Abortion Clinic Wins Battle Against Shady Florida Bureaucrats

State health agency could provide no evidence "why it suddenly believed that ... the clinic was performing second-trimester abortions," writes judge.


Contra the claims from Florida's state health agency, there's no evidence that a Gainesville women's clinic performed illegal second-trimester abortions, an administrative law judge has ruled. The Bread and Roses Women's Health Center, which is licensed to provide pregnancy testing, birth control, and first-trimester abortions, was accused by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) of performing five abortions on women who were more than 14 weeks pregnant, which the clinic is not licensed to do. But according to Judge Lawrence P. Stevenson, the state "presented no testimony or documentary evidence refuting the credible evidence presented by Bread & Roses" that AHCA was wrong.

Sonograms provided by the clinic "show on their face that the pregnancies for each of the five procedures at issue were first trimester pregnancies and within the scope of Bread & Roses' license," wrote Stevenson in a 25-page ruling.

The monetary stakes here for Bread and Roses weren't huge—if found guilty, the clinic would have faced a $2,500 fine. But even if the issue didn't come back to bite them later, you can bet the case would be used to fodder Florida Republicans' narrative that abortion clinics often skirt regulatory rules. There's also little room for doubt here that Florida's health agency—which lobbed similar administrative complaints against three Planned Parenthood clinics recently—has an agenda as well.

"Planned Parenthood representatives have maintained that abortions were performed during the first trimester," according to AP, "and that regulators tried to change the definition [of first trimester] to justify an investigation ordered by Gov. Rick Scott."

In this instance, AHCA  brought the complaint against Bread and Roses based on the flimsiest of pretenses: five abortion-patient files that did not include the start dates of the women's last periods. However, these files did contain ultrasound info indicating how far along the women were, a method of documentation that had suited AHCA just fine for the previous 10 years, according to clinic director Kristin Davy.

"AHCA presented no evidence to counter Ms. Davy's credible testimony that Bread & Roses had been submitting its [monthly summary] reports in the same manner for the previous 10 years without incident," wrote Stevenson in his decision. Nor could the agency explain "why it suddenly believed that Bread & Roses' [monthly summary] reports showed that the clinic was performing second-trimester abortions."

The judge recommended that the agency dismiss its complaint against Bread and Roses.

AHCA already dismissed its complaints against the Planned Parenthood clinics, in March, saying they were unnecessary now that a new state law a) prohibited state money from going to Planned Parenthood, and b) changed the definitions of pregnancy trimesters. "It was not entirely clear why regulators considered the previous action to fine the clinics moot—the new law does not take effect until July 1 and would not have applied to last year's complaints," reports AP.

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  1. The process is the punishment

    1. For the clinic or the baby?

      1. Also, Mexicans and ass-sex.

      2. I thought it was just, like, a blastosphere or something?

      3. For the clinic or the baby?

        1. fuck…

          Scissors to the brain stem isn’t punishment!


          I don’t mind them making extra sure that the clinic isn’t doing 2nd trimester abortions. That shit is fucked up.

          1. Except they were not making sure they weren’t doing second trimester abortions, they came out and accused them of doing so with absolutely no evidence

  2. Bread and Roses is a shitty name for an abortion clinic.

    1. I forget who said it, but for all the talk of abortion being a fundamental right, no clinics seem to be proudly named after its vehement defenders.

        1. Darr?, famous NSDAP marriage law and Christianity advocate, was all in favor of forcing German women to reproduce against their will. Adolf Hitler’s religious quotes from Mein Kampf are sorted and identified at nobeliefs.com
          Der Fuehrer himself assured voters that National Socialism was all about Positive Christianity in 1920. Someday his intellectual heirs will read the historical record.
          After the repeal of prohibition, ku-klux Grand Goblin cognomens as school names have fallen into disrepute, especially among protective tariff advocates.

      1. Steinem’s Abortions: You do the fuckin’, we do the suckin’.

        1. You rape ’em,
          We scrape ’em!
          No fetus
          Can beat us!
          Bring yer own back-alley

    2. You know who else had a shitty name and killed a lot of people?

      1. Beatrix Kiddo?

      2. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy?

    3. Are you trying to start a thread where commenters try to come up with a good name for an abortion clinic?

    4. More like Blood and Hoses, amirite?

      1. Don’t Kid Yourself!

      2. You won before it even got started!

      3. blood and roses

        1. Return Fire ‘n Roses
          Go ahead, initiators of force, make our day…

  3. “five abortion-patient files that did not include the start dates of the women’s last periods. However, these files did contain ultrasound info indicating how far along the women were”

    The latter is far more accurate.

  4. Why was an X-ray of my penis included with this post?

    1. Calling it a “boner” is misleading, as there are no bones to x-ray.

      1. You learn something new everyday.

        1. And knowing is half the battle!

          GI JOOOOOOOE!

        2. And, we’re one of the few mammals without a bone in our penis!

          I know it must be true because I saw it on the internet.

      2. While true for humans, there are some species that do actually have penis bones. Walruses come to mind.

        It’s called a baculum.

        1. I’ll be using that term very soon.

          1. Just don’t do it in front of SF. I shudder at the prospect of his next story containing the term “bionic baculum” in reference to Warty.

    2. Oh, I thought that was just a smudge on the screen. I guess I need to zoom in.

    3. Because “Life begins at Erection”?

  5. In this instance, AHCA brought the complaint against Bread and Roses based on the flimsiest of pretenses: five abortion-patient files that did not include the start dates of the women’s last periods. However, these files did contain ultrasound info indicating how far along the women were, a method of documentation that had suited AHCA just fine for the previous 10 years, according to clinic director Kristin Davy.

    One problem, I think – SCOTUS has made it pretty clear that the courts must defer to the agencies in the interpretation of their rules. Just because they’ve changed a long-standing interpretation, that doesn’t make it a new rule which triggers a notice and public-comment period and APA procedural due process and so on. If the AHCA has decided that ultrasounds are no longer an acceptable substitute for a documentation of the start of the woman’s last period, and there’s nothing in the rules that say they must but only a tradition of doing so, then that’s the rule and nobody can say otherwise. It is interesting that it’s an administrative court ruling, though – are the courts also expected to defer to administrative court interpretations as they are agency interpretations?

  6. Contra the claims from Florida’s state health agency, there’s no evidence that a Gainesville women’s clinic performed illegal second-trimester abortions,

    At least it is good to know that Floridian women beget humans once the ‘things’ growing inside them pass the 2nd trimester threshold. Some don’t believe baby humans are ‘human’ until they can successfully avoid having their spinal cords cut.

    1. Women, even when pregnant, are individuals, and persons, per the Constitution, are “All persons born” as opposed to imagined, wished for, dreamt of, or Revealed.

  7. I’m always happy to see a regulator get a slapping, but I read this:

    n this instance, AHCA brought the complaint against Bread and Roses based on the flimsiest of pretenses: five abortion-patient files that did not include the start dates of the women’s last periods.

    and I think: desk review. They did a desk audit of the records, and couldn’t confirm that these were within parameters. So they open a focussed audit or investigation.

    This is completely ordinary and routine, and doesn’t exactly shock my sensibilities, yet.

    We get audited by the state on a regular basis, based on nothing more than patient complaints. So, I have a hard time feeling too bad for B & R. I don’t think they were singled out in any way (based on what the post says).

    Now, having embarrassed the state, they are gonna get singled out, big time. This is why when we get cited, we sit and take it, even when we know its wrong.

  8. I met one of our preemies today. He is 18 now, and was delivered at 24 weeks. Its a miracle he survived, as 24 weeks was very marginal 18 years ago.

    The very definition of a strapping young lad. A solid six feet tall, broad shoulders, etc.

    He was in his second trimester when he was delivered (the third trimester starts at 28 weeks).

    1. the third trimester starts at 28 weeks

      What happens between weeks 35 and 40? Is the third trimester just longer than the first two?

      1. Wow, math fail… I’m gonna go ahead and crawl back into my hole.

        1. If it helps, it still probably feels like the longest

        2. Math fail, physics fail, ethics fail, mystical bigotry as a pretense for pointing guns at women to harvest Hitlerjugend is robustly fail-tolerant. These fails evaporate before proper interpretation…
          What the Bible and Constitution say:
          a. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. (Psalm 137:9)
          b. …the free exercise thereof; (1st Amendment)
          c. Section 1. All persons born or naturalized… (14th Amendment)
          What fanatical mystics read:
          a. Send men with guns to force women to reproduce. (Robert Lewis Dear)
          b. …the coercive exercise thereof; (Robert Lewis Dear)
          c. Section 1. All ova potentially fertilized… (Robert Lewis Dear)

          1. Hi Hank, glad youre here to shit up another abortion thread.

  9. The additional evidence arrived in the form of Divine Revelation, and cannot be questioned, or there’d be anarchy! Imagine if in 1634 the Right Reverend Urbain Grandier’s testimony that he’d never set foot in the Ursuline convent wherein the nuns fancied they’d been Possessed by the defendant and Satan, Beelzebub, Azulon and (natch) Leviathan had been admitted to the record… why, some meddling liberal might cast aspersions on the testimony gathered by routine crushing of the defendant’s knees and made it out to be given under some form of duress. Clearly, Planned Parenthood must be burned at the stake (or stoned in the public square) like any other coven of witches and Jezebels, so let Sharia Law Justice be done already!

    1. I laughed, though I doubt that is your intent….stupid r us seems about right.

  10. “Tarts and Parts”?

    1. How about the regulations that require “slut shaming” via “ultrasonic rape wand” before you can rid yerself of a blastocyst? If you want religious freedom from the “shaming wand”, please see http://www.churchofsqrls.com and then http://www.churchofsqrls.com/sonograms/ … The Truth will set ye free! From the shaming wand, even!!!!

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  12. Sometimes dude you just rol with it


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