NRL News

Rockford Abortion Clinic Yet to Respond to Suspension

by | Oct 7, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

Northern Illinois Women’s Center

A week after a Rockford, Illinois, abortion clinic was shut down by the state, the Northern Illinois Women’s Center has not formally appealed the suspension, according to the Rockford Register Star.

The Department of Public Health found conditions at the abortion clinic “that are directly threatening to the public interest, health, safety and welfare requiring immediate, emergency action,” according to a three-page notice, dated September 29. The clinic has until October 11 to file a request for a hearing.

A spokesman for the Illinois Department of Public Health said the department reserves the right to permanently revoke the clinic’s license if the clinic does not request a hearing.

“In general, if the department issues a notice of suspension to a facility, it is because serious deficiencies (often repeated) have been cited, which points to a systemic problem in which simply correcting the deficiencies may not resolve,” Melaney Arnold wrote in an email to the newspaper.

The operators of the abortion clinic, said to be the only abortion clinic in the region, have not commented. “A message posted on the clinic’s website remains the same as it was Monday — informing patients that the closure is temporary, offering a list of referral websites and asking that people check back for updates,” according to Corina Curry of the Register Star.

The Health Department first conducted an inspection over a three-day period in June. Arnold told the newspaper that the abortion clinic was given a plan of correction for its violations of the Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Center Licensing Requirements Code and Illinois Administrative Procedure Act, and informed that its progress would be monitored.

The state returned to the Northern Illinois Women’s Center on September 15. Some violations had been addressed, but others hadn’t and new ones were discovered when the state re-inspected the clinic, according to Curry.

The list of violations, according to the newspaper’s summary of the suspension notice, included

·         Neither of the abortionists on staff had maintained surgical practice privileges with an Illinois-licensed hospital, presumably in case there was a medical emergency

·          The absence of a registered nurse to direct and supervise the nursing personnel and the nursing care of patients.

·         “The facility did not ensure the presence of a registered nurse in the operating room during all invasive and operative procedures.”

Arnold told the newspaper that another operator could apply to open an abortion clinic, if the clinic’s license is revoked.

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Categories: Abortion Clinic