Jackson, MS – The State of Mississippi filed an appeal to the full Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday seeking a reversal of a last month’s ruling by a three-member panel that has blocked implementation of a 2012 law that requires abortionists to maintain hospital privileges within 30 miles of their abortion facilities. If allowed to take effect, the law would close the last remaining abortion facility in that state.
Since that ruling, abortionist Willie Parker has recently dominated abortion-related news coverage as the face of Mississippi’s Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Those who follow such news are now familiar with affable Parker and his inspiration to become an abortionist supposedly taken from the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as his claim that his alleged Christianity serves as a motivation for his abortion practice.
What people do not know is that Parker is a shill for the Jackson Women’s Health Organization’s owner, “Abortion Queen” Diane Derzis, who hired him specifically to be the lead plaintiff in her challenge of the Mississippi law that requires abortionists to maintain hospital privileges within 30 miles of their abortion facility.
“I seriously doubt if Willie Parker ever does abortions in Mississippi unless it is for the benefit of gullible reporters who are writing up puff-pieces in support of keeping abortion facilities open even if they cannot meet the safety requirements in the law,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.
Strategy of Smoke and Mirrors
Hiring Parker was a strategic move that would accomplish at least three goals.
Parker would become the front-man in a propaganda media campaign to elicit public support for unregulated abortion. With the popularity of abortion waning and calls for more accountability increasing, a publicity campaign featuring Parker desperately needed by the abortion industry reeling from recent revelations of abortion abuses at Kermit Gosnell’s Pennsylvania “House of Horrors” abortion facility, which has prompted a wave of pro-life legislation on the state level.
In court, Parker, who is among the few abortionists in the nation without an extensive record of malpractice cases and disciplinary records, could persuade a judge that abortion’s safety record is actually better than it really is, despite increasing documentation that women are being rushed from shoddy abortion facilities to emergency rooms in much larger numbers than anyone cares to admit. His squeaky-clean record would give support to the false notion that abortionists are denied hospital privileges for purely political reasons.
But the most important reason to keep Parker up front in the public eye is to deflect attention from JWHO’s primary abortionist, listed in court records only as “Dr. Doe.”
“Hiring Willie Parker and putting him up front as a plaintiff was a smoke and mirrors tactic meant to obscure the horrific history of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization’s main abortionist. If Dr. Doe’s background was the topic of discussion, the public would be crying for that abortion facility to shut down,” said Newman.
Who is Mississippi’s “Dr. Doe?”
Just who is “Dr. Doe” and why does Diane Derzis and her attorneys at the pro-abortion legal group, the Center for Reproductive Rights, want to hide his identity?
“Dr. Doe” is none other than Bruce Elliot Norman.
Norman, 65, and JWHO’s owner, Diane Derzis, have a long history together, partnering at number of abortion facilities in communities throughout the South, including Columbus, Georgia; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Birmingham, Alabama.
But it was in Birmingham, at Derzis’ New Women All Women (NWAW) abortion facility, that the true nature of Norman’s propensity for deception and his eagerness to operate dangerously outside the law were fully manifested.
Pro-Life Activists Uncover the Truth
It began in January 21, 2012.
Pro-life activists, who often protested and prayed outside New Women All Women ran video cameras as two ambulances pulled up to the back entrance of the abortion facility and unloaded their gurneys into a trash-strewn alley. However, the gurneys would not fit up the narrow stairs with a broken railing.
Instead, emergency responders carried two women out by hand and rushed them to a nearby hospital. The abortionist on duty that morning was Bruce Norman, who held no hospital privileges in Birmingham.
A 911 recording obtained by Operation Rescue revealed the voice of Derzis informing a dispatcher that the two abortion patients had been overdosed by a clinic staff member on Vasopressin, which is used to treat low blood pressure that results from heavy blood loss.
Operation Rescue worked with CEC for Life to file complaints against the abortion facility and Norman. The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) responded with an inspection of New Women All Women and discovered 76 pages of violations so serious that it ordered the facility to close.
Included in that 76-page deficiency report that detailed such serious violations as untrained staff, poorly maintained equipment and dangerously sloppy record keeping, was the revelation that at least eight women were hospitalized after receiving abortions at NWAW – and most were patients of Norman.
In fact, out of 44 total medical records inspected during that survey that took place on March 1, 2012, 18% of all women represented in those records were hospitalized for abortion complications.
This is a far cry from testimony given on behalf of JWHO that indicated only 0.3 percent of women receiving abortions require hospitalization.
Abortion Complications Abound
A closer look at the complications discovered at Derzis and Norman’s Alabama abortion mill sheds light on practices that are replicated in Mississippi and dramatically illustrate the need for hospital privileges in order to hold abortionists to a higher medical standard than is currently met in Mississippi.
Out of the eight women who received hospital treatment after abortions at Derzis’ abortion facility, all but one can be ascribed to Norman. In each case, the hospital that patients were transferred or referred to were not notified by Norman or clinic staff that a patient was on the way. The hospitals in all eight cases were forced to cope with what proved to be in many cases serious, life-threatening abortion complications where the time needed to problem-solve a patient’s condition could mean a matter of life or death.
Medical Record #1 received an abortion on November 11, 2011, in her seventeenth week of pregnancy. The patient weighed 230 pounds, suffered from hypertension, and had a history of two previous Cesarean section deliveries in addition to recent surgery to remove one of her ovaries. This patient should have been considered a “high risk” abortion patient.
Nevertheless, Norman “attempted with difficulty” a one-day Dilation and Extraction dismemberment abortion on her at 17 weeks. The first mistake was that Norman failed to sign the medication order and the patient was given an incorrect dose by a nurse.
At some point after the abortion began, Norman halted the procedure and ordered a Pitocin drip to “bring down” the fetus. During the administration of Pitocin, the patient she was unmonitored in violation of patient care standards. Norman then supposedly completed the abortion “with forceps and suction” sometime later.
Two days after the abortion, the patient called the clinic complaining of “unbearable pain.” A nurse referred her to the emergency room without informing Norman of the complication or notifying the hospital that a patient that had suffered a difficult second-trimester abortion with the administration of Pitocin was on the way.
The patient reported to the hospital emergency room where she received a Dilation and Curettage procedure — or a second abortion — to remove tissue that Norman failed to.
Following the procedure, the patient commented, “I wish it could have been more private…I needed to be more relaxed.”
Patient Care Nightmare
January 21, 2012, was a patient care nightmare, according to ALPH documentation. Out of 25 abortions done that day by Norman, three women — or 12 percent of his patients — were hospitalized.
Other patients had medical records that were illegible and/or had been signed by a nurse that was not even on duty that day. Many patients received injections of drugs by unqualified staff and/or had dosages arbitrarily changed by unknown individuals who may not have been legally allowed to do so.
Patient records were falsified in that they indicated an ultrasound was conducted on the day of the abortion and the patient was given the opportunity to view the ultrasound. However, none of the ultrasound images found in the files were dated on the day of the abortion. In one case, the date on one ultrasound image was altered by hand to appear it was done on the day of the abortion.
The two women who pro-life activists photographed being removed from the facility for transport to the hospital were overdosed by an unqualified staff person and experienced nausea and vomiting during surgical abortions. This was serious because that could have resulted in aspiration of the vomitus.
Medical Record #4 indicated that there was no record of the patient’s discharge condition and that her vital signs had been scribbled over and were illegible. After her abortion, patient called back later in the day complaining of heavy bleeding. There was no documentation that her call was returned. She called again 13 days later and left her name and phone number, but again, no one returned her call. Later, a hospital contacted Norman to inform him that his patient had made her own way to the hospital and was being treated in the Intensive Care Unit.
Drug Allergy Ignored
One patient who suffered an allergy to an antibiotic had a notation of the allergy on her chart. Nevertheless, she was given a prescription for the drug to which she was allergic and sent home. The patient called back later and informed the clinic that she needed a different prescription due to her allergy. If she had not noticed that she had been given the wrong information, she could have suffered serious health consequences.
Coerced Abortion Victim Ignored
Perhaps more troubling was the case of Medical Record 43. A 17-year old girl was brought to the abortion facility by her mother. Inspectors noted that the patient answered “no” to the following questions:
- Do you think having this abortion is in your best interest?
- Are you sure you want to have an abortion?
- Do you think you will most likely be able to go on with your normal activities without emotional or psychological problems because of your abortion?
When asked why she wanted an abortion, the teen replied, “Because my mother wants me to.”
There was no indication that anyone at the abortion facility ever discussed her reluctance about the abortion.
To add insult to injury, the patient suffered complications, was misdiagnosed as Rh positive when she was actually Rh negative, and eventually ended up in the Emergency Room four days later suffering from severe cramping and nausea.
To ignore the patient’s comments that she really did not want an abortion was to ignore perhaps her only mechanism of reaching for help in a situation where she was being coerced by someone that she did not have the power to oppose. The long-term effects on this teenager’s life could be devastating.
Emergency Calls Unreturned
Another disturbing practice discovered by investigators was that emergency calls from women suffering abortion complications inflicted by Norman and two others were going unreturned by abortion staff.
Medical Record #11 showed that a patient who received a surgical abortion on November 30, 2011, called back to the abortion facility complaining of severe abdominal pain. The patient was referred to the hospital ER, but no one called to notify the hospital that a patient suffering complications was en route. The patient suffered an ectopic pregnancy that should have been detected when the pre-abortion ultrasound was done. This negligent failure to notice the ectopic pregnancy or realize that the uterus was empty placed the woman’s live in danger.
Patients calling in after surgical abortions complained of complications such as abnormally heavy bleeding and cramping, abdominal pain, fever, severe headache, and other maladies, either did not have their calls returned or there was a delay in returning the calls due to improper logging of the calls. This deficiency delayed emergency care to several patients suffering serious abortion complications.
Hospital Privilege Safety Net
When abortionists have hospital privileges, they are forced to meet basic medical standards or risk losing those privileges. They act as a safety net to maintain a higher standard of care by physicians than they might deliver if there was no accountability.
Because Norman worked at more than one abortion facility, he was often not available to handle medical emergencies when they arose. Sloppy practices tolerated by Norman by his staff essentially ensured that women suffering abortion complications were essentially on their own when it came to emergency care.
Unsatisfied with Derzis and Norman’s unwillingness to fully correct the violations, the ADPH found that NWAW posed a danger to the public and ordered it closed. Derzis appealed and lost. Derzis signed a consent order agreeing to close NWAW. She also agreed that neither Norman nor she would have anything to do any future abortion business in Birmingham should another party apply to relicense the facility.
But that wasn’t the end of the story.
One of Derzis’ associate, Kelly Rain Water, applied to reopen NWAW under another name. The catch was that Derzis would receive “all profits” from the new abortion business and would make all financial decisions. It appeared that Norman would again act as the facility’s abortionist.
That license was denied due to the fact that it violated the consent agreement signed by Derzis.
Again Rain Water attempted to relicense the abortion facility under false pretenses and again the license was denied by the ADPH.
Finally, Norman reopened NWAW and resumed abortions under the guise of a “doctor’s office” and with-out proper licensure. Operation Rescue documented the fact that Norman was operating an illegal abortion business.
Life Legal Defense Foundation, representing Operation Rescue and CEC for Life, turned the evidence over to the ADPH, which filed suit against Norman and Derzis.
Finally, in August, 2013, Judge Joseph L. Boohaker issued a permanent injunction barring abortionist Bruce Norman from operating an abortion clinic at the location of the former New Woman All Women abortion facility. In October, the judge denied the clinic’s motion to lift the closure order, ending efforts to keep the clinic open.
The facility was placed up for sale in March, 2014.
Facing certain discipline for incompetence, negligence, and unprofessional conduct, Norman allowed his Alabama medical license to lapse. The inactive status places Norman outside the regulatory authority of the Alabama Board of Medicine allowing him continue to ply his grisly incompetence on the women of Mississippi.
Meanwhile, Norman seriously botched yet another abortion at Jackson Women’s Health Organization on August 18, 2013, sending yet another woman to the hospital where he holds no privileges. It is doubtful if the hospital was ever alerted that the patient was on the way, leaving ER staff completely unprepared and in the dark.
Based on his behavior in Alabama, it is likely that the woman is only one of many who end up in the ER as a result of Norman’s shoddy abortion practices.
“Deception is a way of life.”
“It is vitally important for the court to know the full truth about the abortionists who are working at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization,” said Newman who first recommended the hospital privilege requirement to a Mississippi pro-life lobbyist who pressed forward with the bill. “The court should also consider the fact that Derzis and Norman employed deceptive practices to cover up for abortion injuries and to avoid legal consequences. Based on what we have seen, for these people deception is a way of life.”
That deception continues by omitting Norman’s troubles from the Federal Court in Jackson, Mississippi.
“It appears that Parker was an eleventh-hour hire because the abortion clinic needed someone without Norman’s dirty record in order to portray abortions in Mississippi as being safer than they really are,” said Newman.
To further illustrate Norman’s propensity for deception, Operation Rescue has confirmed that the address listed on Norman’s Georgia medical license is actually an empty lot in Ft. Mill, South Carolina, a state where Norman holds no medical license.
There can be no doubt that Parker is part of an effort to sanitize Derzis’ dangerous abortion operation and cover up for Bruce Elliot Norman’s substandard practice that continues to land women in Emergency Rooms at an astonishing rate.
The practices documented in Birmingham reflect bad habits that are still in practice in Jackson, Mississippi. The hospital privilege requirement is desperately needed there in order to protect women from Derzis and Norman’s exploitive and incompetent behavior. No amount of smoke and mirrors will protect women without it.
Article by Cheryl Sullenger
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