Health officials have revoked the license of an abortion center in northeast Ohio after discovering multiple safety violations that could have harmed women. Some of the violations were similar to those playing a role in the ongoing murder trial of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist accused of killing live infants and running a filthy clinic with untrained staff.
In February, Ohio health officials inspected Capital Care Network Akron, an abortion center in Cuyahoga Falls, just north of Akron. After checking office rooms, reviewing records, and interviewing staff, the inspectors determined the facility had committed at least 20 violations of state law.
One of the most serious problems involved unlicensed staff: Health officials found that one staff member trained as a medical assistant had administered controlled sedative and painkiller drugs to several patients. Ohio state law requires that only a doctor may administer such drugs, and may not delegate the task to anyone else.
In other safety violations, Capital Care Network failed to have a nurse on hand who was trained in cardiac life support. The facility was also missing a piece of equipment—a laryngoscope, used to examine the larynx—that should have been available in case of an emergency involving anesthesia.
Gosnell’s West Philadelphia abortion center had similar problems: He employed medical assistants and taught them to administer anesthesia, and allowed staff to prescribe medicine without a license. He also had a piece of emergency equipment—a defibrillator—that turned out to be broken when needed to revive a patient given an overdose of painkiller. (The patient later died.)
The Ohio Department of Health described all the problems at Capital Care Network in a 34-page report detailing what inspectors found. Among the staff member violations:
- They kept incomplete patient medical records.
- In one case they failed to obtain a signature from a patient indicating she had a chance to view an ultrasound.
- They allowed one abortionist to work at the facility for a day as an “independent contractor,” apparently without recording his or her medical credentials.
- They kept incomplete timecard and payroll records.
- There was no evidence staff had received required annual testing for tuberculosis.
- They improperly stored controlled medications, and kept incomplete records of them—resulting in officials removing some drugs from the facility in February.
- They usually kept the back door of the facility dead-bolted shut, though it was one of only two exits.
- They discharged at least two patients within 40 minutes of sedating them, apparently without checking to see if they had anyone to drive them home.
- In January and February, the facility conducted abortions without an active pharmacy license.
The facility directors also failed to evaluate Capital Care Network’s annual performance, as required. According to the health department’s February report, the facility had conducted 536 abortions during the previous 12 months.
After warning Capital Care Network of its multiple infractions, the health department gave the abortion facility 30 days to respond. It did not, and on April 16 the state director of health, Theodore Wymyslo, revoked the facility’s license to operate.
“These deplorable conditions should cause all Ohioans to pause and wonder what else Planned Parenthood and their allies are hiding across the state,” said Ohio Right to Life president Mike Gonidakis. “Capital Care’s violations prove that the abortion industry does not operate as a health provider and is reckless.”