Illinois surgical abortion facility turned down after asking for exemption from health standards

Illinois abortion clinic, abortion, Illinois

One of the most notorious abortion facilities in Illinois recently petitioned the state to be exempted from health standards regarding ambulatory surgical centers — and was denied.

Operation Rescue reported that Erin King, medical director for the Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City (which is apparently classified in the state as an ambulatory surgical treatment center, or ASTC), asked the Illinois Department of Public Health to exempt them from several health and safety standards, including the requirements that its providers have admitting privileges at a local hospital, that a licensed physician commit the surgical procedures, and that a pathologist carry out post-mortem tissue examinations and document them in the patient’s medical record. All three requests were rejected.

Operation Rescue notes:

A note made to the file by a representative of ILDPH stated it was explained to King on April 3, 2023, “there are not waivers, and these are required elements per the Act and the Code. Informed them of the option not to be licensed as an ASTC as per the Code and the Act.”   

It appears from this response that ambulatory surgical treatment centers have more stringent health and safety requirements than non-ASTC abortion facilities. Illinois is one of the most pro-abortion states in the country, making the Health Department’s response surprising in a state that has eliminated nearly all regulations — no longer even requiring licensing or inspections for non-ASTC abortion facilities, which comprise the vast majority of the state’s facilities.

In the letter, King referred to a number of administrative codes in the state’s ambulatory surgical treatment center licensing requirements for which she was requesting a “variance” or waiver, claiming, “There would be only positive effects on the already high quality patient care and the high standards to which the facility holds the medical staff.”

Hope Clinic frequently sends injured women to the emergency room after botched abortions; in 2023 alone, there were approximately 20 known injuries. It’s not known how many other women might have been injured at Hope Clinic that have gone unreported.

The facility is also notorious for sending injured women to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, instead of the emergency room located right across the street. Barnes-Jewish is 20 minutes away.

READ: Two women injured in same afternoon at New Mexico abortion facility

Julie Burkhart, who owns the facility, once worked with the late-term abortionist George Tiller and has been an abortion activist for decades.

Operation Rescue President Troy Newman said in a statement, “After so many years of getting away with murder, the owners and directors at this abortion mill expect to break the rules and operate with an even lesser degree of care and medical professionalism. Doubling their injuries apparently isn’t enough for them. They have proven again and again that they care absolutely nothing about the moms who enter their doors. This brazen request for exceptions to common sense safety standards put in place by the Department of Public Health only further demonstrates what we already know to be true!”

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