By Dave Andrusko
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has joined the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) in filing a lawsuit in Oakland County Circuit Court to shut down Womancare, a Detroit-area abortion clinic which Schuette’s office says has been operating without the required state surgical facility license since last summer.
State law requires a surgical facility license if patient load for abortions exceeds 50% of total patient load. The Detroit News reported that abortionist Alberto Hodari allowed his license to expire, saying he would reduce his abortion load to comply.
According to the Attorney General’s office, the lawsuit stems from a 2009 probe by the MDCH that found Womancare was violating state rules applying to freestanding surgical outpatient facilities.
“Instead of bringing the facility into compliance with state surgical facility standards, Hodari let the clinic license expire and said he planned to operate the facility as a gynecological clinic that would not exceed the threshold of surgeries requiring licensing as a freestanding surgical facility. However, information obtained by MDCH showed that Hodari continued to operate the facility as a surgical clinic without a license.”
Schuette added, “Physicians have special duty to follow state law and regulations intended to preserve the health and safety of their patients.”
“These laws have been on the books for more than a decade,” said Pamela Sherstad, spokeswoman for Right to Life of Michigan. Schuette “is following the laws that are in place. We’re commending Schuette for following the law for the safety of mothers and children.”
This is not Hodari’s first brush with authorities.
In 2008 Womencare was issued a “12-count misdemeanor warrant in 2008 for improper disposal of medical records after an anti-abortion group reported finding the records of 12 patients and medical waste in receptacles outside the facility,” the Detroit News reported.
And “In 2009, MDCH inspectors found a fire-code violation involving emergency exits at the facility on Southfield Road, according to court documents.”
Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing commended the Attorney General for enforcing these health and safety laws that have been on the books for more than a decade.
“We saw the horrifying results in Pennsylvania when public health laws are not enforced,” Listing said. “ Inspections and compliance need to happen for the safety of Michigan mothers and babies.”
I need your feedback on both Today’s News & Views and National Right to Life News Today. Please send your comments firstname.lastname@example.org. If you like, join those who are following me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/daveha