By Cheryl Sullenger
Jackson, Mississippi – An ambulance arrived at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, at about 12:20 p.m. on Wednesday, August 7, and transported a female patient who emerged from the clinic in Mississippi on a gurney. The pale-skinned, brown-haired woman was covered head to toe with a blanket.
Activists from Pro-Life Mississippi photographed the incident. Those photos and a brief video taken at the scene were provided to Operation Rescue.
Abortion clinic volunteers aggressively surrounded pro-life activists and attempted to block their cameras with signs as the pro-lifers tried to document the event.
Pro-Life Mississippi reports that the abortionist on duty was Bruce Elliot Norman, an employee of abortion clinic owner Diane Derzis. Norman has no hospital privileges in Mississippi or in Alabama, where he also aborts babies at another abortion clinic owned by Derzis.
“We wonder how many more women Norman and Derzis will injure or kill before the courts realize that this pair poses a danger to the public,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Now they have been caught injuring yet another woman and sending her off to a hospital where Norman isn’t even qualified to practice. We don’t know if she is alive or dead.”
Earlier this year, the Mississippi legislature passed a law requiring abortionists to maintain hospital privileges within 30 miles of abortion clinics where they work. That law has been blocked in court after Derzis challenged the constitutionality of the law that would have ensured continuity of care for abortion patients in the event of a medical emergency such as the one that occurred Wednesday. The next scheduled hearing for that case is a status conference set for August 15, 2013.
Operation Rescue is demanding the immediate emergency suspension of abortions at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization pending a full investigation into Monday’s medical emergency.
Ironically, on Monday, August 5, Derzis and Norman were in court in Birmingham, Alabama, defending against a suit filed by the Alabama Department of Public Health alleging that they were operating an illegal, unlicensed abortion clinic known as New Woman All Women. Life Legal Defense Foundation had filed an amicus curiae brief in the case on behalf of Operation Rescue and CEC For Life and submitted evidence gathered by the groups of Derzis and Norman’s illegal operations. A decision on that case is expected as early as Friday.
Last year, three women who were subjected to abortions by Norman at Derzis’ Birmingham abortion clinic were hospitalized due to abortion complications at New Woman All Women. The ADPH inspected the clinic and discovered 76-pages of health and safety code deficiencies. The clinic was forced to close after the ADPH and Derzis agreed to a consent order that banned Derzis from having anything to do with any future abortion clinic or from hiring Norman to do abortions. After two failed attempts to relicense the clinic, Derzis and Norman reopened the clinic without licensure and have been operating illegally as a “doctor’s office” whose only “service” is abortions.
“It is frustrating to see Derzis and Norman continuing to operate their dangerous abortion businesses, shipping one woman after another off to emergency rooms, while laws that would protect the public are impeded by the courts,” said Newman. “It’s time for the judges in Mississippi and Alabama remove the impediments and allow authorities to enforce the laws and close Derzis’ seedy and dangerous abortion operations. If the judges had not blocked the abortion laws in the first place, that woman in Mississippi would be safe today.”