In the shadow of the state Capitol, a Harrisburg abortion center which has operated for decades has accumulated a myriad of health and safety violations.
The revelations can be found in an inspection report for the “Hillcrest Women’s Medical Center” posted on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website here.
The number and breadth of violations are truly alarming. No full-time person was in charge of operating the facility. No registered nurse was on duty to assist patients before and after at least 55 abortions had been performed. The facility failed to document the name and dosage of anesthesia used on a number of patients.
In addition, Hillcrest failed to secure drug samples—a dangerous situation. A February tour of the facility revealed a number of outdated medication and supplies.
The procedure room had swabs for sexually transmitted diseases that had expired 13 years before. Inspectors found needles and syringes in paper wrapping that had deteriorated and were yellow with age.
Investigators also determined that Hillcrest violated the state Child Protective Services law. That law requires that employees who have “significant likelihood of regular contact with children in the form of care, guidance, supervision or training” must obtain three background checks: one from the Pennsylvania State Police, one from the Department of Human Services, and one from the FBI.
Inspectors reviewed medical records, personnel files, and conducted staff interviews. They found that, even though Hillcrest saw patients under the age of 18, “background checks were not completed for employees.”
The egregious safety violations at Hillcrest show the importance of Pennsylvania’s abortion center regulation law, which ensures regular inspections of abortion facilities. Pennsylvania simply cannot depend on abortion facilities to police themselves.