An abortion facility in Pennsylvania has been ordered by the state’s Department of Health to close after failing a surprise inspection on Monday. In 2011, Pennsylvania enacted regulations requiring that the state’s abortion facilities be subject to unannounced inspections. These regulations were passed in an effort to prevent the tragedies at Kermit Gosnell’s “House of Horrors” from happening again.
Hillcrest Women Center’s failure to pass inspection on Monday isn’t the first time that the abortion facility has failed to pass a state inspection.
The facility also failed its health inspection back in February. Monday’s failure was the fourth time in six years that Hillcrest has been cited for health violations, many of which are direct violations of Pennsylvania law. Some of the worst violations included:
- Failing to conduct Patient Safety Committee meetings quarterly, in direct violation of the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act;
- Failure to conduct background checks for employees, in direct violation of the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL);
- Admitting and treating individuals under the age of 18;
- Failure to implement a policy that addressed suspected abuse reporting requirements, in direct violation of the Adult Protective Services Act of 2010;
- Failure to provide documentation to show that the consultant physician was board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology;
- Failure to document what type, the amount, and the method of delivering anesthesia to patients;
- Failure to supervise patients while recovering from surgery or anesthesia;
- Failure to document blood type; and
- Failure to have a registered nurse present for at least twelve patients who visited. A state-conducted interview with a Hillcrest employee further revealed that the facility did not employ or utilize the services of a registered nurse.
After failing the February health inspection, the abortion facility was allowed to continue operating. However, when news of the failed inspection began to circulate on FOX and ABC, it caught the attention of several Pennsylvania legislators. Senators Joe Scarnati, Bob Mensch, and John DiSanto sent a letter to Health Department Secretary Karen Murphy. They wrote:
The DOH inspection report portrays a facility which is clearly unsafe and unhealthy for both patients and staff alike. Given this, we would like an explanation as to why DOH did not immediately move to suspend or revoke Hillcrest Women’s Medical Center’s license upon finding such numerous egregious violations. These health and safety violations are obviously deeply troubling. However, even more problematic appears to be DOH’s response, which was to allow the abortion clinic to continue operating while granting Hillcrest a six month grace period to correct the cited “deficiencies.”
Sean Maguire has been sidewalk counseling at Hillcrest since October of 2016. In a statement to Live Action News, Maguire said:
The news that the Pennsylvania Department of Health has ordered Hillcrest Women’s Medical Center to close is most welcome. Women have been going to Hillcrest because they felt they had no other choice. The conditions of the facility are obviously terrible. The building is dilapidated, the yard is unkempt and hasn’t been mowed all year, the parking lot is riddled with potholes. The interior is no better. Stains cover the floors, walls, and ceilings. Windows have been painted over and the paint is peeling away in the sun.
Reviews from women who have gone inside are filled with disgusting details. The only reason anyone ever went into Hillcrest is because they thought they had no other choice. Now that Hillcrest has closed down, women will find the real help and care that they need from surrounding pregnancy care centers.
Morning Star and Life Choices are two free pregnancy resource centers in the Harrisburg area who will provide care for any woman facing a crisis pregnancy. These excellent services are provided by professionals who really care about the women they serve. The community of care and support exists to help women. Now that Hillcrest is gone, it is my hope that more women will find that care.