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Pro-choice Wall of Silence or complicity in the War on Women – when abortion injures and kills the women they claim to protect

Posted in Abortion and Sexual Assault, Abortion Clinic Closed, Abortion Clinic Inspections, abortion clinic safety, Abortion Clinic Worders, Abortion coma, Abortion complication, Abortion death, Abortion injury, Abortion lawsuit, Abortion Regulation, Abortion stats, Abortionist, Abortionist arrested, NARAL, National Abortion Federation, National Organization for Women, NOW, Planned Parenthood silent on abortion risks, Pro-choice silence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2013 by saynsumthn

Pro-choice groups and the media often cover-up for the abortion industry even when they do egregious things to women. One of the most recent examples was a Florida abortion doctor who slapped a patient in the face – there was zero coverage on the media and SILENCE from groups like NOW, NARAL, and Planned Parenthood:

whitney_booking_warrant_09-22-2010-240x300The Florida Board of Medicine has given a “slap on the wrist” to Randall Whitney, an abortionist who was arrested in 2011 and charged with aggravated battery for slapping a pregnant woman across the face prior to an attempted abortion procedure at Orlando Women’s Center.

As reported when the arrest occurred by this blog:

Long-time Volusia County, Florida abortionist Randall B. Whitney was arrested by Orlando Police inside the Orlando Women’s Center after he slapped a woman patient while preparing her for an abortion procedure.

rwhitney_arrest_citationWhitney Arrest Page 2

Below is a transcript of Orlando Police arresting officer J. Hughley ( patient’s last name is removed):

I,officer Hughley was sitting inside the office when I heard a OWC [Orlando Woman’s Center] patient run out of one of the rooms screaming advising the doctor has slapped her. I followed the patient outside and she advised in a sworn written statement: she went into the exam room to get an abortion procedure and the doctor was trying to find a vein to give some valium. She Amanda ______ advised the doctor had poked her three times trying to get the needle in the vein. She told him the needle was not in the vein and it started to burn. Amanda advised she started screaming. The doctor took the needle out and told her to shut up because she was scaring other patients. Amanda advised she got up and told the doctor she wanted to leave, so she stood up and the doctor slapped her on the left side of the face. Amanda advised that’s when she left. She also advised she did not give the doctor permission to slap her and wishes to press charges. Due to the needle or medicine Amanda’s fingers began to turn blue, so OFD (Orlando Fire Department) was notified. When I (officer Hughley) went back inside the building, the doctor (Dr Whitney) was sitting in the front office and he advised he did slap Amanda because she was being very uncooperative and he was trying to calm her down. Assistant Sonia Merced was inside the room with Dr. Whitney, but refuse to say what happened, nor did she want to write a statement. Dr Whitney refused to write a statement also. Amanda’s face was red on the left side of the face. Whitney was arrested and transported to central booking for aggravated battery.

Whitney was arrested and taken to jail and later released on bond.
Florida Case#: 2010-CF-004271-A-O

Life Dynamics Logo

According to Mark Crutcher, president of Life Dynamics, Inc. which investigates the abortion industry, “This of course, is exactly the kind of behavior we’ve come to expect from the washouts and losers who work in abortion clinics.”

MEDIA WOMEN’S GROUPS SILENT:

Crutcher points out that, “The abortion lobby’s media stooges will always look the other way when these episodes take place. And if you want to see how outrageous that is, just ask yourself how much coverage this story would have gotten if, instead of being assaulted by her abortionist, this woman had been slapped by a pro-life sidewalk counselor as she was walking into the clinic. Where are the so-called women’s groups? If anyone other than an abortionist had done the same thing, do you think they might have trotted out their “war-on-women” rhetoric? Count on it.”

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Author and Pro-choice Writer William Saletan detailed more exampled of the silence of the abortion and women’s groups when it comes to protecting abortionists:

HOWARD SILVERMAN – SEXUAL MOLESTER

In 1989, the Boston Globe disclosed that abortionist Howard J. Silverman, owner of Massachusetts’ biggest chain of abortion clinics, Repro Associates an abortion clinic in Brookline., had admitted to sexual misconduct with a female patient. Based on the patient’s complaint, Silverman had lost his authority to admit patients to nearby hospitals in the event of complications.

In the Boston Globe’s July 2, 1999 article (Board OKs claims against doctor) Silverman allegedly “touched the breasts of numerous patients for no legitimate medical purpose.”

In addition he, “made sexual advances on a medical assistant . . . in an examination room while a patient was still on the examining table. Between 1994 and 1995, Silverman allegedly told a patient to prepare for a pelvic exam by getting “into the position that got you here.”

The New York Times also reported the conduct in their December 10, 1995 article, Investigation Targets Tests For Abortions. The Times states, that in 1984, the Board of Registration in Medicine disciplined Silverman for sexual misconduct with an 18-year-old patient. As a result of all these action, Silverman’s privileges to admit patients to five Boston area hospitals were revoked and have not been reinstated. He must now rely on colleagues to admit patients to hospitals in emergency cases.

Saletan writes, “Despite this, he continued to perform abortions. Unlike other providers in the area, Silverman used dubious advertising tactics, refused Medicaid patients, and apparently reaped huge profits. Although his three clinics handled more than 10,000 abortions per year, he disguised them as doctors’ offices, thereby evading the state’s abortion clinic regulations.”

Jennifer Jackson, than President of the Massachusetts National Organization for Women, made this outrageous comment, “N.O.W. is appalled to learn of any doctor engaged in the sexual exploitation of women, but this is only one doctor and one incident, others working to provide safe abortions should not be tainted by it.”

The Globe found that pro-choice supporters had known of his sexual misconduct, as well as his generally bad reputation, but had kept it secret. “The question was: “Who was going to tell?” an anonymous source in the pro-choice community told the Globe. “Do we go public with it and hurt the whole movement or do we keep quiet and deny women the chance to make an informed choice about who does their abortion?”

In 1995, the Boston Globe did a piece on Silverman entitled: “Please Spare Us Dr. Silverman” where author Eileen McNamara seems to sarcastically hint that the National Abortion Federation (NAF) is silent when it comes to scum abortion doctors. She writes, “Understandably reputable abortion providers wish Dr. Silverman would just go away. Abortion is problematic enough without politically without calling attention to a practitioner who does not pass the smell test…Which is why the National Abortion Federation is misguided to acknowledge that Dr. Silverman is not a member of the organization, which sets voluntary standards for the field. Refusing to say whether he has never applied or been rejected because of substandard care is hardly in the interest of the women it professes to serve.”

WOMAN DIES IN MARYLAND- PRO-CHOICERS SILENT:

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Another horror story surfaced in Maryland where a woman lapsed into respiratory trouble while under anesthesia for an abortion at the Hillview Women’s Medical Surgical Center. Despite having no anesthesiologist on hand, the clinic’s medical director continued the operation. The patient went into cardiac arrest and died. A year later, a similar crisis developed. Again, there was no anesthesiologist. This time, clinic workers tried to revive the woman with the wrong drug and couldn’t get the clinic’s emergency oxygen equipment to work. The woman was left paralyzed, unable to walk or talk. Three years later, she died.

The clinic’s owner, Barbara Lofton, blamed reports of her recklessness on the pro-life views of the local paramedic chief. He denied that he held such views. Months later, on 60 Minutes, Lofton’s former employees and patients alleged that she had practiced medicine without a license and had nearly killed a patient by botching her abortion. CBS correspondent Meredith Vieira reported that “many pro-choice leaders knew about problems at Hillview but didn’t want them publicized. National Abortion Federation head Barbara Radford admitted she was just hoping we would go away.”

In the 60 minutes piece, the reporter says, “I wanted to talk to Barbara Lofton about those reports, but Lofton didn’t think there was much to talk about. Initially, neither did any of the abortion rights activists we contacted. As a reporter, I found that many pro-choice leaders knew about problems at Hillview, but didn’t want them publicized. National Abortion Federation head Barbara Radford [sp?] admitted she was just hoping we would go away.

To which BARBARA RADFORD, Head, National Abortion Federation replies, “Well, I think your first reaction from us was “This is the last thing we need.” We had hoped that it wouldn’t get national publicity because of the political nature of all of this.”

60 Minutes, “Pro-choice activists worry that clinics like Hillview will be used against them in the bitter political battle over abortion. They fear bad publicity will prompt state legislators to start regulating clinics and that pro-lifers will then use those regulations as a backdoor way to stop abortions. So even though those laws could make clinics sater, they usually fight them.”

Maryland had no laws for abortion clinics or outpatient surgery centers. Anesthesia and emergency medicine in these facilities were unregulated. That was why Lofton had moved her clinic to Maryland when the District of Columbia ordered her to stop performing abortions without a clinic license. A pro-choice legislator in Maryland had sought to regulate clinics but had met resistance from her colleagues. “There’s only so much of a willingness to try to push … the pro-choice movement to do what I think is the responsible thing to do,” the lawmaker lamented, “because they then treat you as if you’re the enemy.”

MORE ON NAF:

On Feb. 3, 2006, a 21-year-old woman went to Dr. Romeo A. Ferrer’s office at the Gynecare Center in Severna Park seeking an abortion. The African American Baltimore woman was 16 weeks pregnant, had a 3-year-old son and previously had two abortions without suffering any complications, according to the Board of Physicians’ complaint.

She sought an abortion because she couldn’t afford another child and came with a female friend because her family did not know about her pregnancy.

The patient signed a form authorizing an abortion procedure that used anesthesia and medication as necessary, but Ferrer, according to the board complaint, advised the staff that general anesthesia is not used at the clinic. The facility uses “conscious sedation,” referred to as “twilight sleep.”

The abortion was completed by 1:45 p.m., but a surgical assistant later noticed that the patient’s fingernail beds appeared blue. The staff was unable to get the patient’s blood pressure or pulse and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

They called 911 shortly before 2 p.m. The woman was taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center in Parole, where she was pronounced dead by 2:57 p.m.

Ferrer refers reporters to the National Abortion Federation, of which he is a member, and NAF Spokeswoman Melissa Fowler said abortion is one of the “safest and most commonly provided medical procedures” and that credit for its safety record can be attributed to the “specialized quality care provided by clinics like Gynecare Center,” where Ferrer had an office.

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PLANNED PARENTHOOD KNEW ABOUT GOSNELL: WOMAN AND BABIES NOW DEAD

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Dayle Steinberg is CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Daylesteinberg

Steinberg began her association with Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania (PPSP) in 1978 as a graduate intern, joined the full-time staff in 1981, served as director of surgical services from 1986-1992, then served for eight years as senior vice president, and was appointed president and CEO in 2001.

In February of 2010 WHYY reported that Steinberg denied knowing of any of the horrific conditions at Gosnells’ abortion clinic. They wrote: Steinberg: We do anticipate that women who might have scheduled appointments for abortion procedures at the Women’s Medical Society will be calling Planned Parenthood. and then reported, “Steinberg says she knows that Gosnell has provided abortions in Philadelphia for many years, but says she hadn’t heard of any problems at clinic until the allegations surfaced in recent days.”

PP Lied GosnellBut later, according to Philly.com : Steinberg said this about Gosnell at a public fundraiser: “Steinberg said that when Gosnell was in practice, women would sometimes come to Planned Parenthood for services after first visiting Gosnell’s West Philadelphia clinic, and would complain to staff about the conditions there.

“’We would always encourage them to report it to the Department of Health,’ Steinberg said as she sat with Steinem before Tuesday’s events.”

NATIONAL ABORTION FEDERATION (NAF) AND GOSNELL:

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Atlantic Women’s Medical Services, the Delaware abortion provider that employed Kermit Gosnell had its membership suspended by the National Abortion Federation.

From the Grand Jury Report: We recommend that NAF reassess the membership of Atlantic Women’s Medical Services, the Delaware abortion clinic where Gosnell worked part-time before losing his license in that state. We learned that at least six patients were referred from Atlantic to Gosnell’s clinic in Philadelphia for illegal late-term abortions. These patients paid Atlantic for late-term procedures performed by Gosnell in his Lancaster Avenue clinic. We heard evidence that Gosnell would insert laminaria in patients in Delaware and then have them come to his Philadelphia office for the abortion procedure itself. The director of Atlantic Women’s Medical Services, Leroy Brinkley, was unconcerned. He did not properly supervise the doctors he hired as “independent contractors” to assure that they were complying with the law. Remarkably, despite Gosnell’s long time association with Atlantic, Brinkley only produced three files for patients seen by Gosnell at Brinkley’s clinic.”

NAF/ GOSNELL TIMELINE:

Gosnell submitted an application to become a NAF member in November 2009

The NAF evaluator conducted a site review on December 14 and 15, 2009

Abortion Patient Died November 2009

FROM THE GOSNELL GRAND JURY REPORT:

In preparation for NAF’s visit, Gosnell and his wife frantically cleaned the facility. The doctor bought new lounge chairs to replace the bloody ones that were there, although by February 18, 2010, they were filthy again. He also re-hired former employee Della Mann, a registered nurse who was a friend of Randy Hutchins and a patient of Eileen O’Neill

*A national association of abortion providers declined to admit the Women’s Medical Society as a member, finding it to be the worst facility its inspector had ever seen.
Immediately following Karnamaya Mongar’s death in November 2009, Gosnell sought membership in the National Abortion Federation (NAF), a professional association of 400 abortion providers nationwide that offers referrals and services to member providers. Membership is contingent on meeting NAF’s quality assurance standards and is based on an on-site inspection. It is inexplicable that Gosnell believed he could somehow pass such an inspection or meet NAF standards.

A NAF quality assurance evaluator testified before the Grand Jury. She stated that NAF’s mission is to ensure safe, legal, and acceptable abortion care, and to promote
health and justice for women. To that end, NAF publishes clinical standards, called Clinical Policy Guidelines that members must follow. These guidelines are drawn from a review of evidenced-based medical literature and patient outcomes.

To be certified by NAF, a provider must submit to an on-site inspection and complete a detailed questionnaire designed to determine whether the provider complies
with NAF’s standards. After the initial approval and certification, members must complete questionnaires annually. NAF re-inspects members every five to seven years, or
more often if there is a complication or a serious event with a patient. Gosnell submitted an application to become a NAF member in November 2009 – apparently, and astonishingly, the day after Karnamaya Mongar died. The NAF evaluator conducted a site review on December 14 and 15, 2009. Despite the odd fact that Gosnell’s decision to seek NAF certification coincided with a patient’s death at his clinic, he made no mention of this significant event to the evaluator before she visited. In fact, it was not until their final interview, after she had spent two days with Gosnell at the facility, that he informed her of Mrs. Mongar’s death. In preparation for NAF’s visit, Latosha Lewis said that Gosnell and his wife frantically cleaned the facility. The doctor bought new lounge chairs to replace the bloody ones that were there, although by February 18, 2010, they were filthy again. He also re-hired former employee Della Mann, a registered nurse who was a friend of Randy Hutchins and a patient of Eileen O’Neill… Gosnell hired Mann, at $31 an hour, to work 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., Mondays and Tuesdays only. He told her that he wanted her to look at charts, evaluate lab work, and initial patient charts as if she – a licensed nurse – had been the person who had taken vital signs and recorded information in the charts.

This short-term job lasted four days and coincided with the NAF site review. Mann said she quit because she was uncomfortable with Gosnell’s fraud, which included paying her with a check, then taking the check back and giving her cash. Gosnell accomplished what he intended: He ostensibly had a licensed registered nurse on his staff – and her license number in his files – during the NAF review. Despite these efforts, the NAF review did not go well.

The first thing the evaluator noted when she arrived at 3801 Lancaster Avenue was the lack of an effective security system. Although the door was locked, when she rang the bell, no one answered. Even though she could not gain entry by ringing, she was able to walk right in when a man exited the clinic.

Once inside, she found that the facility was packed with so much “stuff, kind of crowded and piled all over the place,” that she couldn’t find a space to put her small overnight bag. She found the facility’s layout confusing, and was concerned that patients could not find their way around it or out of it. She was also concerned that there were plants everywhere, including in the procedure room and rooms designated as “labs.” Most alarming was the bed where Gosnell told her out-of-state patients were allowed to spend the night. These patients were unattended and it was difficult to locate the bathroom facilities and the exits. Such a practice does not meet NAF protocols. The NAF evaluator watched a few first-trimester procedures. She noticed that no one was monitoring or taking vital signs of patients who were sedated during procedures. She asked Gosnell about the pulse oximeter that should have been used for monitoring, but he told her it was broken. Apparently, Karnamaya Mongar’s death a month earlier had not caused Gosnell to obtain equipment that worked.

The evaluator did not observe Gosnell’s practice of allowing unlicensed workers to sedate patients when he was not at the facility, as she was there only when Gosnell was
there. Such a practice would not comply with NAF standards. The evaluator did note, however, that while she was talking to Gosnell in his office, a patient appeared to have been sedated by one of the staff. Such an action does not comport with NAF standards either. The evaluator cautioned Gosnell that he should make sure he was complying with state requirements because many states – including Pennsylvania – do not allow unlicensed workers to administer IV medications. The level of medication administered was also troubling to the evaluator. She testified that Gosnell’s own description of the effects of his routine second-trimester dose – that the patient would feel no pain at all – was a description of deep sedation. She added: “that … would really not be a safe situation … for him to be handling himself.” She explained that when deep sedation or general anesthesia is administered, NAF standards not only require that the doctor performing the procedure be present when the anesthesia is administered, they also require that another doctor or an anesthesiologist administer the sedation and monitor the patient. Instead, Gosnell had Lynda Williams,

Sherry West, and his other unlicensed workers routinely administer anesthesia without proper supervision or appropriate monitoring of patients. The evaluator explained to the Grand Jury, as did several medical experts, that because everyone reacts differently to anesthesia, a doctor has to be prepared for a patient to slip into a level of sedation beyond that intended. In cases in which Gosnell’s objective was deep sedation, therefore, he should have been prepared for the patient to react as if under general anesthesia. Significantly, it is not uncommon for patients under general anesthesia to lose the ability to breathe on their own. Gosnell’s clinic – without the drugs, staff, or equipment necessary to monitor, resuscitate, or assist his patients in breathing – was not even close to meeting NAF standards or any other standard of care.

The evaluator noted that Pennsylvania requires that anesthesia be administered only by licensed personnel, a regulation that Gosnell failed to follow even during the NAF review. Aside from these life-threatening practices, the evaluator noted numerous deficiencies in the clinic’s record keeping, including no notation of RH blood-typing and no record of sedation medications administered or the level of sedation. The clinic’s consent procedures also failed to meet NAF standards. Even with the evaluator watching, patients were not being informed of the risks of the medications, the sedation, or the procedure itself.

The evaluator testified that during the “counseling” she witnessed, a patient was told that Pennsylvania requires a 24-hour waiting period between when a patient is
counseled and when the abortion can be performed. After stating the requirement, however, the counselor, according to the evaluator, said: “Okay, well. When do you want
to come back for the abortion? Do you want to come back at 8 p.m.?” When the patient’s mother said, “but I thought we had to wait 24 hours,” the staff person responded, “if you
want to come back at 8 p.m., you can come back at 8 p.m.” Patient confidentiality is another important standard for NAF, and another that Gosnell flagrantly violated. The evaluator was troubled to find: Throughout the office, there were patient charts everywhere. On desks, on this – the area in that upstairs sleeping area by the sleeping room. There were piles and piles and piles of medical records. That was – if that were in an area that was closed off and nobody had access to it, charts being stored there weren’t a big deal, but if there were patients in the sleeping room, who had to leave there to go to the restroom, they had full access to all of these people’s medical information if they wanted to look through it, it was very, very concerning to me.

When asked if she had ever seen anything like the conditions and practices she observed at Gosnell’s clinic in any of the roughly one hundred clinics she has visited in
the United States, Canada, and Mexico, the evaluator answered: “No.”

Based on her observations, the evaluator determined that there were far too many deficiencies at the clinic and in how it operated to even consider admitting Gosnell to
NAF membership. On January 4, 2010, she wrote to Gosnell informing him of NAF’s decision and outlining the areas in which his clinic was not in compliance. The evaluator
told the Grand Jury that this was the first time in her experience that NAF had outright rejected a provider for membership. Usually, if a clinic is able to fix deficiencies and
come into compliance with the standards, NAF will admit them. Gosnell’s clinic, however, was deemed beyond redemption.

*We understand that NAF’s goal is to assist clinics to comply with its standards, not to sanction them for deficiencies. Nevertheless, we have to question why an evaluator from NAF, whose stated mission is to ensure safe, legal, and acceptable abortion care, and to promote health and justice for women, did not report Gosnell to authorities. To the jurors, the most appalling thing revealed by the NAF review is not that Gosnell tried to bluff his way through the application process with a borrowed nurse andsome new lounge chairs. It is that he made no effort to address the grave deficiencies in his practice that had caused Karnamaya Mongar’s death.

*Gosnell introduced [unlicensed employee Eileen] O’Neill to an evaluator from the National Abortion Federation (NAF), an association of abortion providers, as the doctor who performed the first-trimester medical abortions (performed with pills, not surgery) – and O’Neill confirmed to the NAF evaluator that she did treat these patients. *Gosnell also introduced O’Neill to another one-time clinic worker, Randy Hutchins, as a physician. Hutchins believed O’Neill was a licensed doctor because he saw her treat patients at the clinic. Hutchins personally knew one of the patients – Della Mann, a registered nurse who had worked at the clinic years earlier (and, again, for four days in December 2009, when the NAF evaluator was present).

*So too with the National Abortion Federation. NAF is an association of abortion providers that upholds the strictest health and legal standards for its members. Gosnell,
bizarrely, applied for admission shortly after Karnamaya Mongar’s death. Despite his various efforts to fool her, the evaluator from NAF readily noted that records were not
properly kept, that risks were not explained, that patients were not monitored, that equipment was not available, that anesthesia was misused. It was the worst abortion
clinic she had ever inspected. Of course, she rejected Gosnell’s application. She just never told anyone in authority about all the horrible, dangerous things she had see
n.

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ABORTIONIST BENJAMIN GRABER THWARTS ABORTION REGULATIONS

Ben Graber 2

From William Saletan’s the Sisterhood of Silence:

On Sept. 13, 1989, a month after Pennsylvania’s health department conducted its next-to-last inspection of Kermit Gosnell’s clinic, the Florida House Health Care Committee met to prepare for an upcoming special session on abortion. Gov. Bob Martinez had called the session to enact several anti-abortion bills, including tighter regulation of clinic safety. Testifying before the committee, abortion clinic owner Patricia Windle condemned legislation that would give state inspectors broad access to abortion facilities. She declared, “Regulation is a euphemism for an excuse to interfere and opportunity to burden.”

William Saletan writes, “Beneath that hard line, there were signs of trouble. The president of the Florida Obstetric and Gynecological Society testified that physicians in the abortion field were “usually residents or somebody in training,” if not from out of town. A representative from the Florida Department of Professional Regulation confirmed this problem: “There appears to be a trend among the physicians who perform terminations of pregnancy on a regular basis. They don’t have admitting privileges to hospitals themselves. Frequently, they have informal arrangements to admit their patients. The result has been in several cases that when things went bad, they didn’t have the ability to promptly admit a patient. … [T]hey go in for a short period of time to work there full-time to get enough money to go into another field, some of them.”

One member of the committee, Democratic state Rep. Ben Graber, knew of these shortcomings firsthand. Graber was an OB-GYN. He performed about 15 or 20 abortions per month. “The reason I became involved in abortion is the inadequacy of abortion services,” Graber told a reporter in August, a month before the hearings began. “These lay people are opening clinics and hiring half-trained doctors to do them.” The problem, he explained, was systemic: “[T]he clinics are a result of the issue being so controversial that doctors shied away from it.”

But when the discussion turned from his role as physician to his role as lawmaker, Graber clammed up. On Sept. 14, the director of the Florida Catholic Conference told the committee that a licensed doctor had lethally botched abortions at “the Dadeland abortion clinic” near Miami. Graber and the committee chairwoman cut off the speaker and dismissed his story. Two days later, Voice for Choice, a coalition of abortion rights advocates, mass-mailed a “Dear Colleagues” letter, signed by Graber on his private-practice stationery, asking doctors to contribute $250 to the pro-choice lobby to block “new areas of physician liability” and “unwarranted state intrusion” in their profession.

The next morning, the Sunday Miami Herald landed with a thud on doorsteps across Florida. Its weekly magazine, Tropic, featured an exposé of the clinic to which the committee’s witness had alluded. Owners of the clinic, formerly known as the Dadeland Family Planning Center, had “lured clients with misleading ads, listing the clinic under more than three dozen names in the phone book,” reporter Deborah Sontag wrote. And its record was awful:

“In the last 10 years, the clinic and its doctors have been sued 15 times. … One doctor who worked at the Dadeland clinic was a convicted sex offender. Another was reprimanded by his state licensing board for “gross malpractice.” A third was responsible for more than $500,000 in out-of-court settlements on abortions gone awry. Year after year, there were ruptured uteruses, perforated colons and emergency hysterectomies. … Finally, one woman, the unluckiest of all, died.”

Sixteen years after Roe, Sontag wrote, “the back alley persists—on a commercial street, in a medical building, with a front door, and sometimes even with a state license.”

William Saletan writes, “Behind that scandal stood another. The regulatory system had failed. Physicians outside the clinic had been confronted by its butchery but hadn’t reported it to the state. Negligence charges had been dropped or dismissed by the state Board of Medical Examiners. Years later, the Department of Professional Regulation was telling inquirers that the doctors responsible were still in good standing. And a year after Dr. Nabil Ghali, the clinic’s convicted sex offender, lost his license to practice medicine in Florida, the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services had granted him a license to open another abortion facility.

In 1983 abortion doc Nabil Ghali’s medical license in Kentucky was revoked following his conviction on four counts of unlawful sexual transaction with a minor. (A fourteen year old female neighbor) The victims younger sister also testified she has seen Ghali improperly touching a five year old child. In 1989 while Ghali was operating an abortion clinic in Florida and performing abortions in several other South Florida clinics, the state’s medical board began revocation procedures of his license due to falsification of his license application. Ghali was caught in Florida performing abortions in South Dade County. When Ghali later lost his license in Florida he moved to Ohio and continued to perform abortions. The State of Ohio after learning of Ghali’s history began revocation procedures. In February 1993 the Ohio Medical Board won an appeal upholding Ghali’s license revocation. In addition to Ghali’s sexual conduct he was involved in the death of at least one woman from an abortion procedure in Florida. ( SOURCE: Kentucky Medical Licensing Board case #190, State Medical Board of Ohio vs. Ghali’s, Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services inspection reports, 1989, The Miami Herald Tropic Magazine September 17, 1989, Utah Medial Board)

The private quality-control system had failed, too. Unsatisfied by the clinic’s methods or conduct, the National Abortion Federation and the Florida Abortion Council, which enforced their own safety standards, had rejected its applications for membership. But those verdicts carried no force. Women seeking abortions wanted them done quickly and anonymously. They relied on ads in the Yellow Pages. Under these circumstances, the clinic’s poor record hadn’t hurt business.”

The third scandal was worse still. More scrupulous abortion providers who considered the clinic unsavory had never filed a complaint or spoken out against it.

A few months before the Herald article appeared, pro-choice activists who privately disdained the clinic had rallied to its premises to resist a pro-life blockade and to present a united pro-choice front to the media.

MEDIA COVER-UP

Saletan again: The cover-up effort extended even to the Herald story. In a letter representing three other clinic operators, Patricia Windle had asked the Herald’s publisher to sit on the story until after the special session. Windle called the Dadeland clinic “wretched” but warned Sontag that “we don’t want to give the hysterics weapons.” She argued, as Sontag put it in her article, that “pro-choice advocates must maintain a hard line: that a woman is safer when abortion is legal. To acknowledge that in some instances women are still not so safe is to dilute the argument, to hand something over to the other side.”

For that reason, Sontag reported, pro-choice leaders refused legislative remedies, insisting that current regulations sufficed. But Sontag pointed out that the sole regulatory hurdle, a license, required only a $35 fee and an inspection. She then discredited the inspection system with a single illustration:

“When Ellen Williams died after an abortion at the Dadeland Family Planning Clinic, Dade Medical Examiner Joe Davis requested a special investigation. Investigators checked everything they could by law: The clinic indeed had copies of its doctors’ licenses; patient records were kept; fetal remains were adequately disposed of.

“In other words, the clinic passed.”

Slatenan points out, “The days of gore, fear, and silence hadn’t ended with Roe. Janis Compton, the director of the Florida Abortion Rights Action League, admitted to Sontag that there were bad entrepreneurs, drawn to the abortion business by its low capital requirements, steady demand, and cash transactions. “In my gut, I am completely aghast at what goes on at that place,” she told Sontag. “But I staunchly oppose anything that would correct this situation in law.”

Pro-choice lobbyists moved quickly to quash talk of changing the law. In a memo to lawmakers, Voice for Choice argued, “The Tropic article clearly illustrates that no matter how restrictive and well-intentioned laws are, greedy and fraudulent professionals will always persist in their pursuit to exploit the most vulnerable of our citizens.” The ACLU of Florida agreed: “No matter how many laws are passed, there will always be a very small number of individuals who will disregard the law and disregard their responsibilities to the people they serve. … More laws will not change unscrupulous people’s hearts.”