State of Alabama Harasses and Seeks to Close Abortion Clinic, While Women Die Needlessly in Childbirth


Cross-posted with permission from Daily Kos.

New Woman All Women in Birmingham Alabama is the abortion clinic bombed by Eric Rudolph in 1998 resulting in the death of a police officer and the maiming of a nurse. It has now been “bombed” by the Alabama Department of Public Health under the direction presumably of anti-abortion Governor Robert J. Bentley, a dermatologist.  

In February, the clinic transferred two patients to the hospital because of a medication error. The transfer was routine and based on good medical care. The anti-choice protesters followed the ambulance harassed the patients and got their private medical information.  The patients were never in any danger and were released with no complications. The protesters then pressured the Alabama Department of Public Health to investigate the clinic. ADPH spent over 4 weeks in the clinic investigating and digging and coming up with 76 violations, one of which was failure to read the doctor’s handwriting and cited 10 or so different ways. They ordered the clinic closed by May 18th.

The owner Diane Derzis, a longtime friend of mine, reached an agreement with the state for someone else to take over the management of the clinic by granting a license to another party to keep the clinic open. Now, the state is saying that they are denying the license because the new owner is closely involved with Diane, and Diane stands to still profit from the clinic because rent is tied to revenues, a process that happens in many malls in this country.

According to WSFA.com

In its denial of a license, the ADPH said, “It is clear that this arrangement would allow the former operator to remain involved in the center’s financial affairs and to be entitled to all the profits from the continued operation of the center; it does not allow for the proposed new operator to independently operate the center. “

It is clear to anyone with half a brain that this action is politically motivated. Trust me, Diane is pretty darned burned out on all of this harassment in Alabama and welcomes the thought of not having to deal with clinic affairs there any more.

If Alabama really really cared about women, they would investigate the many deaths of women in childbirth. Nearly 12 Alabama women die from maternal mortality for every 100,000 live births. The ADPH should plant themselves for a month in each and every facility where a woman died from giving birth.  

Instead, they went on a witch hunt with the express purpose of shutting down this abortion clinic. The safety of women had nothing to do with this investigation. If every doctor’s office were closed because someone couldn’t read the doctor’s handwriting, I’m afraid none of us would have any healthcare.

By the way, to add insult to injury, Diane Derzis was also recently assaulted by an anti-abortion protester Jeff White outside the clinic. This took place in front of a Birmingham policeman sitting in a police car who refused to arrest him. You can watch the video here for yourself.  It’s at the 7:24 mark.  

Note also that the protester was trespassing on clinic property for most of the video.

If you’re as disgusted by all of this as I am, here’s what you can do:

From Voices of Choice:

Dear Volunteers,

Diane Derzis is need of some support. Anti Abortion bullies have been videotaped in what appears to be trespassing on to clinic grounds, destroying property, and then physically assaulting Diane. All while Birmingham police Officer Virgil Kinnell sits in his cruiser in front of the clinic.

Jeff While is the individual that is on the tape actually shoving Diane. The clinic has also been targeted by Janice Nelson, Terry Gensemer, David Lackey, and Craig Philpot.

Please contact the anti-abortion bullies listed below.

1) Ask them to please stop harassing people at the New Woman All Woman clinic in Birmingham, AL. 2) Let them know that while we are all protected by the first amendment, none of the Voice of Choice members has shown up at their homes or work places with graphic posters. 3) Ask them if they think men should hit women that work in health care clinics. 4) Ask them if they like the unsolicited opinions of strangers.

When you call DO NOT ARGUE WITH THEM. Do not talk about religion or politics. Do not leave a message. Be polite!

So that we all have a chance to participate we need to do this in shifts. If you have not already called please start today. If you have already called, thank you.

Jeff White (and wife Janis) 909-337-2495   JLWhite@peoplepc.com jw202k@gmail.com

Terry Gensemer (and wife Patti) Work 205-786-2805 Cel 205-253-0159 home 205-798-8209

Janice Nelson 205-999-1141

David Lackey 205-914-1656

Craig Philpot  home 205 982 3077 but please try work first 205.271.8000. He is a doctor in Birmingham and we would like to know how his staff feels about his hobbies.

Thank you,
Todd
 

So, both of these incidents prove beyond any doubt that the state is after this clinic, and probably every other clinic in Alabama. If one clinic is closed due to anti-abortion pressure, then all are in danger. We cannot let this trend continue. This is a most egregious assault in the continuing War on Women.

Diane is also the owner of the last remaining clinic in Mississippi, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which is also in danger of being closed due to an insane law just signed by the governor which requires the clinic doctors to have local hospital admitting privileges.  The kink in this law is that none of the Jackson hospitals will give them privileges, even though they are well qualified OB-GYNs. One local supportive doctor who helps with complications is even being singled out by State officials who are trying to keep him off of the Board of Health.

To complain to Alabama health department officials, here is the contact information:

Dr. Donald E. Williamson, State Health Officer
Phone: (334) 206-5200
Email: sho@adph.state.al.us
Email: DrDonaldWilliamson@adph.state.al.us

Dr. Walter T. Geary, Medical Director, Bureau of Health Provider Standards
Phone: (334) 206-5366
Email: wt.geary@adph.state.al.us

Brian Hale, Legal Counsel
Phone: (334) 206-5209

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