Americans United for Life examined health inspection reports from abortion facilities over 10 years in 39 states and documented violations in its report, “UNSAFE: America’s Abortion Industry Endangers Women.” The report found that at least 118 abortion facilities in 31 states and the District of Columbia were cited for medication violations. Improper handling of narcotics, failure to document medications given in medical records, and failing to secure controlled substances were some of the violations.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, careless handling of medication can lead to a medication error, which is “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the healthcare professional, patient, or consumer.”
Violations were found in the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.
The cited facilities include 29 Planned Parenthood locations. See a list of all the facilities that were cited.
Also included were three abortion facilities under the umbrella of Whole Woman’s Health. Whole Woman’s Health is the chain of abortion facilities that sued to block a Texas law that would have required abortion facilities to meet the same health and safety standards as other surgical centers. This led to the Supreme Court case Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt, which struck down the law.
Violations documented in the UNSAFE report included:
Staff failing to record the amount of medications given to patients, including controlled substances and narcotics;
Unsupervised, untrained staff handling medication for patient use;
Keeping the medication storage room and crash cart unlocked;
Failure to ensure proper security policy for crash cart, medications, needles, narcotics, and controlled substances;
Failing to document the correct number of controlled substances and narcotics at the facility;
Providing patients with controlled substances or narcotics in amounts that exceeded the recommended dosages.
Some abortion businesses administered narcotics irresponsibly, giving higher doses than recommended. Abortion facilities also failed to keep controlled substances secure. Rather than keeping narcotics behind locked cabinets or doors, abortion facilities stored them in places where they could be easily stolen.
In other cases, abortion facilities didn’t keep accurate records of the amount of medication given to women. This lack of documentation makes oversight impossible and can lead to errors that can endanger abortion patients.
In Arizona, the state medical board reprimanded Dr. Gabrielle Goodrick, an abortionist at Camelback Family Planning, for prewriting prescriptions for the opioid Percocet. Not only did she violate accepted protocol in prescribing, but she also left bottles of Percocet and Oxycodone lying around the facility, instead of securing them. This is not Goodrick’s first issue with the illegal handling of drugs; she has also been suspected of personally having a substance abuse problem.
According to the medical board, Goodrick allowed an employee to take a bottle of Percocet home overnight. This carelessness led to missing narcotics – the health department found 51 pills missing from the medication log. Also, medications were found to be mislabeled and there were other deficiencies in record-keeping.
Abortion facilities in Arkansas failed to perform accurate drug counts of controlled substances. One abortionist who worked at Little Rock Family Planning Services had a history of citations for over-prescribing opioids. This abortionist was accused of causing the death of a woman due to his over-prescribing. The death occurred in 1994 and the deceased woman’s daughter implicated the abortionist, blaming him for supplying the drugs that led to her mother’s death.
This abortionist also has a DUI arrest (driving under the influence) on his record. He admitted the arrest to the Arkansas Medical Board. In addition, a patient wrote a complaint letter alleging that the abortionist botched an operation on her in 2006, leaving her incapable of having children.
In Kentucky, abortion facilities failed to secure narcotics and didn’t maintain accurate medication logs. In Nevada, abortion facilities failed to properly handle medication, including controlled substances.
In Akron, Ohio, two abortion workers appeared to be stealing Fentanyl and Demerol from their abortion facility. They were suspected due to discrepancies in the medication supply records.
In Tennessee, an abortion facility had no DEA number, meaning it had no authority to dispense controlled substances. However, it was giving narcotics to women. In addition, the facility was not running background checks of its employees or doctors.
These were just some of the violations found in abortion facilities pertaining to controlled substances.
Source: Catherine Glenn Foster, Steven H. Aden, ed. UNSAFE: America’s Abortion Industry Endangers Women (Americans United for Life, 2021)
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