By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director
Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
Long before a surprise inspection shuttered the Hillcrest abortion center in Harrisburg, Google reviews painted a haunting portrait of the troubles within the facility's walls.
A year ago, a woman who identified herself as Kaylee posted this assessment of Hillcrest: "I highly do not recommend this place. It reminded me of (an) animal clinic; it even smelled like one."
Kaylee also had sharp words about the staff: "The 'nurses & doctors' or whatever you would like to call them were (un) professional. Honestly I would never call them nurses. Especially the doctor--all he was after was money & hurrying so other girls could come right in & get (their abortions) done also."
She added that her ultrasound prior to her abortion was "in a room that is so crappy I felt like my dog should have been on that table getting checked not me."
Kaylee describes a facility in which compassion was non-existent. She retells the story of her abortion in painful terms: "Once you are in that room it is something you will never forget. As you lay on the table.... You see all the other (girls') dead (babies') blood seeping through the blue cloth that they put them on. The doctor doesn't speak one word to you. He just goes and does what he has to do. You don't have the choice to be put to sleep... You hear everything from the Machine he uses... Which actually broke when they went to do mine."
Kaylee sums up her experience with a warning to other women: "They just wanted your money. & I gotta live with my mistake I made everyday. Hearing that machine... Seeing other (babies') blood... I just wanted to tell my story so hopefully people who see this do not go there."
A woman identified as Vanessa described her visit to Hillcrest this way: "THE WORST medical experience of my LIFE. DO NOT SUPPORT this clinic!"
Meanwhile, a woman named Madison felt the staff was unprofessional: "This place is awful. Absolutely no compassion for the patients. Staff was rude and was talking about each and every woman that was there after they went back."
While some of the Google reviews were favorable, the tone and tenor of those that are not should have provided a clear warning to state regulators that Hillcrest was unsafe for women. After ordering that the facility suspend services until it can pass inspection, the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health is now urging patients who have concerns about their health to contact a health care provider.
I only hope that the cautionary message is not too late for women who fell victim to Hillcrest's myriad of health and safety violations over the past six years.
The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, Inc., is committed to promoting the dignity and value of human life from conception to natural death and to restoring legal protection for preborn children. Through legislation, political action, education and other legal means, we proclaim the truth about abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia. For more information or to find out how you can become involved, please use this link.