NRL News

Troubled Harrisburg Abortion Center Closed

by | Jun 7, 2017

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

Photo Credit: Undefeated Courage

Photo Credit: Undefeated Courage

The sign on the door says it all—the troubled Hillcrest abortion facility in Harrisburg is closed until further notice. The question is why did it take so long?

A 44-page document from the Pennsylvania Department of Health noted the health and safety failures of the long-time abortion operation which included everything from failing to maintain proper medical credentials to maintaining supplies that were 13 years old. Hillcrest also performed a number of abortions without having a nurse present. In addition, staff members failed to undergo the criminal background checks mandated for seeing patients under 18 years old.

Following the release of the inspection report several Pennsylvania state Senators sent a letter to the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), Karen Murphy, demanding answers.

“These health and safety violations are obviously deeply troubling,” state Senators Joe Scarnati, Bob Mensch, and John DiSanto, wrote. “However, even more problematic appears to be DOH’s response, which was to allow the abortion clinic to continue operating while granting Hillcrest a six month grace period to correct the citied ‘deficiencies.’ To make matters worse, this was Hillcrest’s fourth finding of deficiencies in just the past six years.”

The Senators further noted that the General Assembly overwhelmingly passed Act 122 in 2011 to direct DOH to license and inspect abortion facilities in the same way as other ambulatory surgical facilities. “This was done with the intent of ensuring that abortion clinics were meeting basic requirements in order to keep their patients safe. Hillcrest is clearly failing to live up to this standard.”

The Pennsylvania Senators stated, “…We would like an explanation as to why DOH did not immediately move to suspend or revoke Hillcrest Women’s Medical Center’s license upon finding such numerous egregious violations.”

Hillcrest’s troubles date back at least six years, when the abortion outfit was first cited for safety failures. The abortion center has been cited three times since, with the latest report suggesting that the violations have become more egregious.

Pennsylvania’s Act 122 was a response to the massive tragedy in West Philadelphia, where abortionist Kermit Gosnell was ultimately convicted of murdering three full-term babies whom he delivered alive, and of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a female immigrant patient, Karnamaya Mongar.

Editor’s note. After this story was written and posted, the state Department of Health finally ordered Hillcrest to stop doing abortions until it can pass inspection.

Categories: Abortion Clinic