Misrepresentation—the Order of the Day at Birmingham Abortion Business

In Birmingham, Alabama, the fight to permanently close the dangerous New Women All Women (NWAW) abortion clinic continues. Last week, new evidence was discovered that confirms that disgraced former clinic owner Diane Derzis continues to run the business. Recall that Derzis lost her license to operate the clinic a year ago when an inspection revealed numerous health and safety violations. As part of the order closing the clinic, Derzis can have no relationship with the clinic—and she has stated in court filings that there is no relationship between herself and the abortionist currently practicing at the NWAW facility, Dr. Bruce Norman.

However, it now appears that Derzis’ solely owned business, All Women’s Healthcare of Columbus, Inc., a Georgia corporation, has been billing Norman monthly for services such as staffing, supplies, medication, and malpractice insurance. The connection runs so deep that the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) argues Derzis is effectively managing Norman’s practice at the NWAW facility. This evidence confirms observations made by witnesses praying and advocating outside the NWAW facility. These pro-life advocates have seen Derzis going in and out of the clinic—even while she claimed to have no relationship with the clinic.

The ADPH moved last week to amend their complaint against Dr. Norman to include claims against Derzis’ company, All Women’s Healthcare of Columbus, Inc.

LLDF Senior Staff Counsel Allison Aranda pointed out that this evidence is yet more proof of the dishonesty that abounds in this disreputable abortion business. She raised the question of whether there would be ramifications for Derzis or her attorney over these misrepresentations:  “I think that it is significant that Derzis lied (likely to her attorney or he should be in trouble for making those claims knowing they were false).  The court is not going to trust her or her attorney after a blunder like this.”

Dr. Norman’s defense to the action brought by ADPH is that he is not operating an “abortion or reproductive health clinic” because he is doing less than thirty abortions in any two month period. As Ms. Aranda points out, “After these, not merely unsubstantiated claims, but rather blatantly false claims, the court should demand full proof that Norman is performing less than thirty abortions in any two month period and should order Norman to cease employing any of Derzis’ staff.”

Because of the significant issues raised by this action, Life Legal Defense Foundation has taken the unusual step of filing an amicus brief with the district court. The brief, filed on behalf of LLDF, CEC for Life, and Operation Rescue, argues that the court should enjoin the abortion practice at the NWAW facility as a necessary step to protect women’s health and safety. From the brief:

Among the numerous deficiencies that led to the revocation of NWAW’s license to operate an abortion center are 1) a failure to ensure clinic staff was properly trained to provide safe quality patient care; 2) a failure to ensure the clinic had policies and procedures related to medication errors and the administration of medications, including administration of intravenous medications; 3) a failure to ensure two physicians had documentation they were qualified to perform abortions in their personnel files; 4) a failure to ensure that the physician documented in the medical record legibly; 5) a failure to ensure that the recovery room medical assistant was documenting the condition of the patient prior to discharge; 6) a failure to ensure that a complete and accurate documentation of the administration of medications given to patients was included in the medical record; 7) a failure to ensure a registered nurse administered and prepared medications accurately per a signed physician’s order; 8) a failure to ensure all patient used equipment had a record of routine inspection and maintenance; and 9) a failure to ensure the on-call nurse returned patient calls, documented the correct dates on the on-call reports, completed the on-call record and notified the physician of patient problems.

As the brief states, there is no evidence that these violations and other violations have been remedied. Further, both Derzis and Norman have been specifically prohibited from involvement in or performance of abortions at the NWAW facility. Far from obeying this order, Derzis continues to control the NWAW facility, and Dr. Norman continues to perform abortions (audio). Nothing about the practice has changed, from the signs on the building to the advertisements online. “These facts lead to the conclusion that the business being operated at the NWAW facility is an illegal abortion facility,” states Ms. Aranda, who has been intimately involved in this case from the beginning. “It is time to end the dishonesty and danger to women and the unborn at this unlicensed, unsafe facility.”

Read the press release here.