SENATE HEARING ROOM, DOVER DELAWARE, MAY 29, 2013
I definitely need education in live tweeting. And practice. But honestly, for having no real idea on how to do it I think I did okay with just a one hour preparation. A Rose and A Prayer video recorded the whole session -- later maybe I can post some of it.
We who've been following Planned Parenthood of Delaware's very own "war on women" found nothing surprising at the hearing. We did relish the jaw-dropping looks on the faces of the legislators and members of the public who packed the small Senate hearing room to get an earful of surprise. Who knew that the nation's premiere "Women's Health Service" (*choke* *barf*) held their patients in such contempt?
We who stand outside PPDE praying with & offering help to the women and men who come out wounded, injured and in tears know....
We have no illusions that the mess will be cleaned up any time soon. Even pro-choice folks know that abortion is a dirty, ugly, bloody, profit-ridden industry. Nobody really wants to look too closely at it. Not legislators. Not the State. Not the public. Only the "weirdo" pro-lifers.
But today is a step.
In no particular order, here's what I heard from Nurses Vasikonis and Werbrich.
1. Narcotics: unregulated and uncounted.
Planned Parenthood of Delaware (PPDE) had shelves full of expired and degraded medications. Nobody kept track of how many controlled substances were dispensed or whether they were expired or fresh.
2. Fentanol: no guidelines for injecting.
Fentanol is a powerful narcotic injected via syringe or IV into patients as a sedative. Some drugs can be "pushed" from syringe or through IV into patient without timing guidelines. Fentanol is NOT such a drug. Pushing this medication in too fast or hard can hurt the patient including damage to the brain. Nurse Werbrich: "No standards of care" for pushing IV for fentanol. Nurses had NO guidelines for fentanol, were basically told to eyeball it (that verb was not used but I can't remember the one that was). The abortion doctor loved to push the fentanol himself.
3. Speed, speed, and more speed. "They did one abortion every 8-10 minutes in assembly line style."
Once the abortionist arrived, it was hurry, hurry, hurry. Abortion doctors were paid per abortion, and speed was the goal once the doc was on the scene. Nurse Vasikonis: "abortion is not my issue". Describes self as radically committed to abortion rights as pro-life folks are to their cause. "The issue here is NOT abortion. The cultural climate at Planned Parenthood is to maximize profits."
Nurse Werbrich: "... assembly line style. Like a meat market".
4. SLOOWWWW until the abortion doc shows up
BEFORE the abortionist arrives, it's a totally different story. Patients waited up to 6 hours. Patients were sedated and then returned to the waiting room. A decent medical facility would never return a sedated patient to the main waiting room, but would keep them under supervision in a back room if waiting was necessary. Nurse Werbrich: Patients who had been sedated sometimes left the facility, once they found a patient "dazed and confused" wandering Market St. while under sedation,
5. No time for cleaning. "Bloody drainage" present on guerneys.
Abortion doctor often so impatient that to speed things up when staff was overloaded he did the cleanup himself between abortions, and he did it badly. Nurses asked him NOT to do cleanup.
6. No time for sedation to take effect.
Abortion doctor would insist that PP staff bring patients back before the time allowed for sedation to take effect. Nurse Werbrich in pre-hearing testimony: Abortion doctor yells, "Bring them back! They're ready!" Nurses take to hiding patient records from doctor so that they could be gatekeepers on when the patients were brought back, in order to insure they had time for sedatives to take effect.
7. Abortion doctors talk inappropriately to each other during abortions. Abortion doctor strikes one patient, yelling "Breathe". Abortion doctor eyes patients up and down suggestively.
8. Nurse Werbrich details going to her supervisors with complaints (promises but no action); Delaware Division of Public Health ("only patients file complaint"; "Planned Parenthood regulates itself); Governor's office (no response); OSHA (eventual inspection and violation citations); State licensure dept.
9. Ms. Vasikonis: harassment -- after she begins to report problems and ask for solutions, medical head begins referring to her routinely and derogatively as "white girl".
10. Ms. Werbrich: "I've never seen anything like it".
Emergency equipment is old, expired and bad. Oxygen masks were no longer supple but hard so "bagging" an emergency patient could be compromised (and in fact one 911 call from PPDE talked of a bagging problem). Life threatening problem.
11. Rh negative women needed to be given Rogan within certain amount of time after abortion or it would endanger future pregnancies. Rogan administration was totally ignored,"there are who knows how many women going around in Delaware not knowing of dangers to future pregnancies." Werbrich tried twice to fix Rogan problem but it was never fixed.
12. Intern who came on premises for observation only was pressured into providing abortion care despite lack of training and inappropriateness of doing so. Abortionist was "bully" and intern, like many PP staffers, could not say no.
13. HIPPA was "a joke at Planned Parenthood of Delaware." No privacy for patients even when specifically requested.
14. When OSHA finds violations that State of DE could not find, why?? Is State dumb, or did somebody at State tip of PPDE that they were coming to inspect?
15. Vasikonis: made written and verbal attempts to report lack of compliance with standards; tried to provide training on her own; had to leave finally or endanger her license for failure to report.
16. Why didn't anybody care about the numerous attempts of nurses to report infractions? Abortion politics, Planned Parenthood has protection, culture of profit "that seemed to seep out of the walls."
17. Oddly enough, after almost a year, JUST AS THEY ARE GETTING READY TO TESTIFY IN DOVER, the nurses receive via snail mail the first official response from the State of Delaware Division of Public Health to all of their compaints. Coincidence, or ... ?? Senator asks nurses to comment on what the State responded, but Werbrich's lawyer begs off saying nurses just received this correspondence and have had no chance to look at it.
I'm sure I've neglected some of it, but that's what I recall and what my tweets communicate.