When I heard that the abortion clinic in Rockford had been closed at the end of September, I asked the Illinois Department of Public Health for the documents involved.
Friday I received a partial reply to my Freedom of Information request that reveals the “Northern Illinois Women’s Center has requested a hearing and the information withheld is pertinent to that action.”
The hearing request was made October 5th by a doctor, identified as “Acting Medical Director,” whose name is not typed and whose signature is impossible to decipher.
There is no letterhead on the accompanying letter, which is signed by the same doctor. Click to enlarge the appeal document below and tell me if you can figure out the “Acting Medical Director’s” name:
Making the withheld documents public would “interfere with active administrative enforcement proceedings conducted by the public body that is the recipient of the request…” That’s the excuse for secrecy.
This abortion clinic received an “EMERGENCY SUMMARY SUSPENSION.” Emphasis is in the original.
There was notice of a “FINE,” also in capital letters and boldface type. $15,000.
“The license suspension shall commence immediately and continue indefinitely.” Again the boldface type is in the original document.
And here’s why:
The summary of what was found to be wrong follows: The records sent me indicate some of the deficiencies have been corrected, but the abortion clinic is still unable to find a nurse with operating room experience willing to take part on the enterprise.
All it had was a Licensed Practical Nurse for 14-week and 17-week abortions on September 14th. But it wasn’t just a lack of qualified nurses. The physicians didn’t meet state requirements either, as you can see below:
One was said to have had Wisconsin privileges, but there was no documentation of that in the file. And these were identified as the “Medical Directors.”
Medicine was not administered according to the Illinois Nurses Practice Act.
A closed-door hearing will be held.
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There is a question that comes to mind: How did this abortion clinic stay open with medical directors who did not meet the requirement of having practicing privileges at an Illinois hospital.
More information about the regulation of abortion clinics by the Illinois Department of Public Health here.