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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. Chairman Dana Cody, Esq. Marcella Tyler Ketelhut Terry 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 Colorado 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 2105 Napa, California 94558 (707) 224–6675 Southern California P.O. Box 1313 Ojai, California 93024 (805) 640–1940

      April 24, 2012  Alabama Department of Public Health The RSA Tower 201 Monroe Street Montgomery, Alabama 36104 334-206-5300   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-forprofit organization based in Napa, California. As part of LLDF’s mission, we give innocent and helpless human beings of any age, particularly unborn children 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 sending this letter on behalf of Father Terry Gensemer, Director of CEC for Life, Sarah Howell, Assistant for CEC for Life, Sue Turner, Alabama Physicians for Life, Troy Newman, President Operation Rescue, and Cheryl Sullenger, Operation Rescue. We do not charge our clients for our services. It has come to our attention that on April 2, 2012, New Woman All Women abortion clinic owner, Diane Derzis, signed a consent agreement regarding the surrender 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 must complete an “initial licensure application,” (with documentation showing that the entity or individual will be the Governing Authority for the Facility) which must 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 affiliated with New Woman or its officers or directors and must agree that it or he/she will not employ Diane Derzis, EI #4, and EI #13.” This agreement was then signed by Dr. Donald Williamson and Dr. Walter Geary on April 3, 2012, and the public was made aware of the agreement on Friday, April 6, by a press release from Brian Hale.

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LIFE: AT THE HEART OF THE LAW

Here is our concern: On April 7, in an article from the Birmingham News, Brian Hale is quoted as saying there were no applicants for a new license at that time. However, the concerned organizations procured a copy of the license application of Marianne Kelley Rainwater and Ochata Managing dated March 30 -- nearly a week before the press release came out and 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 creates immediate 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 situation seemed questionable. Unfortunately, the growing body of data that we have collected only raises more and more concerns. For example, according to the consent order prepared by your own department, the entity applying for a new license must be “independent from and not affiliated with” New Woman or its officers or directors, including Diane Derzis. How would Ms. Rain-water, a person who claims no previous affiliation with the mentioned parties, know to apply for the license of the New Woman facility days before Diane Derzis signed her consent agreement and ADPH notified 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 16th St S, Birmingham, AL. This residence is a home owned by Diane Derzis. The applicant either pays rent to Derzis or is her house guest. Diane Derzis continues to own the abortion clinic building located at 1001 17th Street South 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 on Derzis for her housing and her future business and because there was obvious collaboration with Derzis in order for the applicant to have moved forward with her application before it was known to the public that a license surrender would be taking place.

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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, was created 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 the incorporation of Diane Derzis’ LLC for her clinic in Columbus, GA. This LLC has also failed to 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 even legally established?

LIFE: AT THE HEART OF THE LAW LLDF.org

These links between Derzis and the applicant cannot be merely coincidental. More likely is the possibility that Diane Derzis has been working with the applicant even before the 2012 investigation 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 horrendous practices within her clinic. As ADPH is well aware, many of the violations presented in the most recent deficiency report were repeat citations, which Derzis had ample time to correct but failed to do so. If she has not shown any respect for the rules and regulation of ADPH in the last 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 simple background check on this individual reveals the use of multiple aliases across several different states. Even her current drivers’ license uses the name M K Rain, not Rain-water. With the use 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 has not been fully registered is already distressing. But to approve an applicant whose business and private affairs are so clearly tied to the life and business of Diane Derzis is even more disturbing. There is every indication that this is a “paper only” transaction that will not affect the 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 in this 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 and evidence 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 guarantee the public that these major deficiencies will not continue simply by giving a new license to a new owner who is clearly connected to Derzis? Surely the Department will not dismiss 76-pages of unlawful practices carried on by the entire staff of a facility in exchange for the “surrender” of a license which would have been revoked regardless. 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 comply with 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 that ADPH has obtained by way of inspecting this clinic to ensure that the numerous violations have been corrected. A formal request for these public records has already been sent to your agency.

LIFE: AT THE HEART OF THE LAW LLDF.org

Besides our natural concern over whether or not the current deficiencies have been corrected, we would also like to point out that some newer regulations and building codes, under which the previous licensure may have been grandfathered in, must now be satisfied for a new license. For example, the most current rules for AL Abortion or Reproductive Health Centers states that, “In multi-story (more than two stories) buildings, at least one elevator for patient use shall be provided.” We have seen no documentation or evidence that an elevator exists inside the New Woman building, however, we do know for certain that surgical procedures take place on the second floor. There is also some concern over whether or not this building has the required backflow system and backflow prevention device. We appreciate your full and careful consideration to the alarming facts presented in this letter concerning the licensing of the New Woman All Women abortion clinic. Based on the data we have collected, and continue to uncover even now, approving the current applicant and allowing the New Woman clinic to remain in operation would be more than just a tragic misuse of this department’s authority, it would be a direct violation of the consent order set forth by ADPH and agreed to by Diane Derzis. Furthermore, while we respect the methods and protocols set in place by the state to maintain fairness and order in these matters, the represented organizations and, in fact, over 90 other international, national and local pro-life organizations who stand with them, do not believe that a facility which has repeatedly broken public health laws, willfully placed the lives of women in danger, and offered absolutely no public apology for doing so deserves a “second chance” at practicing healthcare on the public at large, especially when that chance clearly cannot guarantee the end of Diane Derzis’ involvement. Women have already been injured and hospitalized by the shoddy services provided by Derzis’ business, and leaving this facility open only invites further injury to patients, bad press for your department, and even a lawsuit against the state if a patient is injured or killed in a facility that Alabama had every opportunity to shut down, but allowed to remain in operation by a dubiously qualified applicant. Women’s future health and safety – in fact their very lives – depend on you for protection from abuses such as those fully evident at New Woman All Women. We implore you to do your duty and protect the public from being exposed to further abuses. Life Legal Defense Foundation and our clients will ensure that the public is informed about the deficiencies found at the New Woman All Women abortion clinic and is made aware of the Ms. Rain-water’s application for a new license to take over this clinic. We will be monitoring ADPH’s handling of Ms. Rain-water’s license application and will continue to expose the affiliation between Derzis and Rain-water as new information is obtained. Should ADPH ignore its legal responsibility or negligently issue a license to an unfit applicant, we will make sure the public is informed and will take any and all necessary legal action to protect the lives of women and their unborn children who are endangered by the operation of the clinic.
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Thank you for your time and consideration of these matters. We look forward to discussing your response to our concerns and we hope to hear from you soon. Very truly yours,     Allison K. Aranda  Senior Staff Counsel     On behalf of:  Fr. Terry Gensemer, Director Sarah Howell, Assistant CEC For Life frterry@cecforlife.com 205.798.8209 Troy Newman, President Cheryl Sullenger Operation Rescue Sue Turner Alabama Physicians for Life   
 

LIFE: AT THE HEART OF THE LAW LLDF.org