U.S. Sen. David Vitter today sent a letter to Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein and Governor Bobby Jindal urging an investigation and appropriate action against the abortion facility known as the Delta Clinic in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
"Recent news reports connecting the Delta Clinic to the allegations being charged against this horrific abortionist in Philadelphia could justify shutting down the Delta Clinic, and we must take the appropriate steps to prevent endangering the lives of Louisiana women and children," Vitter said.
Recently a Pennsylvania abortion practitioner and several of his employees were charged with murder and other crimes related to running an abortion practice. One of those employees, Eileen O'Neill, is a former employee of the Delta Clinic in Baton Rouge. She has been arrested for a number of violations that include theft by deception for pretending to be a licensed physician.
According to the grand jury, the incident in Pennsylvania was partly due to the failure of state and local officials to perform their duties properly.
The text of Vitter's letter is below.
IMMEDIATE ATTENTION REQUIRED
February 2, 2011
Secretary Bruce Greenstein
Department of Health & Hospitals
P.O. Box 629
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-0629
Dear Secretary Greenstein:
I am writing to seek your immediate and personal involvement in investigating and taking all appropriate enforcement action against the abortion facility known as the Delta Clinic in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Recent media reports indicate that this abortion clinic has a record of grievances and possible serious violations more than sufficient to warrant immediate action by the Department of Health & Hospitals.
In fact, these reports are so condemning that even the National Abortion Federation has suspended the Delta Clinic's membership and will no longer refer women to the abortion center. However, the clinic is still open for business because only your department has the authority to shut it down. According to the DHH office of Health Standards, there is not yet an open investigation into this matter. If it is true that the Delta Clinic is in violation of Louisiana or federal law, I urge you to immediately suspend the facility's license to ensure the protection of women seeking their services.
As you may know, a Pennsylvania abortion practitioner and several of his employees were recently charged with murder and other crimes related to running a horrific abortion practice that endangered the lives of countless women and children. News accounts have revealed that one of those employees, Eileen O'Neill, is a former employee of the Delta Clinic. She has been arrested for a number of violations that include theft by deception for pretending to be a licensed physician.
According to the grand jury, the travesty in Pennsylvania was partly due to the failure of state and local officials to perform their duties properly. We must not allow this to happen in Louisiana, especially when the Louisiana Legislature has recently provided the necessary tools to prevent against a similar occurrence. I urge you to utilize the enforcement tools provided in Act 490, enacted last year, to the fullest extent possible. If there have been violations by the Delta Clinic that "pose an immediate threat to the health, welfare, or safety of a client or patient," the Louisiana DHH should immediately order the clinic to close and cease providing abortions.
It is critical that we all take action to prevent dangerous and unsanitary medical conditions. That is why I have introduced the Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act, which would require that any physician that performs an abortion have admitting privileges at a local hospital, and that their patients have access to a nearby hospital where the patients can receive follow-up care in case complications do occur. This requirement offers a simple way to protect against the horrific practices that went unnoticed in Pennsylvania until many innocent human beings lost their lives.
Fortunately, our state has provided you with the means to take quick action against any abortion clinic engaged in unsafe practices. I urge you to vigorously investigate the alleged violations against the Delta Clinic to ensure that no woman's life is endangered.
cc: Governor Bobby Jindal
The Honorable Willie L. Mount, Chairman, Louisiana State Senate Health & Welfare Committee
The Honorable Kay Katz, Chairman, Louisiana House of Representatives Health & Welfare Committee