By Dave Andrusko
Jefferson County Circuit Judge Joseph Boohaker issued a permanent injunction Thursday against New Woman All Women health care facility, ordering that abortions can no longer be performed at the Birmington, Alabama clinic because it does not have a license to do so.
In a 22-page ruling, Boohaker determined that the clinic, tied to Diane Derzis, owner of the lone remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi, did not meet the criteria of a physician’s office which Derzis and abortionist Bruce E. Norman contended allowed it to operate without a license to perform abortions.
“The court hereby declares that the operation of the Birmingham facility located at 1001 17th St. South in Birmingham, Alabama meets the definition of an abortion or reproductive health center,” Boohaker wrote.
Brian Hale, an attorney with the Alabama Department of Health Department, had argued that abortion executive Diane Derzis and Dr. Bruce Norman are wrongly running the clinic in downtown Birmingham despite Derzis surrendering her abortion clinic license last year because of multiple health violations.
After Thursday’s decision, Hale said, “The import of the order is Dr. Norman will have to close his clinic,” adding, “We are pleased with the court’s ruling.”
If a provider does 30-plus abortions in two months of a calendar year, Alabama law says the facility meets the definition of an abortion clinic and needs a specific license. Norman testified he only performed abortions three days in any month and therefore was not an abortion clinic and didn’t need a license.
Boohaker was unpersuaded. He wrote, “For two months of every year, according to Dr. Norman’s testimony, the said facility is open three days during the month.” He added
“The court can only conclude that Dr. Norman’s reckoning that he performs less than 30 abortion procedures per month is based upon a mistaken belief that bi-weekly is the same as semi-monthly, and for 10 months of the year that reckoning is clearly correct. However, for two months every year this clearly is not the case.”
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After receiving complaints about the clinic, the state health department sued on March 26, the second time in a year the state had moved to shut the New Woman All Women health down.
“Last year Derzis surrendered a license to perform abortions at the clinic in a consent decree after revocation hearings began,” according to Mike Oliver of The Birmingham News. “The revocation hearings followed an investigation into problems which included two cases where patients were given an overdose of a drug and had to go to the hospital.” That investigation—a 76-page report from the health department—found a myriad of problems.
Boohaker’s ruling came one day after a woman was transported by ambulance from Jackson Women’s Health Organization in Jackson, Mississippi, also owned by Derzis. Local pro-lifers posted video of a woman being brought out on a gurney Wednesday.