Life Legal and a coalition of national pro-life organizations including CEC for Life and Operation Rescue received evidence that West Alabama Women's Center (WAWC) in Tuscaloosa, Alabama illegally disposed of medical waste and patient records. We have informed state officials and demand that they conduct a thorough investigation.
Fr. Terry Gensemer found several large trash bags left anonymously on his driveway at his home in Birmingham. The black trash bags were full of bloody surgical pads, tubes of fluids and a tube containing a small piece of human tissue. The bags also contained sheets of paper with the header "West Alabama Women's Center" with patient names and private medical information, including ultrasound photos.
It is not clear how the waste ended up at Fr. Gensemer's residence, which is over 50 miles from the abortion mill.
In 2020, 20-year-old April Lowery bled to death from a perforated uterus shortly after visiting West Alabama Women's Center. Last year, another woman sued the abortion clinic after nearly bleeding to death following a surgical abortion. The woman repeatedly cried out for abortion workers to call an ambulance, but they insisted the bleeding was normal and that the woman was overreacting.
Dr. Leah Torres is the medical director for WAWC, which was purchased by the abortion advocacy group Yellowhammer Fund the week of Lowery's death. Torres was forced to surrender her medical license for several months after the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners determined that she "may constitute an immediate danger to her patients and/or the public." The Board discovered that Torres lied about previous malpractice lawsuits and losing staff privileges on her Alabama medical license application.
The coalition of pro-life organizations sent letters to Lt. Governor Ainsworth, Attorney General Marshall and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), demanding that the state conduct a thorough investigation into the illegal disposal of medical waste and HiPPA violations.
Life Legal Defense Foundation has also filed numerous complaints against West Alabama Women's Center with the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and other state agencies, but the ADPH has largely ignored those complaints. Even when CEC For Life obtained April Lowery's official autopsy, confirming she died of a perforated uterus, the ADPH refused to investigate her death further.
"We are told the ADPH is the only agency that can revoke a clinic's license," says Fr. Terry Gensemer, director of CEC for Life, "but ADPH has made it clear WAWC can injure or even kill women with no repercussions. Our only recourse is to appeal to the Lt. Governor and Attorney General. Patient deaths, nefarious doctors and now HIPPA violations—what will it take for Alabama officials to shut this place down?"
Life Legal Attorney Allison Aranda adds, "Though ADPH may appear to have total authority over licensure, ADEM has authority to respond to medical waste violations, and the Attorney General and Lt. Governor certainly have the authority, and hopefully the desire, to investigate a state agency refusing to do its job or a facility injuring and killing the very citizens officials are required to protect."
Life Legal is reviewing legal options if the state fails to conduct a comprehensive investigation into WAWC's wrongdoing.
Life Legal Defense Foundation was established in 1989 and is a nonprofit organization composed of attorneys and other concerned citizens committed to giving helpless and innocent human beings of any age, and their advocates, a trained and committed voice in the courtrooms of our nation. For more information about the Life Legal Defense Foundation, visit lldf.org.
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