Last week, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) fined Delta Clinic of Baton Rouge $2,400 for violations of state law and regulations stemming from incidents that occurred in March of this year.
Emergency services were called to Delta Clinic, an outpatient abortion facility, on March 15 because an abortion patient was bleeding profusely and the facility did not have adequate emergency supplies, such as IV fluids, on hand to stabilize her, according to a report obtained by Louisiana Right to Life through an Open Records Request from the Louisiana Department of Health. After the patient was transferred to a Baton Rouge hospital, the complications resulted in the patient requiring a total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingectomy, removal of both fallopian tubes, for post-operative hemorrhage. The patient received four units of blood over the course of three days, according to the report.
Louisiana law requires that Outpatient Abortion Facilities (OAF) have medical equipment and medications for basic life support, including IV fluids, on hand to use until emergency medical services arrive. The facility did not have the necessary supplies and medication. The LDH report also found that other supplies it did have in its emergency storage were expired.
This incident led LDH to place the facility under Immediate Jeopardy, closing the facility for nine business days and subsequently fining the facility.
In response to the fine and incident, Louisiana Right to Life has released a report about the institutional negligence of Delta Clinic of Baton Rouge and its owner, Leroy T Brinkley, as documented by public records over the years.
Most recently, Delta Clinic hired Dr. Kevin Work, a physician who was on probation, to perform abortions. After Louisiana Right to Life called for an investigation in February, the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners (LSBME) suspended Dr. Work, affirming Louisiana Right to Life’s claims. Dr. Work has since entered into a consent order with the LSBME, assuring that he will no longer practice abortion in Louisiana.
In another incident in 2018, Mr. Brinkley reportedly told his staff that having proper nursing staff as requirement by law was "too expensive." Delta Clinic was again fined for its violation in that matter.
Brinkley also owns another outpatient abortion facility, Women's Health Care Clinic (WHCC) in New Orleans at 2701 General Pershing St. WHCC also has a history of violations of state law including, but not limited to, pharmaceutical violations and withholding required information from clients.
Louisiana Right to Life Executive Director Benjamin Clapper said: "It is atrocious that the Delta abortion clinic failed to even have basic medical supplies, such as IV fluids, on site to stabilize this patient during an emergency. Their institutional negligence and allegiance to cutting costs and increasing profits at the expense of their patients has unfortunately resulted in serious harm to a patient’s life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to this patient from March 15.
"Time after time, LDH has fined Delta and Mr. Brinkley for violation of state law and regulation, but it is clear that the fines are not changing their behavior. Mr. Brinkley’s stark admission that health and safety standards, even recommended by his doctor and staff, were 'too expensive' places the public in danger.
"While we understand the importance of the legal process and the reality that America's abortion distortion may lead federal courts to protect these facilities, Mr. Brinkley's facilities present a danger to public health. We ask the Louisiana Department of Health to take a close look at what can be further done to ensure these clinics do not place others in harm's way. If Delta's action are sufficient to warrant the suspension of Delta's outpatient abortion facility license, we ask them to make that decision.
“We understand from LDH that the Louisiana State of Medical Examiners and the Louisiana State Board of Nursing have received LDH reports on these incidents. We call on these agencies to investigate and determine if the facility, its physicians, or nurses have violated state regulations and law under their authority.
"These actions at Delta and WHCC underline the critical important of passing and enforcing pro-life laws to ensure the health and safety of women. These facilities clearly have a history of not following basic health and safety laws. We hate to think of what Delta's operation would be like without common-sense laws existing. Situations like this also stress the importance of the admitting privileges law that Louisiana is currently defending in federal court. While we will never know, it is possible that the March 15 incident could have ended differently if the abortion physician had privileges at a local hospital. Could the physician have gone with the patient to the hospital and been present to improve the continuity of care? Could a hysterectomy have been avoided? The fact is that complications do exist at abortion facilities, and our state must take every precaution to put laws in place that can improve the health and safety of their patients."