Investigative

Abortionist with history of rulebreaking complains about clinic rules

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In an article in The Washington Post, Arizona abortionist Gabrielle Goodrick talks about the new abortion restrictions in Arizona and how they have affected her business.

Goodrick performs abortions at Camelback Family Planning in Phoenix. In the Washington Post article, she describes how she got started as an abortionist, doing abortions in her private practice. Goodrick says:

Literally I needed a pulse oximeter to monitor their vitals, a vacuum machine and staff and a recovery room, and the knowledge and skills to do it.

That’s it. No crash cart, no defibrillator, no oxygen, not even a set of plastic airways to intubate a patient if she needs help breathing after suffering an allergic reaction to the anesthesia or a uterine perforation with heavy bleeding. Goodrick was not equipped to care for a patient who needed immediate first aid. And also, Goodrick’s use of the word “a pulse oximeter” makes me wonder if she had only one.

A pulse oximeter is used to monitor the concentration of oxygen in a person’s blood. It is a sensor that usually clips onto a finger or other part of the body. Often, a drop in blood oxygen level is the first indication of a serious problem.

It is shocking that Goodrick would have only one pulse oximeter in order to monitor the woman having an abortion plus all the patients in the recovery room. After any surgery in a reputable hospital, a person’s vital signs are checked regularly. If Goodrick had only one pulse oximeter, there is no way she could have been doing this with her patients after their abortions. She would have had to use the single pulse oximeter on the woman she was currently operating on. This is clearly concerning and should be a red flag to any state medical inspector. Of course, it would be a red flag today –now that the clinics are being regularly inspected. That, of course, is exactly what Goodrick is complaining about.

That could never happen now. You have to be a licensed abortion clinic, and have inspections, and all kinds of things that didn’t exist in the year 2000.

Incidentally, a pulse oximeter can be bought on Amazon for $18.49.

Goodrick goes on to say:

When the licensing of the office came into practice, which was in force starting in 2011, it would deter any private office from providing abortions, because who wants to do that, be under such scrutiny.

Um, maybe every other hospital, clinic, or surgical facility in the state? Other surgical facilities are inspected and licensed. It does not stop them from practicing medicine. If a physician is going to do actual surgery in his or her office, why shouldn’t he or she be licensed the same way as any other surgical care provider? Other doctors make do with regulations. Why can’t abortionists?

Goodrick describes setting up an abortion clinic, as opposed to doing abortions in her office:

I don’t have an administrator. I’m just a doctor in a solo practice. So for me to make that change was pretty traumatic…

Interesting use of words. Having to set up an actual clinic to do abortions is traumatic, but a woman suffering post-abortion depression or a baby’s pain as he or she is torn limb from limb (Goodrick performs abortions after 20 weeks) is, apparently, not traumatic.

Goodrick describes the first two times state inspectors came to her clinic:

The first time, in 2011, we had coffee in the break room, she [the inspector] looked over my policies, everything was perfect, and that was that. I think they just gave everyone a pass the first year, because they didn’t know what they were doing. And then the next year, they came through, and it was like the Gestapo. I didn’t have a policy for this or that. It was very nasty.

Rather than being grateful that she, unlike any other medical provider, was given a grace period and given a pass the first time, she complains about how, the next year, they came in and were strict.

And then she goes on to say:

And then this last year they came in March. I felt extremely prepared for them, and it was still very invasive, very hostile. I know Planned Parenthood had a bad time, because they came through with a search warrant. It is not for the safety of the public. It is to harass. They cite you for not following your own policy …Planned Parenthood had a policy to do vitals every 15 minutes, and there was one time they did it every 17 minutes, and they gave them a citation.

Goodrick does not seem to understand that there are rules that have to be followed. She is arguing that Planned Parenthood was not given a pass for being 2 minutes late. Well, how many minutes is it acceptable to be late before a citation is given? Two minutes? Five minutes? Ten minutes? Rules are meant to be followed, not broken. The inspectors allowed the clinics to set their own policies, a huge concession, but even with the clinics setting their own rules, the rules have to be followed. A driver pulled over for speeding may tell a police officer that he was going only four miles an hour over the speed limit, but the cop will write him a ticket anyway. When a law is passed or a policy is set up, that policy has to be followed. You don’t get a pass for breaking the law “only a little.”

Goodrick says:

So it’s very stressful. I have about 20 binders of policies and procedures for everything. It’s all specific for an abortion procedure. And then there’s the 24 hour wait, the information session, the ultrasound that has to be printed, she has to see it.

Apparently seeing an ultrasound before making the irrevocable decision to destroy your baby is wrong. Of course, it’s not as though Goodrick doesn’t give out plenty of information about the baby. On the website of Camelback, it describes abortion (in the first and second trimesters) this way: 

The cervix (the entrance to the uterus) is dilated to about the diameter of a drinking straw. The doctor inserts a small tube, or cannula, which is attached to an aspirator machine. The mild suction action of the machine empties the contents of the uterus. You might have mild cramps during the procedure. Many patients do not remember the procedure and have no cramps at all.

Apparently, Goodrick doesn’t like the idea of a woman being able to see the “contents of her uterus” which will be removed by “mild suction.” She also complains because:

The waiting period was probably the worst for patients. You have to do the meeting first, it has to be with a physician, you can’t have a nurse do it. That has been an incredible burden on women, and on us. I have to meet with every single patient. The law says we can’t charge for that visit. There’s not good public transportation here in Phoenix. And we’re a huge city. Coming from out of the city, it’s really difficult. And there’s no Medicaid funding for abortion here. Our current fee is $580…Immediately, my costs all went up because of everything, just expense after expense. So the prices go higher.

Maybe I’m being unfair, but I can’t help wondering whether Goodrick is more concerned about her patients or herself. She seems really irked that she can’t charge for the informed consent visit. These pro-life laws have made her costs go up, and she passes those costs on to the consumer so her income does not go down. Her workload also has increased. These are her reasons for opposing the informed consent law, though she does claim that she’s also worried about women not being able to travel to the clinic.

Goodrick then says:

I’m pretty motivated. It’s what I do. I love my job.

20 weeks

20 weeks

What part of performing abortions does Goodrick love? She performs abortions up to 22 weeks. Does she love feeling a first trimester baby tear apart as she turns on the suction cannula? Does she love dismembering a second-trimester baby with forceps, pulling out arms and legs?  Does she love reassembling the remains of an aborted baby to make sure there are two arms, two legs, one head, etc., in order to verify that no part of the baby was left behind in the mother to cause an infection? Which of these things does she love?

One more very interesting fact. The Arizona medical board has restricted Dr. Goodrick’s medical license because she was taking drugs while operating on patients. According to documentation of case M.D.–10 1229A,  Goodrick:

… reported to board staff that she had taken fentanyl from her office for her personal use and that she may have a substance abuse problem.

Yes, the Washington Post has published an article on how hard it is for an abortion doctor to follow the rules by an abortion doctor who has a disturbing history of not following the rules. The fact that the medical regulations, which Goodrick decries, still allow her to practice in Arizona despite her drug problem is very ironic.

Oh, and incidentally, Live Action uncovered Dr. Goodrick ‘s clinic breaking the law on sex-selection abortions as well.

Source: Lydia DePillis  “States are passing hundreds of new abortion restrictions. Here’s what it’s like to operate in one of them.” Washington Post, Jan. 9, 2015

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