Last May, the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration (ACHA) issued an emergency license suspension for American Family Planning, the sole remaining abortion clinic in Pensacola.
Pro-life sidewalk counselors had kept track of the number of emergency calls made for ambulances to haul injured women from the clinic to nearby hospitals. The state would not respond, so an abortion watchdog organization called Reprotection got involved and discovered that the clinic did not have emergency protocols and was operating under false pretenses.
Lynda Bell of Florida Right to Life says available records are revealing.
"This clinic was notorious in that three women were injured to the fact that ACHA basically shut them down," Bell relays. "They were on appeal, and that appeal was to be heard this month. We don't know all the details of the settlement, with the exception of the fact that they've given up their license and they won't be reopening the clinic."
With a settlement reached, the case has been dismissed.
The three women were so seriously harmed they were hospitalized while doctors repaired the damage done at the clinic. One required a hysterectomy. But knowing about those cases that were reported makes Bell think about the ones that were not.
"I have to wonder how many went unreported, how many went untold because these women didn't want someone to know or they did not realize how victimized they were," the pro-lifer poses. "We think this is a very big deal, and very likely, these women were harmed very seriously."
Though she is thankful the clinic is permanently closed, she laments that many of those details will likely never be known.
With the closure of the Pensacola clinic, the only abortion provider in the Florida Panhandle region is in Tallahassee.