State shuts down Asheville abortion clinic

Posted July 31, 2013

— As controversy brewed over changes to the state's abortion laws, state health officials moved to close a clinic in Asheville after it failed a licensure inspection.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday it has temporarily closed the doors of FemCare, an abortion provider in Asheville. 

The release cited "egregious violations of existing rules that revealed an imminent threat to the health and safety of patients."

The violations cited in the 49-page report include nitrous oxide masks held together by tape, dust on a crash cart, failure to check that a defibrillator was functioning, failure to mop the operating room floor after each procedure and multiple violations of policy requirements for personnel records, training records and standing agreements with other providers. 

FemCare, which is licensed as an ambulatory surgical center, is subject to more stringent licensing standards than regular abortion clinics.

The violations found were under existing rules during an inspection July 18-19. While new abortion regulations were signed into law on Monday, DHHS has not yet promulgated the actual rules. 

FemCare, a solo practitioner office, is operated by Dr. Lorraine Cummings. The suspension of its license was dated July 31, following a phone call with the provider, according to the report.

Cummings did not immediately respond to a WRAL News request for comment. 

The clinic's last licensure inspection was in January, 2007. According to DHHS, that was a follow-up inspection after the clinic failed a 2006 inspection for violations of personnel and quality assurance rules.

FemCare is the third abortion clinic out of 16 in North Carolina to be closed for violations in 2013. A Durham clinic was also closed down earlier this month, and a Charlotte clinic was also temporarily shuttered earlier this year.   


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  • notexactly Aug 2, 2013

    miseem- wrong!! hospitals and animal shelters sterilize after each procedure, that is a fact.

  • notexactly Aug 2, 2013

    it has everything to do with the safety of woman. They were shut down because of unsanitary conditions and major violations. You know just like a restaurant or other health care facility would be. If they failed the inspection they should be shutdown period. No schemes here.

  • mrschizzy Aug 2, 2013

    miseem: "Not sure, but I doubt that floors are mopped between every procedure in hospitals either."

    Are you kidding me? I used to work in a vet practice and that floor was mopped with a sterilized mop and bucket after EVERY procedure. The rules and regs are even MORE stringent with humans! I promise you that OR's are required to be thoroughly sterilized, including the floors, after EVERY procedure. You don't have to operate on the floor to catch something. A dirty floor will facilitate airborne bacteria that will cause infections in patients.

    If this clinic had so many health and safety violations, then it should be shut down. The article says it is "temporary" so that the clinic can get up to code before reopening. I can't believe people think that these rules and regs for abortion clinics are "unfair" and against women's rights! As a woman, my right is to feel safe in a medical establishment no matter what procedure I am there for. We are all entitled to that!

  • LuvLivingInCary Aug 2, 2013

    if they are unsafe then they should be shut down. that's it period...

  • scvmcdoc Aug 2, 2013

    monami, you are showing your ignorance of knowledge of the facts. Hospitals are inspected by MULTIPLE agencies. Also there is the fact that people working and supervising in hospitals have personal ethics, we care about our patients and the care/service we provide. Stop trying to put on a spin to serve your personal opinion.

  • monami Aug 1, 2013

    "And how many women have died from procedures at that clinic? Besides, I didn't think surgery was done on the floor. Not sure, but I doubt that floors are mopped between every procedure in hospitals either."

    And we won't know about the conditions at hospitals/surgical centers because the INSPECTORS are all tied up targeting - oops, I mean inspecting - abortion clinics.

  • scvmcdoc Aug 1, 2013

    Not sure, but I doubt that floors are mopped between every procedure in hospitals either......miseem

    As a person who routinly works in operating rooms I can assure you that in hospitals the rooms are throughly cleaned and mopped after each procedure. My previous job as well as my current I also routinly spend a fair amount of time working with babies in the Neonatal ICU. Most Level III Neonatal ICU's these days are routinely caring for babies that are born prematurely at 22 weeks gestation. Do you really think for one minute that a baby that lives/survives outside the womb at 22 weeks 2 weeks earlier is not a bay, that it cannot feel pain, that it does not hear sounds from outside the womb, etc.....If so you must be lying to yourself. All of you saying "hands off my body" please have the guts to watch a video of and actual abortion.

  • miseem Aug 1, 2013

    These restrictions are saving more lives because of actually caring for women. I mean, who doesnt mop a floor after a procedure like that? Thats just gross.

    And how many women have died from procedures at that clinic? Besides, I didn't think surgery was done on the floor. Not sure, but I doubt that floors are mopped between every procedure in hospitals either.

  • scvmcdoc Aug 1, 2013

    Thanks for the warning Yoda but I think it's safe here now. There is little that they can say here without looking foolish and uninformed.

  • The Yoda Aug 1, 2013

    ???????? says scvmcdoc

    Be careful doc, abortion is the religion of the left and they are all religious zealots.