Montgomery abortion clinic agrees to close

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 15, 2010

MONTGOMERY (AP) — The Beacon Women’s Center, one of seven clinics in Alabama permitted to perform abortions, is closing after state health inspectors found violations in procedures and care of patients, a health official said Monday.

Under a June 8 agreement with the state health department, the Montgomery clinic gave up its license, ceased performing abortions Friday and is closing operations this week.

Rick Harris, who oversees provider standards for the state health department, said the clinic was cited for numerous violations after patient complaints were checked out.

He said the most serious involved deficiencies in patient care. In one instance, 17 abortions were performed without sedation because the key to the medicine cabinet was in Selma and not at the clinic.

An official with Beacon Women’s Clinic was not immediately available for comment Monday.

Other violations cited by the health department included procedures to get parental consent when minors sought abortions and reporting of suspected sexual abuse or neglect.

With the closing, there are six clinics in Alabama licensed to perform abortions — two in Jefferson County and one each in Madison, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa and Mobile counties.