I was interviewed on the Dave Madeira radio program this morning (http://bit.ly/QeXhih) and the discussion left me heavy as I recounted how many young girls and women are silently carrying the weight of their decision to terminate the life of their child. Many do not feel they can talk about their experience in the abortion center because of the deeply imbedded shame we feel once our wombs are emptied of the child. On the show I recounted the testimony of a young teen who without her parents' or any adult in her sphere of influence knowledge, terminated her child and for two years carried the weight of it until that Saturday when we prayed with and for her. She took off running around the Church, exclaiming her freedom from the burden she had been carrying, now celebrating that she was no longer bound. While I can rejoice that she was freed, and I do, my heart was heavy as I remembered there are so many more women and girls that still carry the shame and weight of their experience in one of America's abortion chambers.
With all this heaviness hovering around me, I happened upon this article: http://bit.ly/OL6ps1 . Even the title is gruesome so I ask that you click on the link and it will take you to the story. While reading this horror story, I received an email from someone in Georgia wondering how the State can be held accountable and ensure they are inspecting and monitoring abortion centers. As you know, there is an open review of Atlanta Women's Medical Center that was found to have violated a waiver the state had granted seven years ago. In addition to having violated the waiver it was determined they routinely put patient safety at risk even failing to properly sterilize instruments and chart patient treatment. (Note: they have changed their name. Could they be planning an end run around the Department of Community Health by reorganizing as a doctor's office? Please tell me no!). The state denied their new waiver request, but they continue to operate even putting patients at risk. A wheel chair bound woman had to navigate the steps because they continue doing business with no elevator. I shudder to think what would have happened if they needed to get her out quickly. Her wheel chair was in the car of the driver that brought her to the clinic.
I have also written about another abortion center that is allowed to operate as a doctor's office rather than a surgical center. Based on patient testimonies, the so-called doctor accepts Medicaid to pay for abortions. He uses a narcotic so strong that women cannot immediately wake up from the procedure, some not waking up for more than twenty four hours. He fails to properly complete abortions causing women to have to return for a second procedure or as was the case with one woman, experiencing three to four days of in-hospital antibiotic treatment so the infection can be brought under control in order to complete the procedure. Because this is a doctor's office there is no state oversight unless a patient files a complaint with the medical board. And as was the case with this patient, those complaints may mysteriously disappear allowing the abortionist to continue operating without repercussion for violation of patient safety and laws. It is even thought that someone notifies the physician of complaints before an inspector shows up so that he can fix whatever may be wrong inside the clinic – including sudden fires that destroy records and equipment even though no person is ever identified for what was deemed arson. Hmmm.
Let's add insult to injury, take a look at this article: http://bit.ly/UQGfY4 about a clinic in Alabama. And guess what? The owner of this facility has a clinic in Columbus, GA. Is that clinic putting women's health at risk as well? The abortionist was the subject of a 76 page scathing report that included charges of failing to properly train staff or document the credentials of those allowed to perform abortions. I can't help but wonder what kind of treatment and record management of that treatment is happening in Columbus.
In each of these cases complaints had to be brought by those outside of state government. Unless a pro-life activist or patient filed a complaint, we have idea if the state knows the condition of one abortion center much less the 18 or so that are operating, some as surgical centers, and some as doctor's offices. These abortionists could hurt women routinely and the citizens of Georgia would never know because of a clear lack of oversight. Georgia has at least two abortion centers that do not appear to be registered with the state, nor do they appear to be reporting the numbers of abortions performed, both violations of Georgia law. Yet you can Google them on the net and see they are performing abortions every day. We have to assume it is with the State's blessings because they have been reported and the Governor, we are told, is confident his Commissioner and staff are taking appropriate steps.
What can citizens do when the state refuses to bring any level of accountability into an industry that is the least regulated yet most dangerous? Perhaps you can help document breaches of our laws; take pictures of violations and video them as well. Perhaps you are able to set aside 10 minutes to make phone calls, or send letters and emails to the Governor and your legislator. Perhaps you can attend rallies, willing to speak out. And/or, you can refuse to vote for those that will not show leadership on an issue so vital to women's health. Perhaps you can run for office yourself. Now is not the time to back down or back up. It is time to run to the battle for the health and welfare of women in Georgia. Are you willing? Let me know.