A second Whole Women's Health abortion clinic was illegally dumping the remains of aborted babies, this time at their clinic in Austin, according to The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Whole Women's Health is being charged with "failure to prevent the disposal of treated fetuses at a municipal solid waste landfill" and "failure to ensure that the labels placed on each medical waste container show the weight of the container."
"Due to the apparent seriousness of the alleged violations, a formal enforcement action has been initiated," stated a TCEQ Investigation Report dated June 3, 2011.
Operation Rescue conducted an undercover investigation of abortion clinics across Texas with the help of The Survivors. The investigation at the Austin clinic discovered and documented bloody items, including a blood-filled cannula used in abortions, in the clinic's dumpster. Also discovered were documents containing the names and other information of abortion patients, constituting a violation of HIPAA privacy regulations.
"I am horrified at the blatant disregard for the law and lack of care for women who are obtaining abortions. Evidence gathered proves that abortion clinics throughout the state of Texas are unclean, unsafe, and their staff lack respect for women and their right to privacy," says Ashley Colantuono of the Survivors, a key participant in the investigation.
According to the TCEQ report, the Texas Department of State Health Services continues to investigate the alleged privacy violations.
"The scandal involving abortion abuses and legal violations is beginning to spread. As the agencies conduct their own investigations, they are discovering more problems," says Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "As these investigations progress, we expect to see more penalties and disciplinary action."
Also now under investigation is Stericycle, a national business that is frequently hired by abortion clinics to dispose of the remains of aborted babies and other biohazardous medical waste.
The report indicated that Stericycle picked up boxes containing aborted baby remains once a week from WWH of Austin. The contents were then autoclaved, or steamed, then dumped at the BFI Sunset Farms Landfill. However, by Texas law, aborted baby remains are considered "pathological waste," something the Austin Stericycle Autoclave facility is not permitted to handle. Properly treated remains are required to be dumped in a special kind of landfill, not a municipal one like the BFI Sunset Farms facility.
Last week Operation Rescue was notified that the TECQ had found that Whole Women's Health in McAllen had also violated the laws by dumping the remains of aborted babies in an open dumpster.
Penalties for the violations will now be determined by the enforcement branch of the TCEQ, and could include hefty fines.
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