Florida officials issue emergency order closing down abortion clinic

This week, Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) issued an order to close down a Pensacola abortion clinic after three women nearly died from abortion procedures.

According to Reprotection, the independent watchdog that reported them to Florida health officials, the clinic’s staff failed to uphold the basic standards required of a hospital or abortion clinic.

The three patients had to be hospitalized, which abortion clinics are required to report within ten days.  In all three cases, the clinic failed to do so.

The clinic, called American Family Planning, was also required to keep records of patients’ vital signs.  Their failure to do so almost led to a patient’s death in two cases.

A patient who received an abortion at 20 weeks began bleeding during the procedure to open the cervix.  When she was transferred to the emergency room, she had no pulse and had lost a significant amount of blood.  Due to the clinic’s failure to keep track of her vital signs, emergency room doctors could not save any of her reproductive organs. She was forced to undergo a total hysterectomy.

In another case, a woman who was pregnant at 19 weeks was given drugs upon arrival and told to wait in her car before the procedure.  Abortion clinics are required to monitor a woman’s vitals in an exam room.

The patient lost a significant amount of blood and was told to drive to a hospital an hour away in Alabama with her husband rather than using a Florida hospital which is required under the clinic’s license.

The CEO of Reprotection, Missy Martinez-Stone, offered the following statement after the clinic was closed according to National Reveiw.

“We have utilized every avenue possible to work to protect the health and safety of women from dangerous abortion clinics like this one,” Martinez-Stone said. “While we don’t know why AHCA did not shut them down earlier, we are grateful the state of Florida has taken decisive action to protect women from dangerous abortion clinics who seek profit over safety.”

Pro-choice groups have frequently lobbied to lower the health, safety, and sanitation standards at abortion clinics.  Guttmacher Institute, a well-known, pro-choice research organization, opposes what they call ‘TRAP’ Laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers).

One regulation that the Guttmacher Institute opposes is the requirement that abortion providers have admitting privileges, which allow them to admit patients to a hospital if there are complications during an abortion procedure.  Both of the patients referenced above had to be admitted to hospitals due to their abortion procedures.

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