Investigative

Planned Parenthood denies its nurse is doing illegal abortions

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Planned Parenthood has denied allegations from a pro-life group that a New Mexico Planned Parenthood nurse is committing abortions in violation on state law. As Live Action News has previously reported, ProtestABQ, a pro-life group in New Mexico, says they have uncovered documentation showing that registered nurse Vivianne Clark (license number RN-71112) – whom they claim is employed by Planned Parenthood of New Mexico – committed several abortions, some late-term, in violation of state law which requires that only licensed physicians perform abortions. The group has filed a formal complaint with the State’s Nursing Board.

On Monday, Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Whitney Phillips responded in a written statement to the Journal denying the charges against Clark, claiming that, “Nurse practitioners with prescriptive authority prescribe mifepristone as requested by a patient.” Adding, “No surgical abortions are being performed by any nurse practitioners.”

But there’s a problem with that…

Vivianne M. Clark medicaid abortions report provided by ProtestABQ

Vivianne M. Clark medicaid abortions report provided by ProtestABQ

Protest ABQ received documentation on abortions paid by Medicaid Managed Care which showed that Clark, who is a nurse and not a licensed physician as required by state law, received payments for 81 abortions she committed. Payments totaled $10,396.12 in 2013, and a majority were performed between 17 and 24 weeks, prompting the complaint. According to the Albuquerque Journal, the New Mexico Board of Nursing confirmed receiving the complaint and say it has been referred it to the board’s investigators.

Documents provided to Live Action News by ProtestABQ appear to show that nurse Clark committed induced abortions from 17-24 weeks – long past even the newest FDA abortion pill standards of 70 days (10 weeks).

As Live Action News has previously reported, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in March that it is relaxing its protocols for the use of the abortion drug Mifeprex. Under the new regulations, it may be described in 200 milligram doses instead of 600, 70 days after the start of a woman’s last menstrual period instead of 49, and with one fewer trip to an abortionist’s office.

In their denial of the charges, Planned Parenthood officials point to a 2007 lawsuit where a judge ruled that nurse practitioners can, according to the Journal, “legally prescribe the drug mifepristone, an abortion drug, to patients without violating the state’s criminal abortion law.”

But Attorney Angelo Artuso, who filed the complaint in conjunction with Protest ABQ, said that is bogus, telling the Journal, “A district court order is not precedent.”

Artuso said there should be an investigation, noting that Planned Parenthood “believe[s] they have cover, but it doesn’t mean that the Board of Nursing isn’t going to investigate and find that it is contrary to the licensing regulations.”

Planned Parenthood has come under scrutiny in the past for not only pushing medication abortions but for not adhering to guidelines for women’s safety. Kristin Burton Brown explained this in a recent Live Action News article:

At nearly all of its abortion clinics across the nation, Planned Parenthood performs medical abortions (also known as the abortion pill, RU486, and mifepristone) past the FDA recommended guideline of seven weeks. And, at 104 of its clinics across the nation, Planned Parenthood publicly advertises medical abortions past nine weeks, the medical standard set by NARAL and Planned Parenthood itself.

Carmen Feldman, general counsel for Planned Parenthood of New Mexico, called the ProtestABQ complaint a “baseless attack” intended to “intimidate and harass providers.”

Artuso said the complaint was accurate because the New Mexico Legislature decided abortions should be performed by licensed physicians.

“We think it’s a good law. If that’s harassment and intimidation, then why not let anyone perform abortions?” he added.

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