A woman is transported into an ambulance at the Albany Medical/Surgical Center abortion clinic in Chicago, December 20
When Pro-Life Action League national director Joe Scheidler arrived December 20 at the Albany Medical/Surgical Center abortion clinic with 30 pro-lifers for the last stop on the League’s “Empty Manger” Christmas Caroling Tour in Chicago, the group was greeted by an all too familiar sight: a woman being loaded into an ambulance.
What’s more, on the previous day, ambulances were called to the facility on two separate occasions.
The Albany abortion clinic, run by the Family Planning Associates chain, has long been notorious for not-safe-but-legal abortions, as witnessed chiefly by four (4) women who actually died following abortions performed there: Maria Rodriguez, Nakia Jorden, Maria Leho, and, most tragically of all, 13-year old Deanna Bell.
Repeated Failure to Report Ambulance Transfers
Sidewalk counselors have also witnessed patients from Albany loaded into ambulances at least once in each of the past two years as well: on July 30, 2013, and on November 9, 2012, each of which was documented on the Pro-Life Action League’s website. Yet neither of these instances were reported on Albany’s annual Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Center (ASTC) profiles submitted to the Illinois Department of Public Health, despite the fact that Illinois law requires ASTCs to report ambulance transfers.
In fact, since 2005 (the last year for which ASTC profiles are available on the IDPH website), Albany has reported a grand total of zero ambulance transfers.
A patient at the Albany abortion clinic in Chicago is loaded into an ambulance July 1, 2014
We also know that a patient was carted out of the Albany abortion clinic into an ambulance on July 1 of this year. ASTC profiles for a given calendar year aren’t usually published until the fourth quarter of the following year, so it will be some time until we find out if Albany actually reported the July 1 ambulance transfer, or any of the three that occurred on December 19-20.
But we’re not holding our breath.
Formal Complaint Filed with State Health Department
It’s also worth noting that every ambulance that’s been sighted at Albany in the past two years has come from a private ambulance company, and not from the Chicago Fire Department.
Clearly, Albany Medical/Surgical Center has decided on a policy of calling a private ambulance company directly to avoid the scrutiny that comes with calling 911, as calls to private ambulance companies are, of course, not matters of public record and are not subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, whereas 911 calls are.
Albany doesn’t want anyone—but especially not anyone at the State of Illinois—to know anything about any ambulance transfers. That’s why we have to make sure the State does knows all about them.
Yesterday, we filed a formal complaint with the Illinois Department of Public Health calling for immediate action. Albany Medical/Surgical Center has never been safe for unborn children, and, with its appalling patient safety record and documented proof of its repeated failure to report ambulance transfers, it’s not safe for women, either.