June 29, 2007 —
New Jersey Right to Life Executive Director Marie Tasy issued the following statement upon learning that the State of NJ shut down Alternatives Abortion Clinic in Atlantic City, NJ.
“Although this is the second abortion clinic to be shut down in the last four months for health violations, the real story here is that the NJ Department of Health has been derelict in its duty to protect the public health of NJ citizens because it has not inspected this clinic in at least five years and only did so when they were contacted through an anonymous complaint,” said Tasy. Readtoday'sstory
Metropolitan Medical Clinic in Englewood was shut down for about a month last February after Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, NJ filed a complaint about a patient who almost died as a result of an abortion performed at Metropolitan. Twenty year old, Rasheedah Dinkins, was given blood transfusions after severe hemorrhaging and also had to have her uterus removed. She also suffered a stroke due to serious blood loss and one of her lungs collapsed. She was in a four week coma. It was that complaint that spurred an inspection. When the Health Department entered the clinic, they shut it down citing problems “including but not limited to infection control, instruments, equipment used for sterilization of patient care use items and the processing of equipment.” The Health Department found violations that posed “immediate and serious risk of harm to patients.
”As reported by the Press of Atlantic City (June 26, 2007), Alternatives in Atlantic City, NJ was shut down after several violations were found at the clinic, “including problems with infection control, documentation and the facility itself.”
“NJRTL filed an OPRA request in April with the Department of Health after the Record of Hackensack revealed that health inspections had not been performed at Metropolitan Medical Associates in Engelwood, NJ. We learned that this negligent practice was the norm rather than the exception,” said Tasy. In fact, the correspondence to NJRTL from the Department of Health indicated they did not have inspection reports for Alternatives or Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey for the period, January 1, 2002 through April 4, 2007, which was the specified period requested by NJRTL.
According to their respective websites, Metropolitan Medical Associates performs abortions through 24 weeks and Alternatives performs abortions through 18 weeks gestation. Many of the women who frequent these clinics are Medicaid patients. The State of New Jersey has an obligation to reach out to women who have frequented these clinics to find out whether any of them have experienced any complications or developed a sexually transmitted disease through the use of unsterilized instruments and infection control violations. In a March 15, 2007 letter sent to Governor Corzine, NJRTL Executive Director Marie Tasy pointed out that this is a public safety issue which has the potential to reach epic proportions. “This pattern of conduct and lack of attention to public safety exhibited by the NJ Department of Health demands proper scrutiny. Who are they seeking to protect – the citizens of NJ or the ‘great untouchable’ abortion industry? This is a sad commentary on our state of affairs and our public officials who claim to be advocates for “women’s rights,” said Tasy.####