Senators question response to abortion clinic violations

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Three Republican state senators want the Department of Health to explain why it hasn’t revoked or suspended the license of a Harrisburg abortion clinic.

Sens. Joe Scarnati, Bob Mensch and John DiSanto said a February inspection of the Hillcrest Women’s Health Center “portrays a facility which is clearly unsafe and unhealthy for both patients and staff.”

In a letter to Health Secretary Karen Murphy, the senators wrote that the health and safety violations are deeply troubling, but even more problematic appears to be the Health Department’s response.

The inspection, as reported last month by ABC27 News, found that although the clinic was treating minor patients, eight employees did not have required background checks and the facility “was not in compliance with the Child Protective Services Law.”

Inspectors found expired medications, old needles and syringes, and chlamydia and gonorrhea swabs that expired in 2004. The Health Department also said Hillcrest “failed to correctly document the administration of local anesthetic used for abortion procedures.”

The clinic has failed four inspections in six years. It has until Aug. 31 to correct the violations.

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