The Pro-Life Action League reported recently that the Women’s Aid Clinic abortion facility was inspected in 2011 by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) for the first time in 15 years.
Following the inspection, Women’s Aid — located in the northern Chicago suburb of Lincolnwood — was assessed a fine of $36,000 for “violations including the clinic’s failure to perform CPR on a patient who died after a procedure” in 2009, according to an AP article published January 21.
That article reported that Women’s Aid co-owner Larisa Rozansky “told the AP her clinic was safe and she felt victimized by the surprise inspection,” which Rozansky called “unfair.”
Following last year’s inspection — in which IDPH inspectors also discovered such violations as dusty equipment, lack of a supervising registered nurse, and “frozen TV dinners stored in a biohazard lab refrigerator that also held placental or fetal tissue,” the state issued an order on October 21, 2011 prohibiting Women’s Aid from performing surgical abortions.
State Health Dept. Sends Abortion Clinic a Cease and Desist Letter
But on January 25, I noted that the Women’s Aid website was still advertising that it did surgical abortions. Shortly thereafter, pro-life activists working with the Pro-Life Action League brought this false advertising to the attention of the IDPH.
And the IDPH’s William Bell took action, sending Women’s Aid a cease and desist letter [PDF] via certified mail on March 7 regarding false advertising and reminded the abortion facility that paying the $36,000 fine wasn’t optional. Bell also reminded Women’s Aid that if the facility did not pay the fine within 10 days of receiving the letter, the matter would be turned over to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office for collection proceedings.
Rozansky responded by sending a letter [PDF] to Bell on March 13 that must be seen to be believed:
Women’s Aid Clinic? What Women’s Aid Clinic?
The audacity of Rozansky’s letter is breathtaking. Women’s Aid Clinic no longer exists, and “the new company” — whatever that means — “has been formed and temporarily occupies this location”?
If they expected anyone to believe that, you’d think that they would, at the very least, change their name. But they didn’t bother doing that.
On Sunday, April 1, when I knew they would be closed, I called the number listed on the Women’s Aid Clinic website to listen to their voicemail greeting. The voicemail greeting tells callers that the number belongs to — wait for it — the “Women’s Aid Clinic.”
The next morning, Monday, April 2, I received a call on the phone I used to call Women’s Aid Clinic the previous day. The employee who called left a voicemail identifying herself as being from none other than the “Women’s Aid Clinic,” and said that the facility had received a call from this number the previous day, and invited me to call back.
On Tuesday, April 3, I went to the office building at 4751 W. Touhy Avenue in Lincolnwood that houses the Women’s Aid Clinic, along with several other offices.
From the public sidewalk outside the building I took a picture of a sign inside the building that clearly advertises the “Women’s Aid Clinic” (see picture above, left)
I also took a picture (see right) from inside the public lobby of the building that directs clients to the Women’s Aid Clinic office. As you can see, the sign clearly says, “Women’s Aid Clinic.”
And so, contrary to co-owner Larisa Rozansky’s claims, the Women’s Aid Clinic is still very much in existence, advertising itself and doing business as such, and in possession of assets.
Women’s Aid Clinic Continues to Falsely Advertise Surgical Abortions
Note also that in Rozansky’s March 13 letter, she wrote:
All of the advertisement that pertains to surgical abortions has been removed from this site (please check: womensaidclinic.com).
This is not true.
As of today, Women’s Aid Clinic’s advertisement of surgical abortions is still publicly visible at the URL http://www.womensaidclinic.com/surgical.html (see screenshot here).
This morning I spoke with William Bell at the IDPH and explained to him what I’ve set forth above. Per his request, I’ve put it in writing and asked him to forward it to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office and urge their office to (1) begin proceedings to collect the $36,000 fine that Women’s Aid Clinic is required to pay to the IDPH, and (2) take appropriate action against Women’s Aid Clinic for its false advertising.
Needless to say, there will be more to this story. Watch this space for developments.