Since many sinister, and often times illegal, activities happen behind the doors of the abortion industry, there are many things that could get abortion clinics in trouble and even shut down. Employees of abortion clinics have started to step forward to reveal things that individual abortionists have done and to expose what goes on behind the doors. A recent example of this happening was with the now notorious abortionist, Kermit Gosnell.
Gosnell was a long-time abortionist who ran a clinic in Philadelphia called the Women’s Medical Society. He had a long history of neglect, with “ the Pennsylvania Department of Health (having) records as far back as the 1980s” about him. But Gosnell was still allowed to operate. i Finally, in 2010, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office reported what they found after authorities investigated his clinic “over suspicions of illegal drug prescription activity”. What they found was beyond imaginable.
A grand jury report that was published in 2011 described the horrible conditions of the clinic, where: “he botched surgeries”, “failed to summon emergency help when it was needed”, killed babies that were born alive, and had unsanitary conditions. ii Employees of the clinic started stepping forward to help reveal the extent of it all.
But Gosnell isn’t the only case where whistleblowers have come forward and spoken out. The state of Texas had their own case similar to the case against Gosnell, which many people referred to as “the Houston Gosnell”.
In the Houston case, Life Dynamics was directly involved with the investigation. We even took our own camera crew to Houston to interview three employees who came forward.
This interview was part one of our DVD, An American Abortion Clinic.Order The DVD
Abortion Worker Quits After Accusation
Even though most people know about the Gosnell case, there are many other instances where whistleblowers have spoken up about abortion clinic conditions and malpractices. It has been happening for a long time.
For instance, The Arizona Republic reported that Martha Hopkins, a former business manager for a San Antonio clinic, owned by abortion doctor Moshe Hachamovitch was reported to have told Texas investigators that “conditions were filthy and that records were in very poor order”. iii
Hachamovitch was brought before the New York Board of Professional Misconduct and Physician Discipline, after a patient died following an abortion he performed on her, plus other charges relating to care and record keeping. The state of Pennsylvania suspended his license in 2003.
In 2004, the Arizona Medical Board revoked his license for unprofessional conduct (conduct the board determines is gross negligence, knowingly making false/fraudulent statements to the board, failing/refusing to maintain adequate records). A motion to re-hear the case was denied on April of 2004.
The paper also reported that Hopkins was pressured by Hachamovitch to do more of the high-cost, late second-trimester abortions. And that she quit after three months when he implied that she was stealing from the business.
Abortion Doctor Wanted to Avoid Licensing
Affidavits from former employees regarding abortionist Joseph Booker all include a statement that Booker falsified medical records, destroyed clinic appointment books and sign-in sheets, and accepted only cash or money orders from patients.
One employee Dona Hogan reportedly stated, “As a result of the Health Department’s first inspection, Dr. Booker instructed me not to classify the patients as abortion or gynecology when they made appointments. He stated that he was concerned that the Health Department would classify the Clinic as an abortion facility. He said that he would not report to the Health Department all the abortions actually performed so that the Clinic would not be so classified. “
In a second employee’s affidavit, Amy states, “Dr. Booker routinely reported less than 50% of the abortions performed at the clinic to the Mississippi Health Department, Office of Vital Statistics.”
Source: National Legal Center for the Medically Dependent & Disabled
Transcripts from the 1999 Issues in Law & Medicine:
Report of Peter R. Uhlenberg, PhD; 3-22-1999
(filed in Civil Action No. 6-94-374-W4, State of Mississippi)
Having it (aborted baby) intact was a goal, so they could do that, and have this closure. I knew what it meant to these women, to be able to hold them (the aborted baby), and be able to coo over them (the aborted baby) and say goodbye. It was profound. I got material, and sewed little tiny sheaths, and we got tiny hats we could dress them in. I would put them on a clean cloth, and I would swathe them. Many women spent hours in there (after they aborted the baby), and showed them to their other children. It was always treating the (aborted) babies (that she helped abort) with the respect the parents would want them to.” iv
—abortion clinic nurse, Gale McMahon
(Gale was also the wife of abortionist James McMahon).
An Employee for an Abortion Clinic in Kansas Stepped Forward
As seen in another section, Clinics with Bad Habits and Dirty Secrets, reports surfaced about the horrific conditions of an abortion clinic that was operated by Kansas abortionist Krishna Rajanna. Not only did investigators speak up but one of his employees did as well.
On February 16, 2004, testimony from one of Rajanna’s clinic workers before the State’s House Federal and State Affairs Committee revealed that Rajanna advertised in the yellow pages as “Abortions Affordable,” attracting unsuspecting low-income woman.
The testimony was presented by Kansans for Life who had interviewed the employee, after she contacted a pregnancy center for advice on how to file a complaint against the abortion clinic. They said that the woman they referred to as “Ruby”, to protect her identity, had been employed for over a year at Rajanna’s office, without incident, and continued there for several more weeks.
According to the testimony, “Ruby” was distressed at the practices of Rajanna and the deplorable, filthy conditions inside his offices. She said other employees were also disgusted with the way Rajanna did business.
“Ruby” revealed the following irregular JOB PRACTICES
- Rajanna employed four staffers, and for part of “Ruby’s” employment time Rajanna employed a Certified Nurses Aide. Other than the CNA, no one with any formal medical training was employed during her tenure. No published medical training materials were ever given to “Ruby”. She claims that references were not checked on anyone who applied for a job nor was the truth of their alleged job experience confirmed. When “Ruby” was interviewed, she was not asked to produce a record of immunizations, nor was she told to obtain any missing immunization shots. She believes that was also the case for other employees.
- “Ruby” had applied for a position as receptionist /physician helper. She was surprised when, soon after being hired, she was called inside the procedure room to assist with abortions. “Ruby” was uncomfortable in the role of surgical assistant.
- Rajanna’s employees, including “Ruby”, picked up his drug orders from neighborhood pharmacies. Drugs were stored in a locked closet on site to which all employees had key access. At the time she was hired, “Ruby” can recall no questions asking if she had a criminal record.
“Ruby” revealed the following disturbing practices PRIOR TO SURGICAL ABORTIONS
- “Ruby” was shown how to take a patient’s blood sample for the Rh test. She was not made aware of several procedural variances that can affect the accuracy of the test. When completed, the bloody slides, gloves and other contaminated products were tossed into regular plastic trash bags. “Ruby” stated that there were no Bio-Hazardous waste containers anywhere onsite.
- Minors who came for abortions were counseled over the phone. Prior to the issuance of an attorney general’s opinion in June, “Ruby” knew some minors who had abortions were as young as 13. After the opinion, staff was told not to take appointments for minors under 16.
“Ruby” revealed the following disturbing practices DURING SURGICAL ABORTIONS
- There were no changing rooms for patients and only one bathroom onsite for use by the public, patients and staff.
- A woman being aborted was brought to the procedure room clothed and put on a bare table. An employee helped her lower her slacks and placed a drape under her bottom. On her own initiative, between patients, “Ruby” said she wiped the table with alcohol.
- “Ruby” was told how to insert an IV (intravenous line). No patient vital signs were taken during the abortion.
- “Ruby” had no training in CPR and believed the other employees also did not possess such training. She recalled being frightened at witnessing one abortion in the spring of 2003 where a minor went into shock from an allergic reaction to abortion medications. Rajanna lifted up the patient and literally carried her into his car, taking her to hospital.
“Ruby” revealed the following disturbing practices AFTER SURGICAL ABORTIONS
- After the abortion, an employee removed the IV, immediately put sanitary pads inside the patient’s underwear and pulled up the patient’s lower garments. The patient, though unsteady, was then walked to a couch with staff assistance but without use of a wheelchair. This “recovery” area was barely a semi-private space. The patient’s friend, not an employee, attended the patient on the couch. “Ruby” told KFL that no post-procedure vital signs were taken.
- The patient was dismissed approximately 20 minutes later. No blood flow had been checked and no exam or discussion with the doctor took place before leaving the clinic. The patient was given antibiotic pills to take at home and had been given papers saying she could call the clinic, even after office hours. Patients were requested to return within 21 days, although it was “Ruby’s” observation that 25% or less of the women actually returned for a follow-up.
“Ruby” revealed the following disturbing STERILIZATION & DISPOSAL PROBLEMS
- Rajanna and staff wore gloves, but Rajanna’s medical jacket was infrequently washed, exhibiting dried blood stains, food and dirt. Sometimes, clinic instruments were rinsed in bleach, but not sterilized. Two dishwashers adjoining a toilet were the “sterilizers.”
- Unexamined fetal remains were strained through a sock into a jar and then put inside plastic bags, plastic convenience store cups or milk cartons. The cups and cartons were stored in the office refrigerators and freezers, adjoining unsealed and open food.
- Nearly every area in the clinic was dirty and disheveled. There was no medical waste pickup service. At the end of the business day, all clinic trash, including bio-hazardous materials, were put into large trash bags that Rajanna loaded into his car. Rajanna then drove with these bags to his Missouri home where they had been seen set outside for regular residential trash pickup.
In February of 2005, the State’s Medical Board issued an emergency order after the state found the following deficiencies at Rajanna’s abortion clinic:
- Licensee had carpeting on the floor of a surgical procedure room
- The trashcans in the clinic did not have lids
- Sharps containers were overflowing
- Human tissue was stored on a counter in the utility room for a time and was then stored in the freezer in a refrigerator where food was also kept
- The clinic had an overall appearance of clutter and disarray
- Licensee did not properly dispose of sharp objects and human tissue/medical waste
- Licensee drew medications in syringes and kept the syringes in the refrigerator for future use. The syringes were not marked or labeled
- Licensee maintained in the office several expired medications
- Licensee did not properly label medications he dispensed
- Licensee did not follow the Practice Guidelines for Sedation and Analgesia by Non-Anesthesiologists when using conscious sedation in the office
In the June 14, 2005 final order that was issued by the board (Docket # 05-ha-58) it notes that the, “evidence shows that Rajanna maintained medical waste by placing materials in a container following a procedure, but the waste container was found to not have a lid on both occasions that the Board investigator inspected the clinic. The Board finds and concludes that this conduct is not only likely to harm the public, which includes Respondent’s employees, but is also an unreasonable risk that a physician should recognize. The improper disposal of medical waste was an issue that required correction by the February 2005 order.” The board revoked Rajanna’s license.
Employee Lori Jakes told the state that, “Personally, to me, the office was never really dirty.”
- The Washington Post. “The Gosnell case: Here’s what you need to know” 4/15/2013.
- The Washington Post. “The Gosnell case: Here’s what you need to know” 4/15/2013.
- The Arizona Republic. “History of trouble at clinics, abortion centers accumulate record of 6 deaths, 28 suits” 1/17/1999.
- Harper’s Magazine. “Gambling with Abortion: Why both sides think they have everything to lose” 1/27/2005.