NM abortion clinic opens without business license 'under the radar'

(November 19, 2014 ??? Las Cruces, NM) Las Cruces resident Martha Beasley and the Thomas More Society have confirmed that ???Whole Woman???s Health??? abortion clinic opened for business over a week before even applying to the city for a business permit. The abortion facility???s flagrant violation of the law was revealed when the City of Las Cruces responded to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted two weeks ago by Ms. Beasley and the Thomas More Society.

???If Whole Woman???s Health disregarded the law in opening their abortion facility, how can any patient be assured that it will follow the law in the future???? said Corrina Konczal, Associate Counsel of the Chicago-based Thomas More Society.  ???Laws and regulations on businesses protect consumers, and when businesses flout those regulations, they put the safety of their clients and patients at risk.???

On September 3, 2014, Martha Beasley saw an article in the Las Cruces Sun News that Whole Woman???s Health, a Texas-based abortion chain, was moving into her city.  She and other pro-lifers immediately coordinated with 40 Days for Life, a nationwide campaign of peaceful pro-lifers, to host a prayer vigil on public property outside the clinic.

When Ms. Beasley submitted her public records request to the City, she received a copy of the clinic???s application for a business license, which had been submitted on October 23, 2014. However, the clinic???s Facebook posts prove that it already had opened for business on Monday, October 13, ten days before it even applied for a business permit.

Thomas More Society and Ms. Beasley submitted a FOIA request to obtain further information.  The City???s response reveals a troubling chain of emails between Mary Frank, Project Manager of Whole Woman???s Health and the City of Las Cruces Police Department, suggesting the abortion business brazenly admitted to police that they were operating ???under the radar.???

On October 13, 2014, Ms. Frank wrote the police: ???I wanted to let you know we will be holding our first clinic on Thursday 10/16 and Sat. 10/18.  We will not be doing a press release so I hope that it will stay under the radar for now.???  The police responded that they would ???continue to frequent[ly] patrol this area.???  Ms. Frank replied, ???We really appreciate you[r] continued support and diligence in making sure women seeking this legal procedure have legal access??? (emphasis added).

Soon thereafter, the Chief of Police, Chief Jaime Montoya, asked internally ???Has this clinic applied and received their business license????  In fact, the clinic had not.

???This is not the first time that Whole Woman???s Health has disregarded the law,??? noted Martha Beasley, 40 Days for Life Las Cruces coordinator.  ???In its locations just across the border in Texas, they had been fined for illegally disposing of biohazardous materials and baby remains, and also had been found to be violating HIPAA regulations.  I fear that such unsanitary and illegal practices will only continue here in New Mexico. The records we have obtained, proving that the clinic opened without a business license, only add to our concern. Women deserve to be treated with respect by businesses that uphold the law, and it’s obvious that this facility does not respect women, their children, or the law.???

Investigative report documenting violations by Whole Woman???s Health of Texas here.

Emails between Mary Frank of Whole Woman???s Health and Las Cruces Police Department here.

Whole Woman???s Health of New Mexico October 13, 2014 Facebook post here.

Whole Woman???s Health business permit application (dated October 23, 2014) here.

About the Thomas More Society

The Thomas More Society is a not-for-profit, national public interest law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, and religious liberty. Based in Chicago, the Thomas More Society defends and fosters support for these causes by providing high quality pro bono legal services from local trial courts all the way to the United States Supreme