MILWAUKEE, Wisc. — A notorious Wisconsin abortionist is attempting to find a replacement as a number of factors are placing pressure upon him and his partner to close their their late-term abortion facility.
Dennis Christensen, 71, recently told reporters that he is ready to hand his business off to a younger man, but has not been able to find someone to take his place. He blames pro-life “harassment” as the primary reason why young physicians do not want to become abortionists.
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin also acknowledged in court hearings that they have difficulty finding willing abortionists because many are afraid of “harassment”.
Christensen and his partner Bernard Smith have both performed abortions for over four decades. They currently work together at Affiliated Medical Services in Milwaukee, the only facility in the state that performs abortions after 20 weeks.
“I have always felt that this is a worthwhile endeavor and a necessary one,” Christensen told the Journal-Sentinel. “And there aren’t too many people who will do it.”
In addition to regular pro-life activism in front of Affiliated Medical Services, and at times his home, Christensen is also under pressure from a 2013 law passed by the Wisconsin legislature and signed by Gov. Scott Walker that requires all Wisconsin abortionists to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. AMS and Planned Parenthood have sued to overturn the law. U.S. District Judge William Conley has blocked implementation of the requirement until he renders a decision on the case, perhaps as early as this summer.
If Judge Conley upholds the law, Christensen’s facility would be put out of business. Both he and Smith have been denied admitting privileges from every local hospital within a 30 mile radius. In a letter, several hospitals stated that the abortionists “do not qualify for admitting privileges because in their clinic the two are not subject to review by a professional board to make sure their practices meet hospital standards.”
Christensen claims the hospitals have refused to grant him the privileges because he has not treated an abortion patient in a hospital setting in more than a decade.
“The fact that we’ve managed to keep our patients out of the hospital appears to be a detriment to getting hospital privileges,” Christensen told the judge.
But Dan Miller, Milwaukee coordinator for 40 Days for Life, states that his organization has documented nine ambulance calls to Affiliated Medical Services since August 2010. Additionally, Miller has four personal testimonies from women telling devastating stories of their botched abortions at the facility, each of whom required full hysterectomies.
“Those hysterectomies all happened at area hospitals as these women were dumped off at the ER doors or left to find help themselves by clinic workers,” Miller explained.
Christensen’s other facility in Rockford, IL was shut down in 2011 for violations by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Inspectors found that all three abortion chambers “failed to ensure a sanitary environment.” Surgical instruments were left unsanitized, and “brown substances” were discovered on surgical equipment and gloves.
According to Operation Rescue, inspectors “also discovered that Christensen had no hospital privileges and failed to have a registered nurse present during invasive procedures as required in that state.”
Christensen has had ownership roles in seven Wisconsin abortion facilities and has practiced in many others. He was a member of the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for decades and taught students to perform abortions in his clinic in Madison.
A graphic video of Christensen casually performing a 20-week abortion can be seen below.