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Life Legal Defense Foundation Letter to Alabama Department of Public Health: Birmingham Abortion Clinic About to Close for Health Violations Trying to Reopen Illegally?

Life Legal Defense Foundation Letter to Alabama Department of Public Health: Birmingham Abortion Clinic About to Close for Health Violations Trying to Reopen Illegally?

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Published by Tom Ciesielka

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Published by: Tom Ciesielka on Apr 24, 2012
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Dana Cody, Esq.
Executive Director 
 Catherine W. Short, Esq.
Legal Director 
 Mary Riley
 Administrative Director 
 Allison K. Aranda, Esq.
Senior Staff Counsel
Board of Directors
John R. Streett, Esq.
 Dana Cody, Esq.Marcella Tyler KetelhutTerry L. Thompson, Esq.Colette Wilson, Esq.Anthony E. Wynne, JD
Advisory Board
The Hon. Steve Baldwin
San Diego, California
 The Rev. Michael R. Carey, OP, JD
 Daniel Cathcart, Esq.
Los Angeles, California
 The Hon. William P. Clark
Paso Robles, California
 Raymond Dennehy, PhD.
San Francisco, California
 The Rev. Joseph D. Fessio,SJ
San Francisco, California
 The Hon. Ray Haynes
Riverside, California
 James Hirsen, Esq.
Riverside, California
 The Hon. Howard Kaloogian
Los Angeles, California
 David Llewellyn, Esq.
Sacramento, California
 Anne J. O’Connor, Esq.
New Jersey 
 Charles E. Rice, Esq.
South Bend, Indiana
 Ben Stein, Esq.
West Hollywood, California
 Andrew Zepeda, Esq.
Beverly Hills, California
Northern California
 (Administration)P.O. Box 2105Napa, California 94558(707) 224–6675
Southern California
 P.O. Box 1313Ojai, California 93024(805) 640–1940
April 24, 2012
Alabama Department of Public HealthThe RSA Tower201 Monroe StreetMontgomery, Alabama 36104334-206-5300
RE: New Woman All Women
To the Alabama Department of Public Health
By way of introduction, the Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF) is a not-for-profit organization based in Napa, California. As part of LLDF’s mission, wegive innocent and helpless human beings of any age, particularly unbornchildren and their mothers, a trained and committed defense against the threat of death, and to support their advocates in the nation’s courtrooms. We are sendingthis letter on behalf of Father Terry Gensemer, Director of CEC for Life, SarahHowell, Assistant for CEC for Life, Sue Turner, Alabama Physicians for Life,Troy Newman, President Operation Rescue, and Cheryl Sullenger, OperationRescue. We do not charge our clients for our services.It has come to our attention that on April 2, 2012, New Woman All Womenabortion clinic owner, Diane Derzis, signed a consent agreement regarding thesurrender of her clinic’s license on or before May 18, 2012.The agreement stated that:1) any entity or individual seeking to take over operation of the Facility mustcomplete an “initial licensure application,” (with documentation showing thatthe entity or individual will be the Governing Authority for the Facility) whichmust then be approved by the ADPH no later than May 4, 2012, and,2) the applying entity or individual must be “independent from and not affiliatedwith New Woman or its officers or directors and must agree that it or he/she willnot employ Diane Derzis, EI #4, and EI #13.”This agreement was then signed by Dr. Donald Williamson and Dr. WalterGeary on April 3, 2012, and the public was made aware of the agreement onFriday, April 6, by a press release from Brian Hale.
Here is our concern: On April 7, in an article from the Birmingham News, Brian Hale isquoted as saying there were no applicants for a new license at that time. However, theconcerned organizations procured a copy of the license application of Marianne Kelley Rain-water and Ochata Managing dated March 30 -- nearly
a week 
before the press release came outand
three days
before Derzis even signed the order to surrender her license.The fact that Hale appears to have chosen to omit this information from the public createsimmediate suspicion around the integrity with which this consent agreement was conducted.Of course, we would probably dismiss that suspicion if no other aspects of this situationseemed questionable. Unfortunately, the growing body of data that we have collected onlyraises more and more concerns.For example, according to the consent order prepared by your own department, the entityapplying for a new license must be “independent from and not affiliated with” New Woman orits officers or directors, including Diane Derzis. How would Ms. Rain-water, a person whoclaims no previous affiliation with the mentioned parties, know to apply for the license of theNew Woman facility
days before
Diane Derzis signed her consent agreement and ADPHnotified the public?There are several other alarming connections between Ms. Rain-water and Diane Derzis as well(documentation of these facts is attached):
Ms. Rain-water’s address is listed on the application as 1316 16
St S, Birmingham,AL. This residence is a home owned by Diane Derzis. The applicant either pays rent toDerzis or is her house guest.
Diane Derzis continues to own the abortion clinic building located at 1001 17
StreetSouth in Birmingham. The applicant will continue to pay rent to Derzis, who, as owner,will have some access to the building and the abortion business.
These rental/guest arrangements constitute an affiliation since the applicant depends onDerzis for her housing and her future business and because there was obviouscollaboration with Derzis in order for the applicant to have moved forward with herapplication before it was known to the public that a license surrender would be takingplace.How could the Department consider a person whose home and possible future place of employment is owned by Derzis to be “independent from” Derzis? Clearly she is not.Furthermore, the applying LLC on the Initial Licensure Application, Ochata Management, wascreated by Ms. Rain-Water on March 21, 2012 -- just days prior to submitting her application.The lawyer who handled the incorporation of this LLC, Steve Cochrun, also handled theincorporation of Diane Derzis’ LLC for her clinic in Columbus, GA. This LLC has also failedto pay its registration fee, which means it is not yet a viable company.Does your department plan to hand over a healthcare facility to a company that is not evenlegally established?
These links between Derzis and the applicant cannot be merely coincidental. More likely is thepossibility that Diane Derzis has been working with the applicant even before the 2012investigation to ensure that her clinic remains open and within some degree of her own control.Derzis has already exhibited complete disregard for the laws of this state with the horrendouspractices within her clinic. As ADPH is well aware, many of the violations presented in themost recent deficiency report were repeat citations, which Derzis had ample time to correct butfailed to do so. If she has not shown any respect for the rules and regulation of ADPH in thelast several years, it would be unwise for ADPH to assume her compliance now.We are also concerned about the reputable character of Marianne Kelley Rain-water. A simplebackground check on this individual reveals the use of multiple aliases across several differentstates. Even her current drivers’ license uses the name M K Rain, not Rain-water. With theuse of so many aliases, it would be impossible to determine all of Ms. Rain-water’s affiliations,especially in such a short amount of time.That your Department would consider approving a license from an applicant whose LLC hasnot been fully registered is already distressing. But to approve an applicant whose business andprivate affairs are so clearly tied to the life and business of Diane Derzis is even moredisturbing. There is every indication that this is a “paper only” transaction that will not affectthe daily running of New Woman All Women, which is currently operating with 76 pages of deficiencies.The deficiencies are also a major concern.According to the Code of ALA. 1975, Section 22-21-25: “If a license is revoked as provided inthis section, a new application for license shall be considered by the State Board of Health if,when, and after the conditions upon which revocation was based have been corrected andevidence of this fact has been furnished.”These violations, which resulted in the injury of several patients, included a total absence of required protocols and procedures, lack of employee orientation, equipment with no proof of inspection, out of date medications, and inaccurate medical records. How can ADPH guaranteethe public that these major deficiencies will not continue simply by giving a new license to anew owner who is clearly connected to Derzis?Surely the Department will not dismiss 76-pages of unlawful practices carried on by the entirestaff of a facility in exchange for the “surrender” of a license which would have been revokedregardless. That would be an outrageous trade-off -- one that exhibits no value for the lives of women or the standard of healthcare every citizen deserves. We expect ADPH to fully complywith Section 22-21-25 and require that this clinic provide proof of the corrected violations.Furthermore, in accordance with Section 22-21-30, we demand any and all information thatADPH has obtained by way of inspecting this clinic to ensure that the numerous violationshave been corrected. A formal request for these public records has already been sent to youragency.

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