concerns — not about him, but about Planned Parenthood.
“Planned Parenthood is partly to blame for all of this,” he said. “They’ve allowed this circus to continue. It’s partly because they never listened to these women to begin with.”
Liveright promised to clear his name but said he bears no ill will toward the agency.
“Women are taken care of. Abortions are done,” he said. “A couple of complications, but by and large no problem. People can complain about nit-picky stuff and the nurses were on a rampage because no one would listen within the organization.”
Despite the unwelcome allegations and the fact that he thinks Planned Parenthood has “blackballed me,” Liveright said he would consider working for them again.