Investigative

Unlicensed Maryland abortion clinic caught tossing patient records in dumpster

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Last week, Live Action News reported on an illegally operating, unlicensed abortion facility in Maryland. This week brings news of another Maryland abortion facility, run by abortionist Earl McLeod, which has been operating without a license and appears to have violated HIPAA laws by improperly disposing of patient records.

According to Operation Rescue, a pro-lifer discovered papers blowing down the sidewalk from one of the Hillcrest Clinic’s dumpsters in Baltimore. Upon closer inspection, the woman saw that on the documents were patients’ “names, addresses, and even a copy of a woman’s photo identification card – all blowing down the sidewalk for anyone to find.”

The unnamed pro-lifer took photos of the documents after returning them to the dumpster and filed a complaint with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The Hillcrest Clinic, says Operation Rescue, is “affiliated with the National Abortion Federation, that hasn’t made it safe by any means. Over the years, there have been a slew of medical malpractice suits and disciplinary actions against its abortionists,” including one for the death of 27-year old Jennifer Halner, who “died from complications to anesthesia that were exacerbated by negligence, including a lack of patient monitoring, emergency drugs, and equipment.”

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Despite Hillcrest having been in operation since 1973, the facility was never inspected until 40 years later in 2013,  after the state passed a law requiring abortion facilities to be licensed and inspected. Multiple health violations were found. Three years passed. And then, in 2016, Operation Rescue reports

… [T]he Hillcrest Clinic shut down for renovations on February 1, 2016, when it was apparently taken over by Potomac Family Planning Center – the same business where McLeod killed Jennifer Halner. It is believed that this was when the ambulatory surgical facility license that was initially issued to Hillcrest in 2013 was terminated.

It was just under three weeks later that private abortion patient medical records were found blowing out of the dumpster and down the street.

On April 14, 2016, the Maryland Department of Health Care Quality issued a letter to the pro-life complainant noting that the Hillcrest Clinic had been inspected and that her allegations were in fact substantiated.

But there was a catch.

“However, since the [Hillcrest Clinic] was not licensed by our office at the time of the complaint investigation, we were unable to cite any deficiencies. Our Office did notify the Maryland Board of Physicians and the Office of Civil Rights of our findings,” the letter stated.

In other words, the state plans to do absolutely nothing. No licensing standards in place at the time = no action against the facility.

Operation Rescue also notes that as of May 2, 2016, Hillcrest, which applied for its ambulatory surgical facility license on April 12, had not yet been granted that license – and has therefore been illegally committing abortions since April 19, 2016.

OR president Troy Newman notes that health regulations are no good to anyone if not enforced. “Hillcrest is operating an illegal abortion facility in Maryland right now, yet the Department of Health Care Quality doesn’t seem to care….

This places the lives of women at risk from shoddy, substandard abortion businesses that are allowed to operate outside the law.”

Operation Rescue has filed a complaint, asking for the abortion facility to be shut down.

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