By Dave Andrusko
When you are dealing with hard-core pro-abortion states, even a small step in the right direction is important. Especially so when the reason the law is passed is because of Planned Parenthood’s misconduct.
On Monday the Delaware House passed the Senate-approved bill, sponsored by Sen. Robert Venables, described by The News Journal as a “moderate expansion of abortion regulations in the wake of unsafe and unsanitary conditions discovered at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Wilmington.” The measure was sent to Gov. Jack Markell for his signature.
It is not what Republicans wanted—the ability to make “drop-in” inspections of abortion clinics. Instead—sparked by testimony of former Planned Parenthood employees—employees would be allowed to complain to public health officials which, in theory, could prompt an inspection.
“It also mandates independent accreditation of any facility that performs invasive procedures, directly targeting Planned Parenthood, which accredits its own facilities,” according to Jonathan Starkey and Doug Denison of The News Journal
Showing how reluctant the state legislature was to probe into specifics, the House unanimously passed the bill which had been unanimously passed by the Senate. In nether houses were there any hearings.
In April NRL News Today reported how a WPVI-TV ABC News investigation had revealed that Planned Parenthood of Delaware and its Wilmington abortion clinic had suspended surgical abortions following allegations of unsafe and unsanitary conditions and 911 calls.
In late May and early June NRL News Today reported on three occasions about a hearing that resulted from that investigation and a follow up profile of the abortionist about whom the most of the worst complaints were made (nrlc.cc/127ydzQ; nrlc.cc/14YyvYa; and nrlc.cc/15kRMW9).
The whistle blowers were former employees Joyce Vasikonis and Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich. They spoke first to the television station and then at an ad hoc hearing called by two Delaware state Senators—one Republican and one Democrat.
Mitchell-Werbrich, who resigned after a few weeks on the job and noted that she (like Vasikonis) is not against abortion, said of the Wilmington abortion clinic, “It was an absolute nightmare.”
They spoke of how “the Wilmington clinic performed ‘meat-market style assembly line’ abortions, focused most on profit margins, and put patients at risk for infection and other serious medical problems by neglecting proper standards of care.” Mitchell-Werbrich testified that “one abortion would be completed every 8-10 minutes” at the Wilmington PPFA site.
In her prepared statement Vasikonis said, “It would take me the entire afternoon to discuss all the deficiencies I discovered at Planned parenthood of Delaware during the 10 months I worked there.” She listed 22 separate problem areas that included severe management problems and insufficient staff training; outdated (and broken) equipment; “Quality and Risk management policies were not followed or enforced’; an abortionist who did not wear sterile gloves; and sexual and racial harassment.
In her prepared statement, Mitchell-Werbrich explained that she had worked only 27 days at the Willingham and Dover sites. “I was forced to resign on August 8, 2012 as the conditions at Planned Parenthood continued to very unsafe and potential life threatening for the patients” despite numerous reports provided to Planned Parenthood administrators and a flock of state health regulatory agencies.
She said that “one abortion would be completed every 8-10 minutes” at the Wilmington PP site—evidence of what she called its “meat-market style assembly line abortions.” Her charges were every bit as lengthy and even more critical of the “poor, unsafe patient care.” To quote just part of one paragraph, Mitchell-Werbrich alleged that she had reported to two state agencies
“that most of the Planned Parenthood Staff members did not wear protective gear or utilize universal blood and body fluid precautions; consent for sedation and procedures were sometimes obtained late as staff was rushed and hurried; registered nurses had to hide the patient’s chart from [one abortionist] so the pre-procedure medications could have time to take effect because he was in such a rush to get to the next patient; lab work not being performed correctly thus the lab value results were incorrect; patients given sedation were found outside walking down Market Street dazed and confused. …[the same abortionist] once left sedated patients in the middle of an abortion procedure waiting for hours in order to handle a mechanical issue with his private airplane; and more.”
The most revealing information—intentional and unintentional—came from abortionist Timothy Liveright in a series of three interviews he gave to The News Journal’s Cris Barrish and Beth Miller. He portrayed himself as an innocent “scapegoat.”
In fact, Liveright is a classic abortion circuit rider, having “performed about 50,000 abortions across the country throughout nearly three-plus decades, most recently for Planned Parenthood of Delaware.” He’d “perform as many as 30 abortions a day, he said, making about $60 per procedure and from $5,000 to $10,000 a month, depending on demand,” according to Barrish and Miller.”
As it happened “Liveright spoke to the newspaper just hours before state prosecutors filed a four-page civil complaint with Delaware’s medical disciplinary board that portrayed him as a doctor who engaged in shoddy, dangerous medical practices and unspecified sexual misconduct at Planned Parenthood,” Barrish and Miller reported. The state Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline State charged him with “incompetence and negligence” and of being an “immediate danger to the public”
Liveright stands accused of “oversedating patients, performing unnecessary suction procedures, causing at least one perforation during surgery, and failing to act with proper competence and diligence to avoid unnecessary complications that resulted in patients requiring emergency hospital treatment.”
The investigation of the Delaware branch was triggered by “abortions, including some done by Liveright, in which bleeding or other complications occurred and injured patients had to be rushed to the emergency room,” we’re told. In April the state Division of Public Health cited 14 violations and said inspectors found “unsafe and unsanitary conditions.” At the same time Liveright described PPFA across the nation as a “noble organization,” he “contends the Delaware agency is plagued by management, staffing and operational problems.”