On Monday, August 5, the same day abortion clinic owner Diane Derzis faces a judge about the accusation she is illegally operating the New Woman All Women abortion clinic in Birmingham, shut down by the state of Alabama since 2012, pro-lifers have organized a simultaneous Twitter campaign called #ShutDerzisDown, in hopes of adding pressure and bringing public awareness to the accusation of the flagrant disregard for the law and persistent operation of what they say is now an illegal abortion clinic.
Derzis is infamous to Southern pro-lifers. Her ownership of two major abortion clinics has made her the target of much protest and prayer in Mississippi, where she owns the last remaining abortion clinic, and in Birmingham, AL where her clinic was closed—but is still performing abortions—with the help of a new relationships with abortionists Bruce E. Norman, M.D., who, along with Derzis and Patrick H. Smith, as well as the clinic itself, are named in a lawsuit filed by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).
Monday morning, Derzis goes to trial in Jefferson County, AL to respond to a lawsuit about her illegal operation of the New Woman All Women clinic in Birmingham–and pro-lifers will go to the internet to petition the court of public opinion and pressure using the hashtag #ShutDerzisDown.
The Facebook event page says:
FROM 8 AM – 12 NOON [note: Birmingham is on the central time zone], use your best social networking skills to remind the ADPH, Attorney General Luther Strange, and Attorney Brian Hale that not one more life should be put in danger by Derzis’ total lack of regard for the law. On August 5th: #ShutDerzisDown!
Director of CEC for Life, Rev. Terry Gensemer, said:
“Derzis was already made to surrender her license for repeated failure to comply with crucial safety regulations. Directly after, she attempted to continue profiting from the clinic by ‘switching ownership’ to a close friend. Now she has her abortionist, Bruce Norman, operating as a so-called private doctor’s office, which ADPH discovered she is actively and illegally managing from her Georgia facility.”
“This woman has made it abundantly clear to the state that she’s willing to break any law and deceive any member of the public if it lets her keep profiting from the death of preborn children. Next week’s TweetFest is about using your online voice to expose Derzis’ criminal activity and to remind state authorities who they promised to protect — namely, the lives of women and children in Alabama. We hope pro-lifers all over the nation will join us.”
Indeed, Gensemer’s comments echo what has been reported in the news:
This is an action seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to enjoin the further operation of an illegally operated abortion or reproductive health center in Jefferson County, Alabama.
Derzis agreed to close the abortion or reproductive health center by May 18, 2012, and thereafter return the license certificate to the Department.
None of the Defendants possess a license authorizing them to operate an abortion or reproductive health center as required by §§ 22-21-23 through -25, Ala. Code 1975. Pursuant to § 22-21-33, Ala. Code 1975, the operation of a health care facility without the required license is subject to civil injunctive relief.
There currently is no person or entity licensed by the Department to operate an abortion or reproductive health center at 1001 17th Street South, in Birmingham, Alabama.
The 140 page lawsuit, with attached documents details of the history of this clinic’s closure, notes that at the time of filing, even the website for the Birmingham clinic was operable and promoting abortion (it is no longer active).
Earlier in July, Al.com reported the relationship between Derzis and abortionist Norman:
The state of Alabama has uncovered a business relationship between the doctor of a clinic accused of being an unlicensed abortion provider and the woman who surrendered an abortion provider license for the Southside facility a year ago.
In a court filing last week, the state says that Dr. Bruce Norman is contracted with a Georgia company headed by Diane Derzis to provide staffing, supplies, medication, medical malpractice insurance and workman’s compensation — “in short to manage Norman’s practice conducted at 1001 17th St. South.”
In previous court filings, Derzis stated there was no relationship between herself and Norman.
In response to the accusations, Al.com reported:
Norman has admitted in court documents to performing abortions at the site but says that he is performing under the 30 abortions per month during any two months that would require a license.
In previous filings, Derzis said “she had no control or right to control Dr. Norman or any of the activities with or related to his practice of medicine or the conduct of his private physician offices.”
There are a lot of technicalities being invoked in Birmingham in order to keep a clinic open to kill; however, the bottom line fact is that the clinic has been ordered closed since 2012. That will be a tough fact to escape come Monday–and pro-lifers plan to be sure that all of the interwebs know it.
Pro-lifers who want to participate in the social media campaign can find more information at the event’s Facebook page, which includes suggested tweets, as well as links to previous complaints against Derzis, as well as background information. Information is also available at the TWUBS page.