Investigative

Alabama abortion center could close or move next to middle school

In abortion, money is all too often the name of the game.

Alabama pro-life activists are involved in ongoing protests against a Huntsville abortion facility’s proposed move into a minority neighborhood next to a middle school.

New law, new abortion location

The administrator of the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives (AWCRA), Dalton Johnson, has purchased a new building for $530,000.  The new building is part of the Alabama Women’s Wellness Center (AWWC).

The timing of this move is notable–the Women’s Health and Safety Act, Alabama’s omnibus pro-life law, goes into effect in July.  Johnson has previously said there would be “no way” for the AWCRA to comply with the safety standards required by the Women’s Health and Safety Act.

Pro-life activists gathered outside the AWWC on Saturday to protest the planned move.  AL.com reported:

Abortion advocates are targeting the black community in northwest Huntsville with plans to relocate its downtown clinic to a facility on Sparkman Drive, anti-abortion protestors said Saturday.

The proposed new facility at 4831 Sparkman Drive is in response to a state law passed in 2013 that spelled out more rigid standards for facilities that perform abortions. Among other things, clinics must now have overhead sprinkler systems and extra-wide doors and hallways to accommodate ambulance gurneys.

The clinic has notified the Alabama Department of Public Health of its plans to move and is awaiting a final decision.

Escorts but no license

According to the local Knights of Columbus, there have been abortion “escorts” outside the AWWC–despite its lack of license to perform abortions.  Under Alabama law, however, a doctor can legally perform fewer than 10 abortions per month without an abortion provider license.

So it’s possible that the AWWC is already legally committing abortions despite their lack of license.  But if they are committing more than nine per month, then they are doing so illegally.

Ongoing legal trouble

Every Huntsville abortionist is facing legal trouble.

Abortionist Yashica Robinson-White runs the AWWC OB-GYN practice, which has clinics in multiple Alabama locations.  Last month, the federal government indicted Robinson-White for Medicaid fraud and selling misbranded IUDs.  She is also linked to the AWCRA.

Abortionist Raymond Lopez has been jailed 23 weekends since November and has been the subject of 14 court cases since 1996, including two criminal cases filed in 1998 and 2008.  Pro-life groups, particularly Operation Rescue, have extensively documented Lopez’s legal trouble.

Abortionist Aquadon Emmanuel Umoren is currently being sued for malpractice after botching an abortion and rendering a Birmingham Planned Parenthood patient infertile.

The legal fight over the Women’s Health and Safety Act has also revealed that an unnamed Huntsville abortionist, referred to as “Dr. A” in testimony and court documents, lives in Nigeria and travels to the United States four or five months out of the year.  This makes it difficult for him to obtain admitting privileges.

“Dr. A” also said that he is doing “God’s work.”

The AWCRA has a long history of health deficiencies, including:

  • Botched abortions that required emergency hospitalizations
  • Failure to clean tables between abortions
  • Failure to document fetal age or possibility of viability prior to abortions
  • Lack of access to professional staff members for women calling back with complications, such as heavy bleeding
  • Improper labeling and storage of pre-drawn drug syringes

Next few months will determine facilities’ futures

The Huntsville pro-life community and African-American leaders will continue to protest and expose the abortion facility’s planned move.  They have also demanded Crestwood Medical Center, a local hospital, cut its ties with the Huntsville abortionists.

The outcome of the legal battle over the Women’s Health and Safety Act and the current efforts of local activists could very well determine the future of Huntsville’s abortion industry, if it has one at all.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Alabama law allows physicians to perform up to 30 abortions per month without a license.  The law was recently changed and limits physicians to performing up to nine abortions per month without a license.

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