Monday marks the deadline for a Columbia-based Planned Parenthood affiliate to submit a plan that would let it avoid having its license suspended by South Carolina health regulators.
The Planned Parenthood of South Atlantic clinic was one of two abortion clinics issued a suspension order by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) earlier this month. In order to keep their licenses, both Planned Parenthood and the Greenville Women’s Clinic were required to submit a corrective plan and have it approved by September 28.
DHEC said Friday that it had approved the Greenville clinic’s plan and accepted a more than $2,700 fine. An agency spokeswoman said the approval meant the suspension was lifted before it could take effect. The clinic has agreed to future inspections.
The Planned Parenthood clinic suggested it would try to follow suit.
“Since receiving the report … we have focused our efforts on reviewing issues raised in DHEC’s findings and rigorously verifying compliance with all state laws and regulations,” Planned Parenthood South Atlantic CEO Jenny Black said in a statement. “We will take immediate action to make any necessary corrections and will provide DHEC with evidence to refute allegations we know are incorrect.”
The statement did not explain which allegations Black believed untrue, although she has previously questioned if the tougher inspections were “politically motivated.”
Gov. Nikki Haley had ordered inspections last month of the three clinics in South Carolina that offer abortions after a series of undercover videos released nationwide suggested Planned Parenthood clinics were illegally profiting off the sale of fetal tissue for research purposes. The women’s health group denies breaking any laws and maintains the videos do not show any tangible evidence. There was nothing in the DHEC inspections made public this month that suggested the South Carolina clinics had been involved in such sales.
DHEC inspectors said they found 21 violations at the Planned Parenthood clinic and 6 at the Greenville clinic. DHEC’s report said Planned Parenthood could not provide documentation on employee training, CPR certification, or fire preparedness. It also said the clinic was not following state regulations for proper disposal of infectious waste through incineration.
The Greenville clinic was also accused of improper disposal, steam sterilizing waste instead of incinerating it. Both clinics were also accused of not notifying the state of abortions within the required week and not recording the name of the parents of minors who underwent the procedure.
The results of both inspections were forwarded to the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED).