STOREFRONT ABORTIONS: May Put Southern California Women At Risk
"Storefront abortion clinics catering to poor immigrants may be offering substandard care and putting many Southern California women at risk," the AP/Sacramento Bee reports. Authorities say "many such clinics are operating" and "may be escaping the scrutiny of fellow doctors and officials." The AP/Bee reports that the clinics may "handle as many as 100 abortions a week." In the past five years, however, "only three doctors and one clinic have faced felony criminal charges in connection with illegal or botched abortions." Dr. Jorge Carreon, a South Gate OB/GYN said, "We call them chop shops. They are legal, but they are practicing medicine that is below the standard of care." Julie D'Angelo, an attorney with the Center for Public Interest Law in San Diego, said, "There isn't anybody watching them, and too many times their qualifications are sub-par."
The AP/Bee reports that "chop shops" serve "poor, frequently desperate women who may not speak English or understand how to obtain free or low-cost but safe abortions from other organizations." Dr. Albert Brown, a Los Angeles abortion provider, said that sometimes these women "are given abortions when they're not even pregnant. ... It's an unregulated industry." Sometimes, he said, low-income women go to the clinics to "receive late-term abortions that are shunned by most physicians as unsafe." The clinics use fliers to advertise to low-income and minority neighborhoods. They promise "low cash payments" and "confidentiality," which lures many women from the Hispanic community, "where Catholicism makes abortion taboo." Deputy Attorney General Gloria Barrios said, "There still is ... shame. You would come across a flier from these kinds of clinics more readily than you would hear of a safer family-planning clinic" (4/6).