On Monday, Aastra Women’s Center agreed to pay a $3,000 fine as part of a settlement with the state of Florida. The state filed suit against Aastra and four other abortion facilities late last year, alleging that they performed illegal second-trimester abortions without proper licenses. CBS Miami reports:
The Agency for Health Care Administration in September accused Aastra and four other clinics of performing second-trimester abortions without proper licenses. The clinics filed legal challenges, arguing that the agency used a shifting definition of what constitutes the first trimester of pregnancy.
Although Aastra has agreed to pay the fine, they are still claiming innocence. The settlement states that Aastra “denies the validity of the allegations raised in the administrative complaint” and that the Agency for Health Care Administration “asserts the validity of the allegations.” When a tentative agreement was reached with the state in December, an attorney for the abortion center claimed that any settlement reached was simply a “business decision.”
The lawsuit followed investigations launched by Florida Governor Rick Scott, who opted to investigate all Planned Parenthood abortion facilities in the state of Florida last year, following the release of videos indicating unethical behavior by Planned Parenthood officials. However, as Live Action News’ Susan Michelle reported last August, Gov. Scott received criticism for announcing that investigations would take place – a breach of protocol:
… [A]gency protocol is to show up unannounced so clinics don’t have warning to prepare.
The fact that these Planned Parenthood facilities knew an investigation was occurring and didn’t make attempts to cover such egregious violations as unlicensed dismemberment abortions and improper disposal of fetal remains should be a troubling sign to lawmakers in Florida.
In addition to catching several Florida abortion facilities illegally performing second-trimester abortions, the investigation also revealed improper disposal of fetal remains at one facility.