Abortion doctor: AL protesters "more harassing" - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Abortion doctor: AL protesters "more harassing"

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SOURCE: MGN Online SOURCE: MGN Online
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

One of the doctors who performs abortions at Planned Parenthood's facilities in Mobile and Birmingham testified Thursday morning that she's "afraid every time she goes to work."

Dr. Mary Roe, a pseudonym to protect her identity, is the medical director for Planned Parenthood Southeast. Roe oversees eight abortion care centers in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.

Last year when she originally met with defense counsel for her deposition that the abortion clinic protesters in Georgia and Alabama were "basically the same." However, at trial Thursday, Roe detailed her experiences in Birmingham when her name was yelled out, exposing her identity, and one instance when she was followed home by a car after leaving the clinic.

Roe lives in Atlanta. She said Alabama's abortion protesters are, "louder, stronger, and more harassing."

On the issue of admitting privileges to local hospitals, Roe testified that obtaining privileges in Alabama is extremely difficult. She said there are certain numbers of patients that must be admitted, and since she travels to Alabama from Atlanta, she said she couldn't meet such requirements.

Roe was at one point on the faculty at UAB Medical Center, which provided her admitting privileges there and to two other hospitals in the Birmingham area. Once she moved to Atlanta with her family, however, she said she no longer met the requirements to retain her status. 

She even said "her director" at UAB made it clear, though amicably, that because she worked with Planned Parenthood, that would compel the hospital not to provide Dr. Roe admitting privileges.

On redirect, attorneys for the state pointed out that Dr. Roe was the medical director of the Birmingham facility when it was shut down after a nurse illegally sold abortion inducing drugs in the parking lot. Planned Parenthood investigated the matter and found no fault on behalf of Roe. 

All employees at the Birmingham health center were fired, but Roe stayed on with Planned Parenthood.

The state did score a victory during the cross examination of Dr. Roe on several fronts. First, Roe's credibility was hurt on several occasions when she couldn't recall, especially when compared to other events she remembered during earlier testimony.

Margaret Fleming from the Attorney General's Office also brought out on redirect that the Mobile Planned Parenthood facility doesn't inform an emergency room physician directly when an abortion care patient is on the way and in need of care. If a transfer is required, Planned Parenthood mandates the communication with an emergency room.

The Alabama Department of Public Health requires that all abortion doctors inform other physicians of the need for follow-up care due to complications.

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