The state of Alabama has uncovered a business relationship between the doctor of a clinic accused of being an unlicensed abortion provider and the woman who surrendered an abortion provider license for the Southside facility a year ago.
In a court filing last week, the state says that Dr. Bruce Norman is contracted with a Georgia company headed by Diane Derzis [pictured above right] to provide staffing, supplies, medication, medical malpractice insurance and workman’s compensation — “in short to manage Norman’s practice conducted at 1001 17th St. South.”
In previous court filings, Derzis stated there was no relationship between herself and Norman.
Derzis, owner of the New Woman All Women Health Care abortion clinic in Birmingham (also owner of the last remaining abortion mill in Mississippi) surrendered her clinic license last year after the state launched revocation hearings following a 76-page deficiency report filed by the Alabama Board of Health that found, according to LifeNews.com:
… inadequately trained staff; failure to have policy and procedures related to medication errors and the administration of medications, which resulted in the hospitalization of three abortion patients, one of whom was placed in the ICU; no documentation indicating that Derzis’ two abortionists were even licensed to perform abortions; inadequate preparation and administration of drugs, which led to [two] overdoses and inadequate pain management; and use of uninspected equipment.
But in March pro-life activists learned the clinic was still illegally open. Authorities were alerted, and the Board of Health filed a complaint to shut it down – again.
In a motion to dismiss that case, Derzis’s attorney claimed she was no longer connected to the clinic and that it was run entirely under the direction of abortionist Norman, pictured right. Norman claimed he committed less than 30 abortions a month and, therefore, did not have to be licensed.
But kudos to the state for investigating and connecting the dots, the evidence of which it has asked to be added to other evidence in a trial set for August 5.
Life Legal Defense Foundation has been a force behind closing Derzis’s clinic all along the way. Its senior staff counsel, Allison Aranda, further explained the latest in an email to me this afternoon. In particular, she responded to my question whether Derzis could be jailed for lying that she no longer had connections to the clinic:
False testimony and/or statements must be made under oath in order to be punished as perjury in a criminal court. As far as I know, the statements were made by her attorney in a motion to dismiss. There was no attached declaration signed by Derzis making the claims under penalty of perjury.
Also of note is the fact that Diane’s attorney withdrew the motion to dismiss (the document in which Diane purportedly made the claims disassociating herself with Norman’s office). So technically the court never issued a ruling on the information.
I do think that it is significant that Derzis lied (likely to her attorney or he should be in trouble for making those claims knowing they were false). The court is not going to trust her or her attorney after a blunder like this. Rest assured the court will hold them to the strictest evidentiary rules at the trial set for August 5th. After these, not merely unsubstantiated claims, but rather blatantly false claims, the court will demand full proof that Norman is performing less than 30 abortions in any two month period and will order Norman to cease employing any of Derzis’ staff. The court will most definitely order Derzis to cease providing employees to staff the Norman office and will demand proof of the extent of her business relationship with Norman.
But Derzis’ conduct is sanctionable by jail time already. We should be calling on the local prosecuting agencies to go after her in criminal court in addition to the civil action brought by the ADPH.
See these portions of the Alabama Code dealing with unlicensed hospitals and violations of the rules and regulations adopted by the Board of Health below. I think more pressure should be put on the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office to prosecute Derzis! I’m drafting a letter to send to the DA/CA’s office. We are also filing an amicus brief in support of the ADPH’s request for a permanent injunction against NWAW, Derzis, Norman, and now the Georgia Clinic.
22-21-33. Unlicensed hospitals.
(a) Any individual, association, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or other business entity who operates or causes to be operated a hospital of any kind as defined in this article or any regulations promulgated hereunder, without having been granted a license therefor by the State Board of Health shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor upon conviction
§ 22-2-14. Rules and regulations; violation.
Any person who knowingly violates or fails or refuses to obey or comply with any rule or regulation adopted and promulgated by the State Board of Health of this state shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than $25.00 nor more than $500.00 and, if the violation or failure or refusal to obey or comply with such rule or regulation is a continuing one, each day’s violation, or failure or refusal shall constitute a separate offense and shall be punished accordingly.