Florida Examination Of Planned Parenthood Finds Violations At 4 Clinics

Aug 5, 2015

Update: Planned Parenthood Florida Statement on AHCA Clinic Inspection Report from Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates Executive Director Laura Goodhue:

“I can state unequivocally that all of our health centers are operating in full compliance with Florida law as well as best practices in reproductive health care. The claim that any of our health centers are performing procedures we are not licensed to perform is false and seemingly stems from AHCA flip-flopping on their own rules and definitions of gestational periods.“In the health centers AHCA reported on we only perform first trimester abortions, which we measure according to accepted medical guidelines and in accordance with Florida regulations as up to 13 weeks and six days from a woman’s last menstrual cycle. This, as defined by rules, is still the first trimester. AHCA has never before indicated any different interpretation of this – including at inspections performed as recently as two weeks ago.“AHCA’s new interpretation is grossly inconsistent with years of previous inspections and outside of both the regulations and accepted medical standards.“Planned Parenthood is the most trusted women’s health care provider in this country, and we have provided high-quality care for nearly 100 years. Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our patients, which is why we will continue to fight back and call these attacks what they are – part of a decade-long campaign of deceiving the public, making false charges, and terrorizing women and their doctors, all in order to ban abortion and cut women off from care at Planned Parenthood.“This is a transparent attempt to discredit the care we provide, and to prevent women from accessing essential health care services. In 34 percent of Florida's counties, women don't even have an OB/GYN. In fact, Gov. Scott signed five pieces of anti-women’s health legislation into law during his first term in office, and it's outrageous he's using what should be routine inspections as an opportunistic way to further restrict women's access to health care.”

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Florida Planned Parenthood Alliance's 2015 legislative report
Credit Planned Parenthood Florida

Florida health officials have completed their review of the state’s 16 planned parenthood centers and found violations at four of them.  Most of the violations involved a difference between what the state defines as the first trimester of pregnancy, and how it is defined at Planned Parenthood.

Three Planned Parenthood clinics in St. Petersburg, Fort Myers and Naples, performed a fraction of abortions within the second trimester. That’s beyond the scope of the clinics’ license which say abortions can only be done within the first trimester, or up to 12 weeks. According to the documents, planned parenthood workers say they provide first trimester abortions up to 13.6 weeks.

One clinic in Pembrook Pines was found to be violating its own rules for disposing of fetal remains.

"We will take immediate actions against these three facilities for performing second trimester abortions without a proper license," the Agency For Healthcare Administration writes in a statement.

"These facilities have been notified to immediately cease performing second trimester abortions. The Agency may take additional actions against these facilities including administrative sanctions. These three clinics are only licensed to perform first trimester abortions. The law requires clinics performing second trimester abortions meet additional requirements."

Governor Rick Scott ordered the review last week, saying he was troubled by undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal tissue for research. The videos have only sparked more debate over whether Planned Parenthood should lose its federal funding.

A Florida Planned Parenthood spokesman says the organization plans to release a statement on the state’s findings.