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3 abortion doctors face legal problems

WASHINGTON (BP)–Abortion doctors and their clinics continue to be the targets of legal investigations.

The following accounts were reported by major newspapers in recent days:

— State authorities suspended the medical license of Kermit Gosnell Feb. 22 after two raids in four days of his West Philadelphia office, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Conditions at the clinic were “deplorable and unsanitary,” the suspension order said. “There was blood on the floor, and parts of aborted fetuses were displayed in jars.” Philadelphia’s CBS-TV affiliate reported investigators found the bodies of more than two dozen unborn babies stored in a freezer. Some were 30 years old, according to the TV station.

— A California judge rejected Feb. 18 an attempt by state officials to have Andrew Rutland’s medical license suspended. On Jan. 7, Administrative Law Judge James Ahler ordered Rutland to stop performing abortions. The Medical Board of California charged Rutland with violating the judge’s order after it conducted an undercover investigation, The Los Angeles Times reported. Ahler ruled, however, that Rutland followed his order by refusing to perform a surgical abortion, though he encouraged the clandestine investigator to have a chemical, or drug-induced, abortion, according to The Times. Rutland still has to face a disciplinary hearing as a result of the August death of Ying Chen, 30, during a second-trimester abortion at a San Gabriel, Calif., clinic.

— New York abortion clinic owner Salomon Epstein is being investigated by the state, according to a Feb. 23 release by Operation Rescue. The pro-life organization said it was notified by the Department of Health of the investigation into Epstein’s part in the Jan. 25 death of Alexandra Nunez. The mother of four died after she was injured during an abortion at a Queens clinic owned by Epstein, the New York Daily News reported. One of her arteries was accidentally cut, and Nunez went into cardiac arrest, police sources told the newspaper.

Operation Rescue President Troy Newman said of Epstein’s clinic, “Just one look at the A-1 Women’s Center and it is easy to guess why this happened. I wouldn’t take my dog there. Nasty little abortion clinics like this spring up in Hispanic and black neighborhoods in order to prey on vulnerable women instead of offering them real solutions and hope.”

Meanwhile, a hidden-camera investigation has shown another Planned Parenthood abortion clinic attempting to cover up child sexual abuse.

Live Action, a student-led, pro-life group, released Feb. 23 a new video showing a Planned Parenthood employee at a Milwaukee, Wis., clinic directing an alleged, 14-year-old girl to hide her boyfriend’s age in seeking to obtain an abortion.

The employee, who identifies herself as Sonia, is caught on the secretly recorded video telling a young woman posing as a pregnant 14 year old, “You don’t have to say anything” about her supposed boyfriend’s age, which she says is 31. Sonia is heard saying the chance of a report to public officials by a clinic worker “depends on the person you’re disclosing that information to.”

Hidden-camera investigations by Live Action have caught Planned Parenthood employees in Alabama, Arizona, California, Indiana and Tennessee seeking to cover up alleged child sexual abuse, prompting some state investigations. Undercover video released in December showed a counselor at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Appleton, Wis., providing erroneous information about fetal development.

“In case after case, Planned Parenthood exempts itself from its legal and professional obligations,” said Lila Rose, Live Action’s president, in a written statement.

The latest Live Action video is available online at http://www.liveaction.org.

Affiliates of Planned Parenthood, the country’s leading abortion provider, performed more than 305,000 abortions in 2007, the most recent year for which statistics are available.
Tom Strode is Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press.