A Planned Parenthood clinic in Delaware has temporarily shut its doors after two former nurses said it was so unsafe that patients could have been at risk of contracting AIDS.
It’s the same abortion clinic in Wilmington, Del. where a Catholic grandmother said she was assaulted last month. Rae Stabosz told TheBlaze she’s part of a group that regularly prays outside the clinic when an ambulance pulled up outside. After Stabosz pulled out her iPhone and started to film, she said a woman “barreled” into her and took her phone.
One month later, the clinic has halted its services and is the subject of a probe by the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, WPVI-TV reported.
Since Jan. 4, five women have allegedly been rushed from the clinic to the emergency room following procedures, according to WPVI. In audio from 911 calls obtained by the station, a caller said one woman was “bleeding.” In another call, they said “a patient is not reacting to a sedation that we gave her, and she pretty much passed out.”
Nurses Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich and Joyce Vasikonis told WPVI they quit their jobs at the clinic out of fear of what would happen if a patient were harmed.
“It was just unsafe. I couldn’t tell you how ridiculously unsafe it was,” Werbrich said.
She said conditions inside were unsanitary — one doctor, she said, didn’t even wear gloves.
“He didn’t wear gloves,” Werbrich said. “He didn’t believe he needed to wear them.”
Vasikonis told WPVI unsterilized instruments were used on patients.
“They were using instruments on patients that were not sterile,” she said.
The nurses alleged there was such a focus on getting patients in and out that operating tables were left bloody and unclean.
“It’s not washed down, it’s not even cleaned off, you know? It has bloody drainage on it,” Werbrich said.
Vasikonis noted, “They could be at risk of getting hepatitis, even AIDS.”
According to WPVI, the nurses described what was happening at the Planned Parenthood as “a meat market style of assembly-line abortions.”
“Planned Parenthood needs to close its doors, it needs to be cleaned up, the staff needs to be trained,” Werbrich said.
In Delaware, clinics like Planned Parenthood aren’t subject to routine health inspections like hospitals are, and it’s essentially up to Planned Parenthood to police itself. The state agency steps in to inspect only after a complaint is lodged, Mary Peterson with the Delaware Health and Social Services told WPVI.
That happened after such a complaint was made in October, but Peterson said they found no problems with sterilized instruments or with blood left behind after procedures.
The agency is investigating the circumstances surrounding the five women who were rushed to the hospital. According to WPVI, at least one patient plans to sue the clinic following what was described as a “botched abortion.”
A doctor and two other nurses have also recently left, according to WPVI, but Planned Parenthood would not confirm whether they were fired or had resigned.
In an online statement posted Wednesday, Planned Parenthood of Delaware President Ruth Lytle-Barnaby said the temporary closure is the result of a recent “review of patient services.”
“I determined that we need to take immediate steps to assure our patients of our high-quality care, including enacting immediate personnel changes. We do not tolerate employees that fail to meet our standards for patient care and services. We have made some modifications to our clinical hours for the next several weeks so that we can orient and fully train new staff,” she said.
Lytle-Barnaby said she also invited “a team of medical experts from our national office” to “confirm we are addressing every concern.”
“We are confident patient care is high quality, but if we identify any additional issues with our quality of services we are prepared to take swift action. … Patient health and safety has always been — and remains — our top priority,” she said.