January 15, 2015

Illinois health department report shows state abortion clinics dirty, uninspected

SPRINGFIELD, IL - The image of clean and safe healthcare centers where Illinois women and girls can get birth control and abortions was shattered with the publication of a report about the numerous health code violations the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) found while conducting inspections of the state's abortion clinics.

The report comes as legislators return to Springfield and prepare to introduce legislation that will improve the inspection schedule for the clinics, penalize violators, and require them to notify their patients of health code violations.

A report by llinois Right to Life reveals the findings of the IDPH, which was forced to inspect Illinois abortion facilities after the gruesome findings of Dr. Kermit Gosnell's Pennsylvania abortion clinic made national headlines.

The IDPH inspected 14 clinics that were licensed by the state of Illinois. They found 193 health code violations. Two abortion clinics (one in Rockford, Illinois and one in Chicago, Illinois) were shut down on an emergency basis because the health violations were so appalling.

Some of the health and sanitary violations included un-sterile surgical tools, TV dinners being stored in the same refrigerator as fetal tissue, failure to have a registered nurse on staff and failure to perform CPR on a female patient that died at one clinic.

The report also revealed that:

•63% of licensed Illinois abortion clinics open right now, have gone between two and three-and-a-half years without a health and sanitary inspection. 
•Between 2000 and 2010, 92% of all abortion clinics (licensed or unlicensed) received no health and sanitary inspections.
•66% of licensed abortion clinics went between 9 and 17 years without a health and sanitary inspection.
•54% of Illinois abortion clinics, are not licensed and therefore never receive health and sanitary inspections.
•Not a single Planned Parenthood (even if it performs surgical abortions) is licensed and therefore has not received a health and sanitary inspection since at least 2000.

Despite the IDPH findings, state law has not been changed to require regular annual inspections of the licensed abortion clinics. In comparison, tanning salons, nursing homes, and Chicago restaurants are inspected an average of once per year. Illinois abortion clinics are being inspected an average of once every nine years.

Illinois Right to Life's Executive Director Emily Zender wants that to change.

"If dirty operating rooms, rusty recovery beds, and un-sterile surgical equipment is the best we can offer the women of Illinois, then we have failed women," Zender said in an email. "No woman should leave an abortion clinic needing a tetanus shot, HIV testing, or emergency treatment at a hospital."

Pro-life advocates are working with legislators to make necessary changes. However, getting any women's health legislation through the Democrat-controlled General Assembly is difficult at best, and it is unclear if Governor Rauner would sign it.
Source: Illinois Review