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Alabama Abortion Business Surrenders License After Woman Delivers Dead Full-Term Baby.

An abortion center under investigation for allegations of severe misconduct has voluntarily surrendered its license, after unqualified staff gave a woman in advanced pregnancy an early-term abortion drug.

The Summit Medical Center had its license suspended on May 17 by the Alabama Department of Health, with a hearing pending on June 20. The state would have attempted to revoke the center’s license at the hearing, the AP reported 14June.

Allegations against the business include statements that a nurse practitioner, not a doctor, gave an ultrasound to a woman in the third trimester of pregnancy and concluded she was only six weeks pregnant. The practitioner then gave the woman the abortion drug RU 486, intended for use only within the first nine weeks of pregnancy, despite the woman’s dangerously high blood pressure.

A report by the state health department said the woman checked in to a hospital emergency room six days later with the head of a baby protruding and “delivered a stillborn, macerated, foul smelling, six pound, four ounce baby.”
The business is under investigation by the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners and could face criminal charges.

The board has temporarily suspended the licenses of Dr. Deborah Lyn Levich and nurse practitioner Janet F. Onthank King, and banned them from working together.

The board has accused Dr. Levich of allowing nurse practitioner King to prescribe drugs and perform services she was not qualified to carry out. Dr. Levich has been summoned to a board hearing on July 18.

A lawsuit was brought against the Birmingham center in June of 2004, after a woman died of a perforated uterus following an abortion at the center. The doctor who performed the abortion, also named in the suit, had his license to practice medicine suspended in the states of Alabama and Mississippi in 2004.

Abortionist Malachy DeHenre was accused of “gross malpractice” by the Medical Licensure Commission of Alabama after three women required complete hysterectomies to control severe haemorrhaging following abortions, and Leigh Ann Stephens Alford died.

Summit has abortion centers in Connecticut, Georgia, Michigan and Nevada, as well as the state of Alabama.

[Alabama Abortion Center Closed After Botched RU-486 Abortion
Mississippi Abortionist's Medical License Suspended for Malpractice
Mississippi Abortionist says He won't Commit Abortions Again]
[Gudrun Schultz June 15, 2006]

Prior information

The Alabama Department of Public Health signed and delivered its Emergency Order for the License Suspension to Summit Medical Center of Alabama, Inc., an abortion center in Birmingham, Alabama, on 17May06. The center was closed 17May06, for any abortion or reproductive health services.

In summary:
A woman, Patient A, on 20Feb06, went to Summit Medical Center in Birmingham. While the staff took Patient A’s blood pressure reading of 182/129 (“a critically and dangerously high blood pressure that indicated a need for immediate medical treatment”), and while no physician was on the premises (although records show there was a physician), an ultrasound was performed by a non-physician staff member; Patient A was told she was 6 weeks pregnant…

Patient A was given a dosage of Mifeprex and “Summit staff dispensed four tablets of Misoprostol to Patient A and gave her instructions to insert the four tablets” on 22Feb06).

On the evening of 26Feb06, “Patient A presented to the emergency room of a Birmingham hospital with the head of a baby protruding". The baby was a "stillborn, macerated, six pound, four ounce baby".

According to ADPH, there are "multiple, serious violations of the State Rules".

Alabama Physicians For Life, Inc. is deeply concerned about the substandard care and treatment given to this woman. How many other women suffer such treatment at this center, or at other abortion facilities in this state, in silence?

ADPH made this emergency suspension “based upon facts determined by Alabama Department of Public Health surveyors during an investigation of a complaint against Summit, which included two on-site visits to the facility”. How many times are such medical malpractice situations occurring without complaints, because women are ashamed or too embarrassed to come forward?

The State of Alabama needs to better regulate its ten licensed abortion sites; higher standards of care should be required, either through ADPH itself, or through legislative action. Ambulatory care centers must maintain high health standards of care, cleanliness, and medical accountability. Abortion centers should be held to this same standard.

“This same Summit Medical Center presented Dr. Malachy Dehenre (who, according to the AP has performed 35,000 abortions) as their compassionate and caring abortionist. Yet, the Alabama Medical Licensure Commission indefinitely suspended his license (12.204) declaring him guilty of ‘gross malpractice’,” according to Jim Pinto in Birmingham, AL, local and national pro-life activist. Our Alabama women deserve good care, not malpractice.

Our members of Alabama Physicians For Life, Inc., thank our ADPH for taking this action against the Summit abortion business. Because of this and previous medical malpractice situations at this abortion facility, we hope that the license will be permanently revoked.

APFLI also looks forward to this same level of watchfulness for the other abortion centers in the state in the future.

Alabama Physicians For Life, Inc.                                   18May06