On October 21, 2011 the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) assessed the Women’s Aid Clinic abortion facility with a fine [PDF] of $36,000 for a host of serious violations, including failure to perform CPR on 18-year old Antonesha Ross, who died following an abortion in 2009.
The state also suspended the license of Women’s Aid to operate as a pregnancy termination specialty center (PTSC) and prohibited the facility from performing surgical abortions—although it is still permitted to perform medical abortions (i.e., RU-486).
But now, more than two years later, Women’s Aid still hasn’t paid the fine, and the matter has been turned over to the Illinois Attorney General’s office to collect the money. But as it stands now, a judge in Chicago is willing to let them off the hook—if they pay a mere $77.
We can’t let that happen.
That’s why the Pro-Life Action League is urging Illinois residents to call the office of Attorney General Lisa Madigan at 312-814-3000 and urge her to appeal the judge’s ruling in the Women’s Aid Clinic case.
Slapped with $36,000 Fine, Owner Claims Abortion Clinic “Does Not Exist”
In March of 2012, the IDPH wrote a letter [PDF] to Women’s Aid owner Larisa Rozansky and reminded her that paying the $36,000 fine wasn’t optional, to which Rozansky responded with a letter [PDF] of her own saying that “Women’s Aid Clinic does not exist and does not have any assets or associated bank accounts”–even though the facility was still very much in business.
A few months later, Women’s Aid Clinic moved from Lincolnwood to its current location in Chicago and changed its name to Women’s Aid Center.
In August 2012, the state Attorney General’s office filed suit [PDF] against Women’s Aid in Cook County Court in Chicago to begin proceedings to collect the $36,000 fine that Women’s Aid never bothered to pay. The wheels of justice turn slowly, and after numerous continuances in the case, Rozansky’s attorney, Scott Skaletsky, requested an evidentiary hearing, which was held on December 3, 2013, and then continued to January 14 of this year.
Skaletsky, Rozansky’s attorney, argued that Women’s Aid Clinic and Women’s Aid Center were two “totally different businesses,” and that when Women’s Aid Clinic closed in March 2012, it had a mere $77 in its bank account. Skaletsky then told Cook County Judge Alexander White that Rozansky would be willing to write a check to the state for $77 to “make this go away.”
Shockingly, Judge White bought that argument, and ordered Rozansky to send a check for $77 to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Now it’s up to the Illinois Attorney General’s office as to whether to keep pushing to collect more money from Women’s Aid Clinic/Center.
They may think that’s futile and just give up. If that happens, Women’s Aid owner Larisa Rozansky would pay a mere $77 — two-tenths of one percent of the original fine amount of $36,000 — and that would, in the words of her attorney, “make this go away.”
We can’t let that happen.
Call the Illinois Attorney General’s Office: Appeal the Judge’s Ruling
The Pro-Life Action League is calling on Illinois residents to call the office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan at 312-814-3000 with the following message:
I want to urge Ms. Madigan to protect women’s health and appeal Judge Alexander White’s ruling that slashes Women’s Aid Clinic’s fine from $36,000 down to just $77!
The Attorney General’s office has only until this Thursday, February 13 to decide whether or not to appeal the judge’s ruling, so make this call today.
If the AG’s office declines to pursue the matter, think of the very dangerous precedent this sets. You can run a shoddy, dangerous abortion clinic, and even if you rack up tens of thousands of dollars in fines by state health inspectors, you can weasel your way out of it by draining your bank account, closing down, declaring the business no longer exists, moving, and reopening under a different name, employing stall tactics at every opportunity throughout the protracted legal process—and you can get away with it.
Don’t let that happen. Call the Illinois Attorney General’s office today at 312-814-3000 and urge them to appeal Judge Alexander White’s ruling in the Women’s Aid Clinic case.