Illinois Health Dept. Orders Abortion Clinic to Stop False Advertising

Illinois abortionLast year, the Illinois Department of Public Health inspected the Women’s Aid Clinic abortion facility 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,” according to an AP article published January 21.

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.”

Following the inspection, the state issued an order on October 21, 2011 prohibiting Women’s Aid from performing surgical abortions.

But on January 25, I noted that the Women’s Aid website still indicates that it offers 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 took action, sending Women’s Aid a cease and desist letter regarding false advertising, and reminded the abortion facility that paying the $36,000 fine wasn’t optional:

From an AP article in today’s Chicago Tribune:

The Illinois Department of Public Health sent a strongly worded order to the Women’s Aid Clinic by certified mail on March 7. But the clinic’s website on Thursday still was promoting “first trimester abortion services from 6 to 14 weeks of pregnancy with two types of anesthesia.”

In October, the clinic lost its abortion clinic license after it was cited for dusty equipment, lack of a supervising registered nurse and failure to perform CPR on a patient who later died.

Since then, the clinic has remained open, even as its owner told the state the clinic would cease to operate as a licensed pregnancy termination center. It’s unclear whether the clinic still is providing surgical abortions, which could be a violation of state law. A woman answering the phone said the clinic provides only the abortion pill.

The clinic failed to pay a $36,000 fine assessed in October, according to the March 7 letter, which also demands that the clinic return its original license to the state or face a revocation action. The matter will be referred to the Illinois attorney general’s office if the clinic doesn’t pay the fine and cease its “false advertising,” the letter states.

As of this afternoon, the Women’s Aid website still falsely claims they do surgical abortions (see screenshot here).

Pro-Life Action League Executive Director Eric Scheidler was quoted in the article: “Here we have an oversight system that has been dragging its feet and when they finally do investigate it looks like this clinic is outright disobeying the state.”

The letter from the IDPH, dated March 7, gives Women’s Aid 10 days from the time they receive the letter to pay the $36,000 fine, and to remove all surgical abortion advertising from their website.

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