Tougher abortion clinic standards could threaten Columbus clinic - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Pregnancy clinic director discusses Alabama's safety measures for abortion clinics

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Governor Robert Bentley signed the Women's Health and Safety Act into law last year requiring abortionist to be able to admit patients to local hospitals.

A law that Carol Henschel, Executive Director of Sound Choices Pregnancy Clinic says is an important safety measure.

"Any time there's a surgical procedure done, it ought to be uniformed that a clinic has the same standards of any other hospital or surgical facility," she said.

The act forced many facilities to close their doors. New Woman All Women Health Care in Birmingham was cited for inadequately trained staff and hospitalizing patients in 2012 and later shut down.

Its operator is the woman widely regarded as the 'abortion queen' Diane Derzis -- who also owns the Columbus Women Health Organization. It's something that raises safety concerns with Henschel.

"Why would one facility be different than another if indeed it is owned by the same company," she quizzes.

Henschel works to offer pregnant women options that sometimes lead to abortion, and she says the women she's referred to the clinic have had similar instances.

"For instance, we had one woman who came in, had an abortion for twins because she was told they didn't have kidneys and found out later that was not the case," Henschel explains.

Because of mistakes like this, Henschel urges local and state officials to ensure that -- if these women choose to have the procedure -- they can do so safely.

"That would regulate staffing, qualifications of those staff, the cleanliness of the place and the instruments that they use," she adds.

To date, there are still upwards of 800 abortion clinics in the U.S. I have reached out to the director of the Columbus Women's Health Organization for a comment and to see if the facility has faced similar violations. My calls have not yet been returned.

Copyright 2014 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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