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More criticism heaped on Planned Parenthood of Delaware’s Wilmington clinic at state senate hearing

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The bad news for Planned Parenthood of Delaware’s Wilmington clinic continued to pile up today with scathing testimony at a bipartisan state Senate hearing from Melody Meanor, who ran the clinic’s health centre for three months in 2012.

Meanor reinforced the testimony of Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich and Joyce Vasikonis, two former nurses who were highly critical, first to the television station and then at an ad hoc hearing called in May by two Delaware state senators – one Republican and one Democrat. (See “Delaware files formal complaint against Planned Parenthood abortionist who poses ‘clear and imminent danger to the public'”).

Meanor “called for justice for women who were treated there by staff she said were poorly trained, working in disorganised conditions and routinely skipping key elements of patient care,” the News Journal reported online today.

“She urged women treated there to seek outside medical care to see if they had conditions that went unreported by Planned Parenthood of Delaware clinicians, putting patients in ‘unnecessary danger,'” Beth Miller and Jonathan Starkey report today.

In her prepared testimony, Meanor attributed the majority of the observed abuses at Planned Parenthood of Delaware to the lack of adequate training among the healthcare assistants. She stated, “The majority of the observed abuses at Planned Parenthood of Delaware were a result of the fact that untrained healthcare assistants were assigned serious medical responsibilities that they were not trained to perform.” Furthermore, she noted that her suggestions for implementing a comprehensive training program for healthcare assistants were rejected by management.

The failure to adequately train health care assistants was compounded by the need to provide services in excess of the capacity of Planned Parenthood of Delaware, due to the number and quality of staff. The stricter parental consent laws in Pennsylvania resulted in a significant number of underage patients from that state being treated at Planned Parenthood of Delaware, in addition to the Delaware women who received abortions.

Consequently, a significant proportion of Planned Parenthood of Delaware’s resources had to be redirected to assist in abortion services. The unqualified healthcare assistants hired to provide family planning services were redirected to assist with abortions. Furthermore, newly hired healthcare assistants were discouraged from asking questions and were subjected to verbal abuse.

The testimony of Meanor bore a striking resemblance to that of Kermit Gosnell, the operator of the “House of Horrors” abortion clinic in West Philadelphia. Additionally, she addressed a matter of public knowledge: “Abortions constituted a significant source of revenue for Planned Parenthood of Delaware.” Furthermore, it is evident that Planned Parenthood of Delaware treated abortion as a business transaction rather than a service to clients.

In May, the two nurses provided testimony regarding the manner in which the Wilmington clinic conducted abortions. They asserted that the clinic operated in a manner akin to a “meat-market style assembly line,” prioritizing profit margins over patient safety. They further contended that the clinic’s practices posed a risk of infection and other serious medical complications due to a lack of adherence to established standards of care. Mitchell-Werbrich testified that the abortion procedure was completed at a rate of one every 8-10 minutes at the Wilmington PPFA site.

In her prepared statement, Vasikonis stated that it would take her the entirety of the afternoon to enumerate the deficiencies she had discovered at Planned Parenthood of Delaware over the course of the 10-month period during which she had been employed there. She enumerated 22 discrete areas of concern, encompassing significant managerial deficiencies and inadequate staff training. These included outdated equipment, a lack of compliance with quality and risk management policies, the absence of sterile gloves during abortions, and instances of sexual and racial harassment.

In her prepared statement, Mitchell-Werbrich stated that she had worked a total of 27 days at the Willingham and Dover sites. Despite the submission of numerous reports to Planned Parenthood administrators and a multitude of state health regulatory agencies, Ms. Mitchell-Werbrich was compelled to resign on 8 August 2012. This was due to the persistently unsafe and potentially life-threatening conditions at the Planned Parenthood facility.

Mitchell-Werbrich, who resigned after a few weeks on the job and noted that she (like Vasikonis) is not opposed to abortion, described the Wilmington abortion clinic as an “absolute nightmare.”

The Willington clinic came under scrutiny when several abortion protesters observed an unusual number of ambulances having been called to the premises. According to the News Journal, five women required emergency care following the procedures.

State officials have stated that they are unable to corroborate the allegations made by Mitchell-Werbrich and Vasikonis in their 2012 report to the state.

Nevertheless, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the clinic for several violations. This year, the clinic’s primary physician, Dr. Timothy Liveright, surrendered his license to practice medicine in Delaware after regulators pursued claims against him, calling him a ‘clear and immediate danger to the public’ because of unprofessional, incompetent and negligent conduct’.

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The News Journal reported that Meanor repeated the nurses’ concerns that hundreds of women were never informed that they tested positive for sexually transmitted diseases and others did not receive medication necessary to protect future pregnancies. She also alleged that she was directed to falsify records and that a manager destroyed some records.

In a statement released last month, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) acknowledged that some staff and contractors at Planned Parenthood of Delaware (PPD) did not meet the organization’s high standards of care. The statement further noted that PPD should have taken action sooner to remove these individuals. In response, PPFA has implemented an enhanced follow-up protocol to its accreditation process, with the aim of promptly addressing any identified issues.

However, Meanor stated that the clinic had been cited and granted ‘conditional’ certification by the Planned Parenthood Federation, which was aware of concerns regarding unsanitary and unsafe conditions.

Journalist

Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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