I began writing this post last night. Not even midway through it, I had to set it aside, unable to write so grieved was my spirit. I had always thought that states did their due diligence to ensure that while they may not have agreed with the Roe v. Wade decision, they took care to promote and enforce a reasonable standard of medical care. Even Roe allowed for states to impose reasonable regulations where they had a compelling interest and in my mind a woman health is certainly a compelling interest. But I quickly learned this is not the case and abortionists in Georgia have had free reign to do what they will, whether it met a reasonable medical standard or not. And more disheartening is that this lack of regard for the health of the woman is happening on the watch of a "pro-life" Governor, Senate and House.
I received an email late last night from a fellow pro-life warrior that included this blog post from Jill Stanek: Stop the Madness, Georgia Abortion Clinic has Violated Regs and Waivers for two Decades. Jill makes it clear that the Atlanta Women's Medical Center's plan from its inception was not one that would place them "at the forefront of excellence and service in the provision of women's healthcare" as their website assures us is their mission. From the very beginning Atlanta Women's Medical Center chose to ignore the requirement for two story ambulatory surgical centers by refusing to install an elevator as the regulations required. They cited financial concerns. In maintaining "an organization dedicated to our own values and beliefs" Atlanta Women's Medical Center, has placed the health of Georgia women beneath their own values and beliefs while collecting multiple millions of dollars each year. As a result Georgia women are at risk.
Has anyone been hurt in this abortion center? Yes. In fact, documents show they perforated the uterus of a woman in 2011. When the Governor's Department of Community Health investigated, they found that the center had not met the requirements of the elevator waiver. They chose to ignore the requirements the waiver imposed to escort women from the second floor to the first citing a danger to their staff. They had no problem however, endangering Georgia women, allowing them to walk out of the center alone. Atlanta Women's Medical Center also failed to meet medical standards of care when charting patient information and sterilizing equipment used in the abortion procedure. Now what I do not understand is why on earth the State of Georgia would allow them to do so. More importantly why would Nathan Deal, Governor of Georgia, allow an abortion center found to have violated the regulations outlined in our laws, to continue its operation unchecked? Let's make sure we understand this correctly. An abortion center in Atlanta violates Georgia laws and regulations, hurting women in the process, and the Governor's Department of Community Health gives that abortion center a pass, ignoring the laws he is required to take care to faithfully execute as outlined in the Georgia Constitution.
I also do not understand why this multi-million dollar business would need a waiver of the regulations. This facility performs more than four thousand abortions each year and receives $450 – 850.00 for each one. Can someone explain to me why the State of Georgia waived the elevator requirement? It is also unclear why the Department of Community Health has not enforced penalties for AWMC's failure to meet the waiver requirements and to properly sterilize their instruments. I can't help but wonder how many women entered that National Abortion Federation certified center disease free and left disease ridden. And then I learned this: there are at least six abortion centers in the state of Georgia that perform thousands of abortions annually that are not licensed and are not under the jurisdiction of the Department of Community Health! One of those unlicensed centers killed a woman in 2009. The only penalty for the doctor – a $10,000 fine. All of this happening at the same time he was defrauding the state and federal government of hundreds of thousands of dollars. To add insult to injury, I have information that suggests there are also another two abortion centers that do not even report the abortions performed to the state.
Atlanta Women's Health Center is seeking a new seven year elevator waiver. The community comment period ends in five days. Please call (404-656-1776), fax (404-657-7332), and/or email (http://gov.georgia.gov/00/gov/contact_us/0,2657,165937316_166563415,00.html) Governor Deal and ask that the waiver be denied. Join me in calling on Governor Deal and the staff he appointed to the Department of Community Health to enforce the regulations on the books by no longer allowing abortion centers that perform thousands of surgical procedures each year to avoid licensing because of an obscure rule that allows doctors to perform abortions in their offices. Join me in asking Governor Deal to protect Georgia women. Do not take no for an answer!!!!