State orders midstate abortion facility to close after troubling inspection reports

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Jun 7, 2017 5:02 PM

Photo by Ben Allen/WITF

A closed sign is seen on the front door at Hillcrest Women's Medical Center in Harrisburg on June 7th, 2017.

(Harrisburg) -- The state has ordered a midstate facility that provides abortions to close.

The news comes after state inspectors found troubling conditions at Hillcrest Women's Medical Center in Harrisburg.

A March inspection report, made public last month, found that Hillcrest on Front Street in Harrisburg didn't have an OBGYN board certified doctor on duty, lacked critical nursing staff, didn't get its staff cleared to work with children under age 18, and was storing expired medication.


Photo by Ben Allen/WITF

Hillcrest Women's Medical Center on Front Street in Harrisburg.

The state Department of Health, in an unannounced visit on Monday, found more issues at the facility, including expired sterilization and medical supplies. DOH says it has concluded "it was no longer safe for the facility to continue providing medical services for patients".

Today, a sign on the door read "Office will be closed until further notice."

A call to Hillcrest also went to voicemail.

"This place has never been a safe place for women to get any care whatsoever. Now that it's closed, women will be going somewhere where they are protected," says Sean Maguire, a sidewalk counselor with Undefeated Courage, a group opposed to abortion rights.

"I mean come and look at this place. It is filthy, it's disgusting, women come in through the alley, park in the alley, go into this horrible place," he adds.

A Department of Health spokeswoman says if Hillcrest wants to reopen, it would have to fix all the identified issues and pass another inspection.

Three GOP senators had earlier written a letter to the DOH, asking for its reasoning as to why it hasn't pulled the license for Hillcrest.


Photo by Ben Allen/WITF

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