Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ambulance comes to Naples, FL abortion center

This is not a story of national significance, and (unfortunately) it's not an uncommon event either. I'm writing about it because Naples, FL is my hometown. It isn't a large city; there's a good chance that I know the victim. So if you have any additional information about this, please email me at You can remain anonymous.

Planned Parenthood of Collier County began doing abortions less than a year ago. Yesterday, shortly before 1pm, an ambulance arrived. It left minutes later with an unidentified patient. Local pro-life advocates confirm that the center does abortions on Mondays, but the center refuses to say that this was a botched abortion.
“I can't say that, all I know [is] we are a medical facility and we respond to emergencies," [center director Char] Wendel said.

Fred Goduti, a local pro-life advocate, confirmed to the newspaper that this was the first time an ambulance had been called to the abortion center since it started doing abortions last September.

“We were praying this would not happen,” he said. “It is inevitable it would happen.”
Context: Char Wendel is a nutcase who, on the anniversary of 9/11, publicly accused sidewalk counselors of terrorism. Her statement makes no sense. Planned Parenthood does not respond to emergencies. It is not an ER. That's why, when an emergency happens, they call an ambulance. What activity conducted at Planned Parenthood, besides abortion, could possibly require emergency medical attention? Or does Wendel expect us to believe that someone just walked in and had a heart attack?

UPDATE: Jill Stanek has photos that a pro-lifer took of the ambulance in the parking lot. Incredibly, the Planned Parenthood was prepared with a giant black sheet to obscure the scene from cameras!


Laura said...

I don't find it especially odd, incredible, or compelling that they used the sheet. They were probably just trying to protect the patient's identity. Even from a journalistic point of view, I can understand them not wanting to release the patient's name or the reason for the ER trip. HIPAA and all that... said...

I get wanting to protect the patient's identity. It's just that being prepared with the black sheet is hard to reconcile with the "abortions are safe" rhetoric. After all, they only cover up patients who get injured; everyone else walks in and out with no special protections for their privacy.

Laura said...

I don't think it's hard to reconcile at all. Our New Haven clinic gets protesters all the time, and a few of our regulars bring cameras and video cameras. (This really skeevs out the patients, by the way.) I could definitely see why some clinic staff might think to themselves, "You know, *just in case* we have an emergency, we should probably be prepared." For all we know, another clinic may have experienced just such a problem like this - where a patient's identity is compromised when they have an emergency.

Furthermore, unless there has been some kind of update to this or the clinic has made a public statement about it, we don't know with 100% certainty that the ambulance was called to deal with a botched abortion. There are any number of other potential medical emergencies that could arise. One possibility that springs to my mind is an unexpected allergic reaction to anesthesia.

It would, unfortunately, be impossible to protect every individual patient's privacy to this extent. Patients can generally come and go with ease at almost any other type of clinic because they typically don't draw protesters who are armed with cameras and ready to "out" anybody walking into or out of a Planned Parenthood. said...

I don't want to know her identity so that I can "out" her. If that were the point, then like you said, you could be skeevy and take pictures as they walk in. I want to know who it is because I'm genuinely concerned that she could be someone I know, and as far as I'm aware Planned Parenthood hasn't given any updates on her condition. (Which they could totally do without revealing her identity, if they wanted.)