Investigative

De-licensed Birmingham abortionist made false statement about business operations allege state court filing

Judge gives illegally operating abortion facility a break.

The state of Alabama uncovered a business relationship between abortionist Bruce Norman and “abortion queen” Diane Derzis, both of whom are being sued by the state for illegally operating Birmingham abortion facility New Woman All Women, which the Alabama Department of Public Health ordered to close after it sent three abortion patients to the hospital in one day in January 2012.

Derzis recently entering New Woman All Women.

Derzis recently entering New Woman All Women.

In a court filing last week, the state says a Georgia company that Derzis runs essentially manages Norman’s practice at New Woman All Women. This discovery contradicts Derzis’s previous statements that she and Norman don’t have a business relationship. Norman has said in court documents that he has performed abortions at New Woman All Women but claims he’s performing fewer than 30 per month, for which the law doesn’t require him to be licensed.

Norman also works at Mississippi’s sole abortion business, which Derzis owns.

All Women’s Healthcare of Columbus Inc., a for-profit corporation of which Derzis is the CEO, bills Norman for services monthly. All Women’s Healthcare of Columbus Inc. has joined Derzis, Norman, and their secretary Patrick Smith as a defendant in the case.

New Woman All Women previously submitted and then withdrew a motion to dismiss, which claimed that the Alabama Department of Public Health had no jurisdiction to enforce health and safety rules.

In March 2012, the Alabama Department of Public Health issued a 76-page deficiency report, which revealed, among other problems and substandard conditions, that:

  • The staff of New Woman All Women was not properly trained
  • There was no documentation that the two abortionists employed by Derzis were even qualified to perform abortions
  • Abortionists’ notes on patient charts were illegible or completely false
  • Drugs had not been properly prepared, which caused overdoses or inadequate pain management
  • New Woman All Women was using equipment with no inspection dates or that had not been inspected since 2007

Despite being ordered by the Alabama Department of Public Health to close no later than May 18, 2012, New Woman All Women has continued to operate illegally.

Alabama recently passed the Women’s Health and Safety Act, which was signed into law by Governor Bentley. The Women’s Health and Safety Act requires abortion facilities to meet stronger medical standards and requires abortionists to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU sued over the law, and on June 28, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson temporarily blocked the measure requiring abortionists to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital.

Thompson’s temporary decision expires July 12, when he’s expected to make a final decision about the law.

The hearing against New Woman All Women is set for August 5.

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