Operation Rescue claims abuses at Texas abortion clinics

An anti-abortion organization delivered a report to state lawmakers Wednesday that it said documented "massive violations and abuses" at abortion clinics statewide, including one in Fort Worth.

The clinic operators disputed that any violations or abuses happened.

Operation Rescue reported that its members found evidence that a dozen clinics illegally dumped hazardous and infectious waste or violated patient privacy laws and didn't adhere to consent laws.

President Troy Newman said his group asked for investigations by the Texas attorney general and other state agencies.

"We're asking them to protect and uphold the law," Newman said. "We found gross systematic violations, not just one or two."

Much of the evidence was discovered by searching trash receptacles around clinics, he said. The organization has "hundreds of patient records that clinics disposed of illegally."

The clinics were chosen at random and were "investigated" from December to February, the report said. Operation Rescue has used aggressive tactics to obstruct abortion clinics.

Whole Woman's Health operates five of the clinics where Operation Rescue said it found violations, including the one in Fort Worth. Terry Sallas Merritt, a vice president for Whole Women's Health, said its clinics have passed all inspections and comply with all state and federal regulations.

She said Operation Rescue's agenda is to end abortion and close clinics by any means necessary. "It doesn't matter if they pay people to acquire things from clinics ... or if they look in Dumpsters that are dumped into by any number of people down a city block," she said.

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