The latest on Michigan abortionist Robert Alexander and a former state Board of Medicine Chairman

By Dave Andrusko

alexanderinvestigationmichiganThe last time we wrote about abortionist Robert Alexander whose Muskegon, Michigan, “Women’s Medical Services” was shut down by authorities last December, was back in early March. At that time  Michigan State Senators were asking for hearings to investigate conflict of interest charges over handling of allegations against Alexander.

Those hearings were held this week, and they revealed a lot. But before we discuss “how an apparent conflict of interest allowed Muskegon abortion clinic [owner] Dr. Robert Alexander to continue to practice after complaints against him were not investigated” (to quote Ken Kolker of, it’s important to remember why the city of Muskegon shut down Alexander’s abortion clinic in the first place.

On December 26 police investigating a broken rear door at his abortion clinic “reported unsanitary conditions throughout the clinic including used hypodermic needles in unsecured containers, ‘blood on the floor and walls in multiple locations’ as well as dripping from a sink trap in a patient room, and ‘uncovered buckets containing unknown fluids’ in the operating room.” And that just begins to describe the horrific conditions.

And there are the allegations that Alexander “botched” two abortions, including one where fortunately, the child survived. As we subsequently explained, the number, tragically, is now up to three.

The alleged conflict of interest that lawmakers are interested in stems from the relationship between Alexander and how complaints about those alleged botched abortions were closed down by then state Board of Medicine Chairman Dr. George Shade.

“It was the same Dr. Shade who, several years earlier, helped Alexander get his medical license back after Alexander had served time in prison for selling illegal prescriptions,” Kolker reported this week.

WOOD-TV’s “Target 8” investigates “stories of corruption, waste and fraud,” according to the website. It was in February that Target 8 ran a story about the alleged conflict of interest—a story that on Tuesday the Michigan state Senate Judiciary Committee projected onto the wall for all to see.

Kolker reported, “Committee members said the report raised serious questions about a conflict of interest and about how the state Board of Medicine and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) polices doctors.” Sen. Steve Bieda said, “When you have a case like this go out there, it puts them all under a cloud so to speak,” adding, “it also puts the whole system under the cloud. It looks like a good old boy network.”

“The Target 8 investigation prompted the Judiciary Committee to take a wider look at how the state polices doctors,” Kolker reported. “That raised other questions — such as why the state relies on medical professionals to report themselves to the Board of Medicine after they are convicted of a crime, and whether it’s too easy for convicted doctors to get their medical licenses back.”

In prior stories Kolker delved more deeply into the 16-year-long Alexander/Shade connection. He interviewed the third “patient” who came forward after she heard news of other “failed abortions.”

She told Kolker she’d had an abortion in 2008. She’d experienced many problems but it was not until six months after the abortion that she said she was rushed to a hospital where doctors gave her two blood transfusions and an emergency D&C. “Alexander, she said, hadn’t removed all of the fetus,” Kolker reported.

“’They told me that there were pieces and tissue that had never been removed, that my body had been trying to get rid of,’ she said.”

According to Kolker, that was about the time Shade, who was then chairman of the state Board of Medicine, closed out a complaint filed by Muskegon Ob/Gyn Dr. Michael Engel, alleging that Alexander had botched the abortions of two other women. Shade was instrumental in Alexander getting his medical license back. (Alexander had served two years in federal prison for illegal distribution of controlled substances.) Shade insisted that all was above board, that “the process was followed.”

Kolker concluded his story with a quote from the latest woman who had sought out Target 8.

“He probably felt he could get away with it because most people don’t want to talk about it, but there’s got to be a point where you have to be strong,” she said. “People need to stand up and fight back against this man.”