April 26, 2012 Print

Legal Group Says Abortion Clinic Owner Playing ‘Shell Game’ With Licensure Orders

by Karla Dial

The owner of a Birmingham abortion center found guilty of more than 76 pages’ worth of health code violations has been ordered to surrender the clinic license by May 18 — but according to a pro-life legal group, shady dealings are afoot.

When the Alabama Department of Public Health revoked the license of New Woman All Women, officials left the door open for others to take over the business — so long as they have no ties New Woman All Women or its current owner, Diane Derzis.

But in an April 24 letter to the health department, the Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF) says that’s not what’s happening.

Though a health department spokesman told local media on April 7 no one had applied for the clinic license, LLDF found an application submitted by Marianne Kelley Rain-Water — a woman who reportedly has several aliases in several states — dated March 30. That was three days before Derzis signed the order to surrender her license.

Moreover, property records show Rain-Water’s home address to be a house owned by Derzis. The lawyer who handled the limited-liability corporation Rain-Water formed on March 21, just a few days before submitting her application for the clinic license, also did the incorporation paperwork for another abortion business Derzis owns in Georgia.

“These links between Derzis and the applicant cannot be merely coincidental.,” the letter states. “More likely is the possibility that Diane Derzis has been working with the applicant even before the 2012 investigation to ensure that her clinic remains open and within some degree of her own control.”

Read the letter from the Life Legal Defense Foundation to the Alabama Department of Public Health.