In August of 2011, Jill Abbey, Administrator for the Charlottesville Medical Center for Women, told the national ABC News, "We've been providing safe, up-to-code abortions for over 30 years and these facilities have served us well." Now, fast forward three years. The Board of Health has adopted health and safety standards for abortion facilities. Licenses have been distributed and inspections have been performed. And in Jill Abbey's perspective, her facility is still safe. But Department of Health inspection reports prove otherwise.
A Department of Health inspection report recently obtained by The Family Foundation through the Freedom of Information Act uncovered apparent violations of federal drug laws, including the administration of Schedule II narcotics without a license, by the personnel at the Charlottesville Medical Center for Women. Schedule II narcotics include controlled substances such as OxyCotin, Cocaine, Methamphetamines, and in this case Fentanyl.
The facility at the center of this drug abuse kept no records of the amount of these narcotics they'd purchased, used, distributed or "disposed of" by other means. The report states that they have unlicensed, non-medical staff handling, drawing up, and even driving drugs from Richmond to Charlottesville with no inventory records! In case you're wondering, all of those actions are very, very illegal and not to mention, very, very unsafe.
Charlottesville Medical Center for Women
And as if this weren't enough, the report also revealed multiple violations of basic health and safety standards, including the use of IV sedation without any personnel being certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, which is the medical standard according to the American Heart Association guidelines. As a highly-trained medical professional I spoke with yesterday said, "Violations at this level of severity are where lives are lost."
Doctor's offices, hospitals, or pharmacies with these atrocious practices likely would be subjected to immense fines, lose their Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) license, and even possibly their ability to dispense controlled substances in the future! But not this facility. For one reason, the physician administering the narcotics can't lose his DEA license because he doesn't even have one to lose - his expired two years ago! Again, that's very, very illegal and very, very unsafe. And dare I ask how a physician without a DEA license even obtained narcotics in the first place? Every doctor we've spoken to about this has been shocked - and has said the doctor in question should at minimum lose his license to practice medicine in Virginia.
But you see, abortion centers don't play by the rules. They play fast and loose, relying on the fact that supporters in positions of authority will bail them out and their patients won't sue or complain because of fear of losing anonymity. Plus, abortion is a "political issue" so the media won't cover it. Just google doctors losing their licenses due to narcotics violations - you'll see how seriously the DEA and medical boards take this.
The abortion doctor at the center of this abuse is most likely Dr. William Fitzhugh as he's the only physician we can find on the Virginia Board of Medicine website that is linked to this facility. Dr. Fitzhugh's name is likely familiar to you. He is the abortion doctor who unsuccessfully fought in the judicial system to allow the practices of partial birth abortion. He's also likely tied to the Roanoke Medical Center for Women's potential case of child abuse and neglect that we reported on to you a few months ago - a case where 14-year-old girls were receiving abortions without documentation of parental consent. Again, Dr. Fitzhugh is the only physician cited on the Board of Medicine website with connections to the center, so you can draw your own conclusions.
Upon learning of these new allegations, I'm forced to ask the question, when will the cover-up end? How many lives of innocent women and girls must be harmed or, worse yet, lost before action is taken? I challenge the Department of Health today - report this doctor and the facility to enforcement agencies before more vulnerable women and girls fall victim to this tragic abuse!
Victoria Cobb, President.
Cobb manages all areas of The Family Foundation and works directly with legislators and their staff to aid them in understanding legislation and sponsoring family friendly bills. She also directs the advocacy and research operations of The Family Foundation and serves as spokesperson for The Family Foundation in the media.
Sanctity of Human Life