April 30, 2012/Birmingham, AL --
The Alabama Department of Public Health issued a press release today announcing the denial of an application to take over operations of the New Woman All Women abortion clinic that was ordered closed by the state after 76 pages of health code violations were discovered.
The consent agreement that ordered the closure provided for a transfer of ownership to a new applicant by May 4, 2012, with the proviso that the new applicant be unaffiliated with the current owner, Diane Derzis.
A letter sent last week to the ADPH by Life Legal Defense Foundation that was signed by CEC for Life, Operation Rescue, and other groups revealed connections between the new applicant, Ochata Management and its agent Marianne Kelley Rain-water and Derzis.
The ADPH stated in its release that an affiliation does in fact exist. It stated:
A business lease agreement that was submitted in support of the application includes a provision in regard to monthly rent whereby the landlord identified as the outgoing operator and tenant identified as the proposed new operator agreed to meet on a monthly basis to mutually determine the center's monthly income and monthly overhead. The provision further provides that the excess of monthly income over monthly overhead is to be considered as rent due and payable to the landlord.
"It's shocking that Derzis attempted to deceive the ADPH with such an obvious and shady ploy that would have allowed her to direct the clinic and collect all the clinic profits as 'rent' in full violation of the consent order," said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and Pro-life Nation.
"We are excited at this victory, but will remain vigilant in the event that these people try some other dirty deal to keep the mill open. We thank everyone who called and sent e-mails to Alabama authorities asking for them to reject this new license. Your voices were heard."
New Woman All Women came under scrutiny after pro-life activists documented two abortion patients being carried out of the clinic to awaiting ambulances on January 21, 2012, then filed complaints. The result was an inspection that found "multiple and serious violations of State Board of Health rules" according to the ADPH, prompting the order to close the clinic.