State Orders Emergency Shutdown of Detroit Area Abortion Clinic

The following is a guest blog post by Monica Migliorino Miller, Ph.D., director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society and author of Abandoned: The Untold Story of the Abortion Wars (St. Benedict Press, 2012).

Ambulance at Women's Center of Southfield abortion clinic in Lathrup Village, Michigan, Feb. 28, 2014 

Ambulance at Women’s Center of Southfield abortion clinic in Lathrup Village, Michigan, Feb. 28, 2014

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) ordered the Women’s Center of Southfield in Lathrup Village, Michigan to cease operations beginning November 21 pending the outcome of an investigative hearing by the Attorney General’s Office on March 4, 2015.

The emergency shutdown of this facility owned by abortionist Jacob Kalo was prompted by the official allegation of a botched abortion at 23 weeks that occurred in February 27-28. The woman who underwent the abortion—at the hands of Reginald Sharpe, who is currently under investigation by the State of Michigan—suffered uterine perforation and hemorrhaging resulting in emergency hospital care.

The Women’s Center of Southfield clinic is subject to yearly state inspections. Through investigative work by pro-life leader Lynn Mills and her team at Pro-Life Detroit, it was discovered that the clinic failed no fewer than five (5) inspections within 10 months. “I have been communicating my concerns to the State of Michigan since February 2014 asking for swift action in regard to this location as well as Drs. Sharpe and Kalo. I am indebted to 40 Days for Life-Southfield for their observation of state inspector visits,” said Mills regarding her repeated complaints.

A State Health Care Surveyor from LARA conducted the facility’s annual inspection on December 17, 2013. The clinic failed that inspection and all subsequent inspections:

  • April 24, 2014: Failed
  • June 17, 2014: Failed
  • July 24, 2014: Failed
  • September 30, 2014: Failed

Until November 21, the State permitted Women’s Center of Southfield to operate while numerous violations remained unresolved that included the following unsafe and unsanitary conditions, placing patient health at risk:

  • Up until July 2014, no Registered Nurse was on site. Kalo/Women’s Center of Southfield permitted at least two 2nd trimester abortions to be performed without the required RN in attendance (one of which was the aforementioned botch abortion).
  • The absence of hand hygiene protocol.
  • Dismembered fetal remains not inspected following abortion procedures, resulting in danger of incomplete abortions
    left undetected.
  • Kalo requires patients to have their personal possessions in an open basket in the operating room, risking unsanitary contamination.
  • RN failed to verify medication drawn into syringe before handing medication to abortionist.
  • Medical staff failed to observe proper hand hygiene after removing gloves following washing of contaminated instruments.
  • Medical assistant failed to properly draw tap water through re-used suction aspiration instruments tubing in a common bucket used for many patients.
  • Kalo failed to follow requirements related to patient signatures on ultrasound acknowledgement consent forms.
  • Neither Kalo nor clinic staff provided oral conversation or discussion with patients, regarding consent, risk or complications prior to abortion procedures.
  • Kalo failed to let patients observe ultrasound images.
  • Kalo failed to have written transfer agreement with any local hospital for patients requiring Emergency Room care.
  • Staff failed to remove non-working defribillator and ventilator from abortion procedure room.

The Women’s Center of Southfield abortion clinic was repeatedly in non-compliance with state regulations, thus operating a sub-standard medical facility that places women’s lives at risk. Moreover this clinic location has a history of violating patient rights and Michigan State law.

We demand that:

  • The Women’s Center-Southfield be forced to shut down permanently.
  • The State of Michigan formally investigate Jacob Kalo’s four other abortion facilities.
  • The City of Lathrup Village immediately adopt the 20 Week Pain Capable Abortion Ban—a ban CPLS already proposed to the City Council this year that would not only protected unborn babies, but which also would have prevented the kind of botched abortion earlier this year that resulted in terrible personal pain and suffering for the baby’s mother.

Over the last 30 years this abortion clinic site and its abortionists have been the subject of numerous civil suits filed by women who suffered complications from abortions. At least three women died from abortions performed at this location or by abortionists who worked for the clinic—namely Chevon Williams, Regina Johnson, and 15-year-old Tamiia Russell.

Remains of an aborted baby found in 2008 in a dumpster behind the Women's Center of Southfield abortion clinic 

Remains of an aborted baby found in 2008 in a dumpster behind the Women’s Center of Southfield abortion clinic

In 2008, Citizens for a Pro-Life Society discovered the remains of aborted babies in the trash dumpster located in the alley behind the Women’s Center of Southfield when it was owned by Alberto Hodari. In addition, the group found extensive biohazardous waste as well as over 200 intact patient records.

The clinic was subsequently cited for violations of the state’s sanitation code by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The Oakland County District Attorney’s Office brought charges against Hodari for violating the rights of patients regarding the improper disposal of medical records, and the clinic was also found to be in violation of patients’ rights and confidentiality under federal HIPAA regulations.

It’s time to close this abortion clinic!

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