News Abortion

State of Alabama Harasses and Seeks to Close Abortion Clinic, While Women Die Needlessly in Childbirth

Ann Rose

New Woman All Women in Birmingham Alabama is the abortion clinic bombed by Eric Rudolph in 1998 resulting in the death of a police officer and the maiming of a nurse. It has now been "bombed" by the Alabama Department of Public Health under the direction presumably of anti-choice Governor Robert J. Bentley, a dermatologist.

Cross-posted with permission from Daily Kos.

New Woman All Women in Birmingham Alabama is the abortion clinic bombed by Eric Rudolph in 1998 resulting in the death of a police officer and the maiming of a nurse. It has now been “bombed” by the Alabama Department of Public Health under the direction presumably of anti-abortion Governor Robert J. Bentley, a dermatologist.  

In February, the clinic transferred two patients to the hospital because of a medication error. The transfer was routine and based on good medical care. The anti-choice protesters followed the ambulance harassed the patients and got their private medical information.  The patients were never in any danger and were released with no complications. The protesters then pressured the Alabama Department of Public Health to investigate the clinic. ADPH spent over 4 weeks in the clinic investigating and digging and coming up with 76 violations, one of which was failure to read the doctor’s handwriting and cited 10 or so different ways. They ordered the clinic closed by May 18th.

The owner Diane Derzis, a longtime friend of mine, reached an agreement with the state for someone else to take over the management of the clinic by granting a license to another party to keep the clinic open. Now, the state is saying that they are denying the license because the new owner is closely involved with Diane, and Diane stands to still profit from the clinic because rent is tied to revenues, a process that happens in many malls in this country.

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According to WSFA.com

In its denial of a license, the ADPH said, “It is clear that this arrangement would allow the former operator to remain involved in the center’s financial affairs and to be entitled to all the profits from the continued operation of the center; it does not allow for the proposed new operator to independently operate the center. “

It is clear to anyone with half a brain that this action is politically motivated. Trust me, Diane is pretty darned burned out on all of this harassment in Alabama and welcomes the thought of not having to deal with clinic affairs there any more.

If Alabama really really cared about women, they would investigate the many deaths of women in childbirth. Nearly 12 Alabama women die from maternal mortality for every 100,000 live births. The ADPH should plant themselves for a month in each and every facility where a woman died from giving birth.  

Instead, they went on a witch hunt with the express purpose of shutting down this abortion clinic. The safety of women had nothing to do with this investigation. If every doctor’s office were closed because someone couldn’t read the doctor’s handwriting, I’m afraid none of us would have any healthcare.

By the way, to add insult to injury, Diane Derzis was also recently assaulted by an anti-abortion protester Jeff White outside the clinic. This took place in front of a Birmingham policeman sitting in a police car who refused to arrest him. You can watch the video here for yourself.  It’s at the 7:24 mark.  

Note also that the protester was trespassing on clinic property for most of the video.

If you’re as disgusted by all of this as I am, here’s what you can do:

From Voices of Choice:

Dear Volunteers,

Diane Derzis is need of some support. Anti Abortion bullies have been videotaped in what appears to be trespassing on to clinic grounds, destroying property, and then physically assaulting Diane. All while Birmingham police Officer Virgil Kinnell sits in his cruiser in front of the clinic.

Jeff While is the individual that is on the tape actually shoving Diane. The clinic has also been targeted by Janice Nelson, Terry Gensemer, David Lackey, and Craig Philpot.

Please contact the anti-abortion bullies listed below.

1) Ask them to please stop harassing people at the New Woman All Woman clinic in Birmingham, AL. 2) Let them know that while we are all protected by the first amendment, none of the Voice of Choice members has shown up at their homes or work places with graphic posters. 3) Ask them if they think men should hit women that work in health care clinics. 4) Ask them if they like the unsolicited opinions of strangers.

When you call DO NOT ARGUE WITH THEM. Do not talk about religion or politics. Do not leave a message. Be polite!

So that we all have a chance to participate we need to do this in shifts. If you have not already called please start today. If you have already called, thank you.

Jeff White (and wife Janis) 909-337-2495   JLWhite@peoplepc.com jw202k@gmail.com

Terry Gensemer (and wife Patti) Work 205-786-2805 Cel 205-253-0159 home 205-798-8209

Janice Nelson 205-999-1141

David Lackey 205-914-1656

Craig Philpot  home 205 982 3077 but please try work first 205.271.8000. He is a doctor in Birmingham and we would like to know how his staff feels about his hobbies.

Thank you,
Todd
 

So, both of these incidents prove beyond any doubt that the state is after this clinic, and probably every other clinic in Alabama. If one clinic is closed due to anti-abortion pressure, then all are in danger. We cannot let this trend continue. This is a most egregious assault in the continuing War on Women.

Diane is also the owner of the last remaining clinic in Mississippi, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which is also in danger of being closed due to an insane law just signed by the governor which requires the clinic doctors to have local hospital admitting privileges.  The kink in this law is that none of the Jackson hospitals will give them privileges, even though they are well qualified OB-GYNs. One local supportive doctor who helps with complications is even being singled out by State officials who are trying to keep him off of the Board of Health.

To complain to Alabama health department officials, here is the contact information:

Dr. Donald E. Williamson, State Health Officer
Phone: (334) 206-5200
Email: sho@adph.state.al.us
Email: DrDonaldWilliamson@adph.state.al.us

Dr. Walter T. Geary, Medical Director, Bureau of Health Provider Standards
Phone: (334) 206-5366
Email: wt.geary@adph.state.al.us

Brian Hale, Legal Counsel
Phone: (334) 206-5209

News Law and Policy

Alabama Abortion Clinics Could Soon Be Regulated Like Sex Offenders

Teddy Wilson

GOP backers of the measure have said that abortion clinics should not be near schools because of the "commotion" caused by anti-choice protesters outside the facility.

The Republican-dominated Alabama legislature green lighted a pair of anti-choice bills Wednesday in the final hours the legislative session: one that regulates abortion clinics like sex offenders and another that criminalizes a common method of second-trimester abortion care.

Both measures were passed by wide margins. Republican Gov. Robert Bentley is expected to sign both bills.

SB 205, sponsored by state Sen. Paul Sanford (R-Huntsville), would prohibit the Alabama Department of Public Health from issuing or renewing a health center license to an abortion clinic or reproductive health center located within 2,000 feet of a public school, regulating abortion clinics in the same manner as registered sex offenders.

GOP backers of the measure have said that abortion clinics should not be near schools because of the “commotion” caused by anti-choice protesters outside the facility.

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The bill targets a Huntsville-area abortion clinic that was forced by state legislators three years ago to relocate across the street from a school. The Alabama Women’s Center, one of five clinics in the state providing abortion care, reportedly spent $550,000 in relocation costs to comply with a targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) law Bentley signed in 2013.

The West Alabama Women’s Center in Tuscaloosa, which is located near the Tuscaloosa Magnet Schools-Elementary, would also be forced to close.

The two clinics provide the vast majority of abortion services in the state. The clinics performed 5,927 abortion procedures in 2014, or 72 percent of the abortion procedures in the state that year, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. The house gave final approval to SB 205 with a 73-18 vote, with two Democrats joining Republicans in voting in favor of the bill.  

Rep. Ed Henry (R-Hartselle), who sponsored an identical bill in 2015 that didn’t pass, said during floor debate that the bill was intended to protect school children, reported the Associated Press.

“I don’t feel like these types of facilities need to be anywhere near our children,” Henry said.

Rep. Laura Hall (D-Huntsville) said during the floor debate that it was disturbing that a person or facility would comply with state law only to be penalized by lawmakers.

“It is unfair for an individual to meet the demands of a law that we passed and when they moved, we create another law to put them basically out of business,” Hall said.

Officials from the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama have vowed to file a lawsuit challenging the law if it is signed by the governor. 

“This law is an attack on the health and well-being of Alabama women. Government and politicians should not intrude on these personal, private family decisions,” Susan Watson, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama, said in a statement. “If passed, this outrageous law will only result in yet another costly lawsuit, which is the last thing our state needs.”

SB 363 would prohibit a physician from performing a “dismemberment abortion” unless it is necessary to prevent serious health risk to the pregnant person. This law targets a procedure known as dilation and evacuation (D and E), which is frequently used during second-trimester abortions.

Physicians who violate the law would face fines of up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment for up to two years. The house approved SB 363 with a 74-26 vote, with two Democrats joining the Republicans in passing the measure. 

An abortion using suction aspiration can be performed up to 14 weeks’ gestation, but after 14 weeks, the D and E procedure is commonly used to perform an abortion, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. As such, D and E bans, depending upon their language, may ban all surgical abortion past 14 weeks’ gestation.

Republican legislators in several states have introduced bills to ban the D and E procedure over the past two years. The bills have been copies of legislation drafted by the anti-choice group known as the National Right to Life Committee.

Alabama will join neighboring Mississippi in passing bills this year outlawing the procedure if Bentley signs SB 363.

State courts have blocked such measures passed by GOP lawmakers in Oklahoma and Kansas. West Virginia’s Republican-held legislature in March voted to override the veto of a similar anti-choice bill.

Minority Leader Craig Ford (D-Gadsden) called out what he viewed as Republican hypocrisy during the floor debate, as GOP lawmakers restrict abortion access while refusing to provide health care for low-income families.

“We want to ban abortions, but we don’t want to fund Medicaid to take care of the babies once they’re born,” Ford said.

News Abortion

New Alabama Bill Seeks Both to Fool and Misinform Women Seeking Safe Abortion Care

Robin Marty

A new omnibus abortion bill will redo the state's "informed consent" requirements.

The Alabama legislature is at it again. They’ve promoted bills allowing employers to deny birth control coverage to employees and TRAP laws intended to shut down clinics that provide safe abortion care. Now Alabama’s forced pregnancy brigade is focusing on new mandatory waiting periods and informed consent laws. If HB 350 becomes law, women seeking safe abortion care will receive a list of sites where they can obtain free ultrasounds, all of which are crisis pregnancy centers that do not provide the  forced ultrasounds required by the state, but do intend to talk women out of their decisions. Women would also receive information on a state website of resources allegedly available for a woman who continues her pregnancy to term. She would also have to be provided with the business card of the physician who will be doing the abortion, and printed materials telling her abortion increases her risk of breast cancer (it does not), and that “Abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.”

The “abortion will give you breast cancer” statement isn’t the only lie in the informed consent materials. A new addition will have the physician tell the woman “If the unborn child is viable or has reached a gestational age of more than 19 weeks, the unborn child may be able to survive outside the womb.” [emphasis added]

Since 19 weeks gestational age is a mere 17 weeks post-fertilization, and not even halfway into a normal 40 week gestational/38 week post fertilization pregnancy, no, a fetus at 19 weeks cannot survive outside the womb, not even with extensive medical assistance. The earliest surviving baby was born at 21 weeks 6 days. Although they can be put on respirators to breathe for them, the lungs must develop enough to be able to process the air, development that doesn’t even begin until 17 weeks gestation.

Besides codifying medical lies into “informed consent,” the new bill will also force women to listen to the heart tones of the fetus or embryo prior to an abortion (although she can still turn her head away from the ultrasound placed in front of her while the physician describes the picture—at least this year) during their state mandated ultrasound.

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Inaccurate medical declarations, state-mandated forms to trick women into visiting crisis pregnancy centers and emotional manipulations in the exam room prior to the termination? Alabama legislators are obviously determined to ensure that if their plan to close the state’s clinics fail, they can bully women out of abortions instead.