After coming under scrutiny in 2011 for having connections with the convicted killer and abortionist Kermit Gosnell, the Delta Clinic is now facing a possible investigation which Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) is calling for. Vitter says the clinic may have directly violated the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) by mishandling its clients’ private health information.
In a letter to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) Secretary Kathy Kliebert, Vitter urges the department to conduct a full-fledged investigation into the Baton Rouge abortion clinic and if misconduct is found to ” impose serious consequences for the unlawful actions that occurred at this abortion facility.”
“If allegations that Delta Clinic mishandled patients’ private health information are true, there needs to be serious consequences for the abortion facility,” said Vitter. “To protect the health and safety of women and children in Louisiana, DHH needs to thoroughly investigate this clinic.”
Vitter said in the letter that the Louisiana abortion industry has a “long and undisputed history of reckless and illegal behavior and disregard, not only for the privacy concerns of their clients, but also for the most basic health and safety regulations.”
These clinics simply must be held to the same standards as medical facilities, and I am sure you agree there is no room for compromise when it comes to the protection of women and the lives of the vulnerable unborn.
The Delta Clinic came under fire back in 2011 when Gosnell’s own abortion clinic was proven to have illegally killed unborn babies under the guise of abortion. The state capitol’s abortion clinic formerly employed Gosnell’s partner-in-crime, Eileen O’Neill.
O’Neill worked for the Delta Clinic from 1998-2000. And, while working for Gosnell, did not have a medical license and was found to have witnessed the multiple deaths of children by Gosnell.
The Delta Clinic has been under scrutiny for decades for violating state and federal regulations. Live Action News outlines them below:
The earliest documentation on Delta is a lawsuit in 1974 by Kathleen R., whose heavy bleeding after an abortion at Delta led surgeons to discover that she had a perforated uterus. Kathleen required a hysterectomy to treat her injury (4th Circuit Louisiana Court of Appeals No. 9083).
Next there was a lawsuit in the 1984 death of 27-year-old Sheila Hebert. The suit alleged that Delta failed to monitor Mrs. Hebert while in recovery, failed to react properly when her condition was discovered, failed to call 911 promptly, and failed to have adequate emergency equipment available (East Baton Rouge Parish District Court Case No. 289518).
Also in 1984, Michelle P. filed a lawsuit alleging that she suffered from a retained fetal leg and a lacerated uterus following an abortion at the Delta Clinic (Baton Rouge Parish District Court Case No. 281159).
In 1990, a lawsuit was filed in the death of Ingar Lee Whittington Weber, who died of kidney failure following an abortion at the Delta Clinic.
In 1998 an investigation by Baton Rouge news station WAFB led to the discovery that a former patient, “Roxy D.,” suffered injuries at Delta that required her to wear a colostomy bag for eight months. This led to an investigation by Governor Mike Foster, and affidavits were gathered attesting to the filthy conditions at the clinic.
At the time of the WAFB investigations, Eileen O’Neill was an employee at Delta and after two years, in 2000, she relinquished her Louisiana medical license, saying that she had “post-traumatic stress syndrome”.
Two years later, Delta’s abortionist James Whitmore III lost his medical license after the board found that Whitmore used improperly sterilized equipment, reused single-use items, let tissue float in the sterilizing solution, and failed to provide proper care to a woman whose uterus he had perforated during an abortion, requiring her to receive a hysterectomy. Whitmore had previously been on probation for three years (starting in 1992), after his actions led to the death of one infant, the permanent injury of another infant, and other actions injuring at least five women.
In 2007, an unannounced inspection of the Delta Clinic found that patient records in 90% of the cases inspected were incomplete and lacked documentation of physical exams performed prior to abortions. No fines were assessed at this time.
In 2009, an unannounced inspection of the Delta Clinic found the following violations, and the clinic was fined $3,000:
- No governing body formed to establish rules, procedures, and safeguards at the clinic
- No documentation in files regarding the administration of drugs to the patients during abortions
- No documentation in files regarding the condition and monitoring of patients receiving drugs during abortions
- No documentation in files regarding the beginning and ending times of abortion procedures
- Unsterile storing of pre-filled, leaking syringes of drugs
- Failure to ensure private counseling of women prior to abortion procedures
- Failure to follow guidelines for the proper sterilization of vaginal probes between patients
- Failure to ensure that single use IV bags were not reused for multiple patients
- Failure to ensure policies in place to detect and report statutory rape
- Improper disposal of medical records
- Failure to ensure that expired supplies not being used
- Pre-printed and pre-signed prescription pad located on the front desk of lobby, needing only to be filled in with names
The most shocking of these violations is the one regarding statutory rape. Delta uses pre-printed information forms that already list the father as “unknown,” and workers admitted at this time that they didn’t ask or record information about the fathers.
Also shocking are the ones regarding sanitation – single-use IV bags were being reused, vaginal probes were not being properly sanitized, and leaking, pre-filled syringes of drugs were being stored in Ziploc baggies. Despite all of these violations, Delta remained open and was merely fined.
In 2011, another unannounced inspection found that there was still no governing board, and that the pre-printed forms listing the father as “unknown” were still being used; additionally the inspection found that there were parental consent forms missing from one of the patient files that was inspected. Delta again remained open, and was fined $2,000.
Also in 2011, a complaint was filed against Delta’s abortionist Mary Gardner, alleging that after two failed chemical abortions, a patient was told that she had “a lot of crap inside that needs to come out,” then was physically assaulted and given a botched abortion without any anesthesia, which later required a hysterectomy.
After this complaint, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals forwarded information from the complaint and the records from the inspections to District Attorney Hillar Moore for possible prosecution. No action was ever taken.
In December 2012, after hearing a news report about the pre-printed forms Delta was using,Congressman Charles Boustany wrote a letter to Secretary Bruce Greenstein of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, requesting that they look into this matter. No action has yet been taken.