Two of Alabama’s Largest Abortion Sites May be Forced to Close / Alabama Abortion Dismemberment Ban Act Passed & Signed

2 of Alabama’s 3 Largest Abortion Sites May be Forced to Close Protests at Huntsville abortion site 5.5.16 Rev. James Henderson speaks to reporters outside the Alabama Women’s Center, LLC in Huntsville while being videoed by one of the abortion business’ escorts. Two of Alabama’s three largest abortion facilities may be forced to close because of a bill passed Wednesday by the state legislature and expected to be signed into law by Gov. Robert Bentley. Abortion sites in Huntsville and Tuscaloosa are located within 2,000 feet of public schools grades K-8, which will break the law if Bentley signs Senate bill 205 into law. The two businesses performed 5,927 abortions in 2014 (the most recent statistics available), according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. Those clinics performed 72 percent of the 8,080 abortions in the state in 2014. The Huntsville site is across the street from Academy for Academics and Arts, a K-8 school, on Sparkman Drive and the Tuscaloosa site is located near Tuscaloosa Magnet elementary (grades 1-5) and middle schools (grades 6-8) on McFarland Boulevard. The ACLU on Thursday reiterated its stance that it will take legal action if the bill is signed into law as well as another abortion-related bill. “With precious little time remaining in the legislative session, and in the face of so many issues facing the state, Alabama’s elected officials today chose to focus on attacking women’s healthcare,” said Susan Watson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama. “We know that restrictions like these only endanger the health and safety of Alabama women.” In Huntsville on Thursday, Rev. James...

Alabama Abortion Business Inspected: Aborting ‘Viable’ Babies, Expired Equipment, Hospitalizing a Patient

Alabama Department of Public Health has detailed how an Alabama abortion facility sent a patient to the hospital, failed to document whether 16 unborn children were viable before aborting them, and possessed expired medical equipment. The patient was transferred from the West Alabama Women’s Center to a hospital in repository distress in August 2015, according to a deficiency report detailing the facility’s lack of compliance with health regulations. Contradicting protocol, sixteen out of 22 records that inspectors examined didn’t list whether the unborn child aborted was viable. According to the ADPH report, protocol dictates that, “If the physician determines that the fetus is viable, the pregnancy shall not be terminated at the abortion or reproductive health center except when an immediate abortion is necessary to preserve the life or physical health of the mother.” In addition to not recording whether 16 unborn children were viable before aborting them, the West Alabama Women’s Center also failed to document: Results from a patient’s lab/ultrasound work The size of a suction cannula that was used in abortion Whether an unborn child was aspirated out of his or her mother’s womb manually or electronically A patient’s estimated blood loss from a surgical abortion and whether the child who was aborted “appeared normal or abnormal” The fetal age of an unborn child, the condition of the mother following the abortion, if the “products of conception was [sic] normal for the gestational age,” and “if the patient requested to see the products of conception and if pregnancy tissue was seen.” According to the deficiency report, inspectors found 15 cannulas, 16 curettes, 46 disposable rigid curettes,...

West Alabama Abortion Business Files Lawsuit Over State Regulation

A Tuscaloosa abortion clinic has sued the state over a regulation that could cause the facility to permanently close. West Alabama Women’s Center filed the lawsuit in Montgomery federal court last week against state health officials over a regulation that requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital or a contract with a physician who does to handle patients with complications. The requirement is not new. However, the clinic’s previous physician retired and the new doctor has been unable to gain admitting privileges or find a local gynecologist to take the contract. The clinic argued in the lawsuit that the regulation is unnecessary and that closure of the clinic will curtail women’s access to abortion in the state. The abortion site is one of five licensed abortion providers in Alabama and one of two that provide abortions in the second trimester. The American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama is representing the clinic in the lawsuit. “We’re asking the court to either strike the requirement or to make an exception,” said Susan Watson, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama. Watson said with other medical procedures, it is standard for patients with complications to go to the emergency room. She said doctors are hesitant to take the contracts with the abortion businesses because of harassment by anti-abortion activists. A federal judge last year overturned a state law that would have required the doctors who perform the abortions to have the admitting privileges themselves, instead of contracting with a local provider. Lawyers for the center wrote that it is the largest abortion provider in the state and in...