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Abortion Clinic Investigated in Stillbirth Case

June 15, 2006|From the Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — An abortion clinic surrendered its license Wednesday amid allegations that a woman delivered a nearly full-term stillborn baby after a staff member gave her an abortion-inducing drug without a doctor present.

Summit Medical Center in Birmingham has been closed since the Alabama Department of Public Health suspended its operations May 17, citing numerous violations of health rules, said Rick Harris, director of the state agency's Bureau of Health Provider Standards.

State health officials have said a clinic staff member, rather than a doctor, performed an ultrasound in February on a woman seeking an abortion and mistakenly deemed her six weeks pregnant. She was nearly full term.

The nurse practitioner then gave the woman the RU-486 abortion drug even though the woman's blood pressure was dangerously high.

The woman went to an emergency room six days later and delivered a 6-pound stillborn baby, according to a state health department report.

State officials are investigating the clinic, which could face criminal charges.

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