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Defending Life Spotlight

Delaware-DL-2021

Unsafe Spotlight

Delaware lacks a regulatory framework for inspecting abortion businesses, although the state does have the authority under 16 Del. Code, § 122(3)y to inspect any healthcare facil- ity for unsafe and unsanitary conditions upon the occurrence of any adverse event. AUL sub- mitted a public records request to the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services under the Delaware Freedom of Information Act, Del. Code § 100001 et seq. In response, the department told AUL legal staff that they “do not license abortion clinics.” Though the facilities may be inspected in relation to a complaint, the reports that result from those complaints are not considered public records under the Delaware Freedom of Information Act because they are “investigatory files compiled for civil or criminal law-enforcement purposes.” Even after the investigation is closed, the complaints and the file must remain confidential. News-Journal Co. v. Billingsley, No. 5774, 1980 WL 3043 (Del. Ch. Nov. 20, 1980) (“[t]his right of privacy would be lost if the file ceases to be confidential as soon as the threat of a[n]…enforcement proceeding disappears.”). Thus, in the name of patient privacy, patients have no way to know how dirty and dangerous their chosen abortion facility is. We did how- ever receive a federal inspection report from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which showed a blatant disregard by Planned Parenthood of Delaware for sanitary and other medical standards, including the competency of staff. Two former Planned Parenthood nurses have been publicly complaining about the “meat-market- style, assembly-line abortions” they witnessed at Planned Parenthood’s Delaware clinic, and about lax regulation and a lack of government oversight of abortion businesses in Delaware. After months of going back and forth with the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, we finally received 2 state inspections that were completed in 2013 and 2014. The 2013 inspection report cited numerous “unsafe and unsanitary” conditions, as well as over one-hundred expired supplies.

NUMBER OF REPORTS: 
DATE RANGE: 2009–2014