By Marc Thompson
MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) – Photos reveal some of the unsanitary conditions that led the Muskegon Fire Marshall to shut down an abortion clinic. Authorities say the code violations put the health and safety of patients at risk.
The photos, obtained via the Freedom of Information Act, were taken by police when they entered the Women’s Medical Services Building on Dec. 26, 2012 to investigate a break-in.
The photos show unsanitary conditions, including stained medical equipment near an examination chair, trash near lab equipment and discarded in a storage room, and water stains and holes in a leaky ceiling that is falling apart.
The investigator also reported “blood dripping from a sink p-trap in a room used by patients.”
Police did find evidence of a broken rear window connected to the break-in. But it’s what they found inside the clinic that prompted the fire marshal to shut the place down.
The photos document a long list of violations that pose a danger to “human life and public welfare,” according to city documents.
Among the 11 violations noted by the fire marshal was the improper disposal of syringes and needles, unsterilized medical equipment and dumping of chemicals and other liquids down the drain.
Target 8 investigators spoke with Dr. Robert Alexander, who ran the clinic, over the phone. He blamed the mess on whoever broke in.
“The last time I was there, when I left, it was pristine,” he said. “It was good.”
Monday, Alexander told Target 8 that he hadn’t seen the pictures, but wouldn’t comment further because he said it was part of a crime scene.
The list of violations have been passed on to the state, which is also investigating a September 2012 complaint by Operation Rescue – an anti-abortion group out of Kansas.
Police were also called out to the clinic in May on reports that a group of local protesters was outside harassing patients as they walked in. Police questioned the leader of the protest and the group broke up without incident. In that incident, Alexander didn’t want to file a formal complaint.
Target 8 has learned there are only four licensed abortion clinics in the state. Heritage Clinic for Women in Grand Rapids is one of them. A clinic must be licensed if they perform abortions on 50% of the women that come in for an exam. Women’s Medical Services in Muskegon was a non-licensed clinic.
City officials tell Target 8 the clinic will not re-open.
From Operation Rescue: “The photos and report confirm the existence of conditions at Alexander’s abortion clinic that were listed in our complaint filed four months earlier. The disturbing thing is that we have information that Alexander’s medical practice is as shoddy as the building he worked in. We call on the Medical Board in Michigan to act quickly on our complaint and suspend Alexander’s medical license in the interest of public safety.”
WOODTV.com, which obtained the photos and documents through an open records request, also interviewed abortionist Robert Alexander, who ran the abortion clinic. Alexander told the reporter that he left the building in pristine condition prior to the incident that alerted authorities, a statement that the reporter exposed as completely false.
“We urge the public to call the Michigan Bureau of Health Professionals and demand that they immediately suspend Robert Alexander’s medical license for the sake of human life and welfare, said Newman.
Phone: (517) 335-0918
Fax: (517) 241-9416