BIRMINGHAM, AL (WSFA) - An application for license to operate an abortion clinic in Birmingham is being denied by the Alabama Department of Public Health. Ochata Management, L.L.C., of Birmingham was informed of the decision to decline licensing by ADPH following a review of their proposal.
Ochata Management was declined approval due to a connection with All Woman New Women Health Care, an abortion facility which ADPH forced to surrender its license and close after it was cited for "multiple and serious violations of State Board of Health rules". The facility has until May 18th to close.
The Associated Press reports that a group that opposes abortion raised concerns about ties formed in the agreement via a letter sent to ADPH last week.
Health department officials said a consent agreement at the time of New Woman All Women's license revocation allowed for the possibility of another entity or individual to seek licensed approval to operate the center, but approval hinged on being "independent from and not affiliated with New Woman or its officers and directors".
When ADPH studied the licensing request, they took issue with a business lease agreement provision whereby the landlord/outgoing operator and the tenant/Ochata Management were to meet monthly to determine income and overhead as part of a rental agreement. ADPH says the provision went on to determine that any excess monthly income would be considered rent due to the landlord/outgoing operator.
In its denial of a license, the ADPH said, "It is clear that this arrangement would allow the former operator to remain involved in the center's financial affairs and to be entitled to all the profits from the continued operation of the center; it does not allow for the proposed new operator to independently operate the center. "
Ochata Management has the right to appeal ADPH's decision.
New Woman All Women Health Care was the scene of a bombing in 1998 by Eric Robert Rudolph. A Birmingham police officer was killed in that blast.
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