Empty parking lot of the Albany abortion clinic on Chicago’s Northwest Side [Photo by John Jansen, Oct. 21]
The Pro-Life Action League published a lengthy article earlier this year detailing a notorious Chicago abortion clinic’s repeated failure to comply with Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) requirements, resulting in fines totaling $50,000.
The Albany Medical-Surgical Center abortion facility, run by the Family Planning Associates (FPA) chain, has long been notorious for not-safe-but-legal abortions, as witnessed chiefly by four (4) women who died following abortions performed there: Maria Rodriguez, Nakia Jorden, Maria Leho, and, most tragically of all, 13-year old Deanna Bell.
Five abortionists are listed on the Albany facility’s latest renewal licensure [PDF]: Steve Lichtenberg, Darwin Jackson, Murray Pelta, Allison Cowett, along with Willie Parker, who was given awards by both Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice New York earlier this year.
The last day the Albany abortion clinic was open was Saturday, October 17. Since then, it’s been closed. A sign on the door now directs people to another FPA abortion facility in downtown Chicago, and the large sign in the facility’s parking lot that formerly said, “Family Planning Associates Medical Group” is now blank.
It remains to be seen why Albany is closed, but here’s what we do know:
- In August 2013, IDPH conducted the first life safety inspection [PDF] at the Albany FPA abortion facility since at least 1995, revealing multiple violations related to patient and employee safety, particularly in case of fire or other emergency, and in maintaining a sanitary environment.
- Over the next 16 months, Albany repeatedly failed to issue an acceptable plan of correction (POC) to the IDPH indicating how these numerous deficiencies were to be fixed.
- In October 2014, the Pro-Life Action League questioned IDPH as to why we had evidence of numerous ambulance transfers from Albany, yet since 2005 (the earliest year for which ASTC profiles are available on the IDPH website), Albany had reported exactly zero ambulance transfers to the State.
- On December 19-20, 2014, three women were taken away from Albany by ambulance in two days. The Pro-Life Action League submitted a complaint to IDPH regarding these ambulance transfers on December 22, which was immediately investigated.
- IDPH conducted an on-site inspection at Albany on January 5, 2015 revealing twelve (12) ambulance transfers in the previous year. (In other words, Albany was averaging one ambulance transfer every month.)
- The January 5 inspection also revealed that on December 20, abortionist Allison Cowett left Albany in the ambulance to accompany the woman she had injured, thereby leaving unattended three (3) other women who had just had abortions in the recovery room with no physician present in the clinic. As a result, Albany was cited for violation of Presence of a Qualified Physician and fined $10,000.
- On February 28, Albany once again submitted a revised POC regarding the numerous deficiencies cited 18 months earlier—but it was once again unacceptable.
- On March 10—which is, ironically enough, “National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day”—IDPH issued an order [PDF] revoking Albany’s ambulatory surgical treatment center (ASTC) license, stating, “The Department has found conditions in the Facility that are threatening to the public interest, health, safety, or welfare.” The Department also assessed an additional $40,000 in fines.
- Albany appealed the State’s action and finally submitted an acceptable POC on May 15, and was ultimately allowed [PDF] to retain its license. Albany also negotiated with the State to pay $32,000 to satisfy the $50,000 in assessed fines.
The FPA website apparently has not been updated in some time, as it still indicates as of this writing that the Albany abortion facility is open when it is obviously not.
The whole story surrounding Albany’s closing at this time has yet to be uncovered, but we know that babies are no longer being killed there, and that is cause for rejoicing—especially considering that this news comes in the midst of a 40 Days for Life vigil held outside Albany for the sixth consecutive year.
To God be the glory!