The pressure against Planned Parenthood of Delaware continues from three former nurses who are speaking out even after they quit their jobs earlier this year. They once again cited unsanitary conditions, including unsafe performed abortions, at the Wilmington clinic.
The three former nurses, Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich, Melody Meanor and Joyce Vasikonis, testified in May before a quickly called hearing in Dover. This time they all went before a legislative committee at Wilmington’s Chase Center.
“We want women to be able to get the care they need and that they want, but not at the cost of their lives. Nobody wants to come in clean and leave with a disease,” said Mitchell-Werbrich, who tesified before the Delaware state senate in May.
Sen. Greg Lavelle, R-Sharpley, one of four legislators listening to Tuesday’s testimony, called for greater oversight, even though numerous complaints forced Planned Parenthood to suspend surgical abortion procedures at its Wilmington and Dover clinics.
“We will take today’s testimony, and we will take additional information that we gather and make a determination as legislators whether additional actions need to be taken to protect patients here in Delaware,” Lavelle said.
According to Meanor, who only worked for the Wilmington clinic for three months, health center assistants are generally not required by Planned Parenthood of Delaware to have medical credentials or prior health care experience.
“More specifically the minimum requirement for employment as a health center assistant is a high school diploma or equivalent,” said Meanor, who attributes that to some of the unsanitary conditions.
As a result of what the nurses called bad medical practices, at least five women were sent to the hospital in January, which they said should have been enough to shut the clinic down.
“I genuinely believe that if Planned Parenthood had given this level of care to the upper-middle-class white Delawareans predominately served at Christiana Care, where I used to work, they would have been shut down by lawsuits. Instead, poor and minority patients are still being abused one year after I first warned the state,” Mitchell-Werbrich said.
Mitchell-Werbrich and Vasikonis have both filed complaints against Planned Parenthood of Delaware, which has been fined due to violations found by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Vaikonis recommended that Planned Parenthood be managed either by a knowledgeable medical group, accredited by an independent national organization or regulated by an impartial agency.