Skip to main content

Alabama again denies application of would-be abortion clinic operator

From Joe Sutton, CNN
updated 10:37 AM EDT, Thu September 13, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • In 1998, Birmingham clinic was bombed by Eric Robert Rudolph
  • It closed in May when state of Alabama cited it for health violations
  • Owner agreed to lease facility to a friend
  • State denied new operator her application for a license

(CNN) -- An abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, remains closed after a state hearing officer denied a prospective new owner's appeal to reopen the facility, made famous in 1998 when it was bombed by Eric Robert Rudolph.

In April, state regulators ordered the New Woman All Women Health Care facility closed citing "multiple and serious violations of State Board of Health rules."

Then-owner Diane Derzis agreed to turn in the facility's license to operate and closed the clinic May 18. She said the problems at the clinic were documentation issues. No patients were ever in danger, she said in July.

She agreed to lease the building to Kelley Rain-Water, a friend, but the state denied Rain-Water's license application because of her relationship with Derzis.

Derzis owns three other abortion clinics, including the sole abortion facility in Mississippi, which has faced multiple closure attempts by the state.

Rain-Waiter said she plans to renegotiate the terms of the lease.

"I will get this clinic back open," she said Wednesday.

A lawyer for the Alabama Department of Public Health said the terms of the proposed lease suggested Derzis would still profit from the clinic.

Brian Hale, deputy general counsel, said nothing is stopping Rain-Water from filing another application. He said the hearing officer's opinion is not the final word, but is a recommendation to the state health officer.

A final ruling will be issued this month, Hale said.

In January 1998, Rudolph planted a bomb in a flower pot outside the clinic.

Off-duty policeman Robert Sanderson saw the device, which Rudolph set off with a remote control. Sanderson was killed and nurse Emily Lyons lost an eye and suffered numerous other serious injuries.

Rudolph pleaded guilty to that bombing and three others, including one during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Who calls the shots on abortion laws?

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT