NRL News

NPR runs puff piece on re-opened Ohio abortion clinic, never mentions health violations which closed it

by | Sep 2, 2015

Editor’s note. This appeared on the blog of RTL of Michigan, NRLC’s state affiliate.

David Burkons  photo: Sarah Jane Tribble/WCPN

David Burkons
photo: Sarah Jane Tribble/WCPN

National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” ran a story about an abortion clinic in Ohio where the abortionist is providing both surgical and chemical abortions.

Entitled, “Bucking Trend, Ohio Doctor Opens Clinic That Provides Abortion Services,” the article by Sarah Jane Tribble tells us that abortionist David Burkons “liked delivering babies. But he is also committed to serving all his patients, including those who choose abortions.”

The reader learns that Burkons has finally been able to do surgical abortions at this location.

Initially in his new clinic, he could only administer the pills that induce medical abortion. But this summer, after 18 months of state inspections, rejections and — finally — acceptance, he began performing surgical abortions as well.

What the article doesn’t tell us is that this isn’t a “new clinic.” In fact, this “new” clinic is at the exact same location as an abortion clinic which the state of Ohio shut down because of numerous deficiencies in 2013. Those deficiencies included having unqualified employees routinely distributing controlled substances to patients, lack of infection control training, lack of evidence of informed consent, no registered nurse assigned to surgery, etc.

Burkons worked at the “old” Capital Care Network clinic before it was closed and he re-opened the clinic under the new name of “Northeast Ohio Women’s Clinic” mere months after it closed. These important details are curiously missing from the story.

The NPR piece while focusing on Burkons use of chemical abortions, also fails to mention that Burkons is responsible for a large number of complications using the RU-486 chemical abortion method.

When it was pointed out [on Twitter] to reporter Sarah Jane Tribble that the clinic was not “new” but had been closed by the state in 2013, she responded by saying, “Thank you for reading. That was a different clinic.”

When it was further pointed out that the clinic is located in the same building at the same address and Burkons performed abortions there prior to it closing in 2013, Tribble responded by saying, “Different ownership.”

Does that sound like a journalist? Or does that sound like a public relations hack defending her employer?

Imagine a restaurant is shut down by the state for numerous health violations. A few months later the restaurant re-opens at the same location with a new name under “new management” but the chef is the same. Wouldn’t any reporter with journalistic integrity mention how the “old” restaurant was shut down by the state in an article discussing the re-opening? Shouldn’t the public be informed about the restaurant’s and the chef’s previous problems?