Germ Theory Denialism at “Clinic” Owned by Embattled Abortionist Steven Brigham

virginiawomenswellness2_260We reported last week that the Pro-Life Action League recently filed a complaint with the Virginia Department of Health, asking them to shut down the Virginia Women’s Wellness (VWW) abortion facility in located in Virginia Beach.

We have since filed two additional complaints against the facility, which is one of 16 abortion clinics owned by embattled abortionist Steven Brigham. One of these complaints focused exclusively on VWW’s stunning lack of adherence to basic sanitation and infection prevention protocols.

The Non-Handwashing Abortionist

When state inspectors conducted an unannounced inspection [PDF] in March of this year, they observed the abortionist (presumably Craig Cropp, although no employees’ names are listed) perform a surgical abortion on a woman before which he did not wash his hands.

What’s more:

  • prior to the abortion, the abortionist removed a non-sterile speculum from a drawer with bare hands.
  • during the abortion, the abortionist used sterile gloves to hold a non-sterile suction tube.
  • during the abortion, the abortionist used sterile gloves to hold the patient’s legs apart, then proceeded without a sterile-glove change.

Remember, this was all observed by state inspectors.  They weren’t watching on hidden camera, either — they were right there the whole time, just a few feet away.

Believe it or not, in the facility’s Plan of Correction (POC), Virginia Women’s Wellness administrator Michelle Nelson actually argued that nothing was amiss. Her exact words were, “Proper hand hygiene was performed both before and after the procedure by the physician” — despite the fact that the abortionist did not even wash his hands.

How could an abortion clinic administrator like Michelle Nelson possibly hope to be taken seriously when talking this way to state officials who have just cited the doctor [sic] at her abortion clinic for improper hand sanitation?

Take a look at this letter [PDF], and you may have your answer.

Is Abortion a “Non-Sterile Procedure”?

In this letter, dated March 14, Nelson writes to State Health Commissioner Dr. Marissa Levine to request that VWW receive a waiver from complying with portions of Virginia’s recently enacted regulations governing abortion clinics. On page 2, paragraph D, Nelson writes:

There is no basis to think that granting us a variance on constructing wider hallways or larger rooms, or requiring air to be changed twice per hour in a procedure room where non-sterile procedures are performed…would have any impact on “patient safety, patient care, or the services that we offer.” [emphasis added]

Since when is surgical abortion a non-sterile procedure?

It’s rather obvious that abortion is deadly to an unborn child. But its most strident advocates never tire of parroting the talking point that it is also “safe” for women. If they want to say that abortion need not be sterile, how can they, with a straight face, argue that it is “safe” for women?

Looking back at the POC submitted by Virginia Women’s Wellness, one can see why there is nothing related to breaking of the sterile field: because there was never intended to be a sterile field.

The notion that abortion can be done “safely” without basic surgical techniques such as sterile instruments and clean hands in sterile gloves simply cannot be ignored. The apparent germ theory denialism on the part of the administrator (and abortionist) at the ironically named Virginia Women’s Wellness is dangerous.

This abortion clinic’s practices are unconscionably unsanitary, and it must be shut down.

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