A Kansas City abortionist is out of business after investigators discovered a grisly house of horrors at his clinic – with fetuses kept in Styrofoam cups in his refrigerator and one employee accusing him of microwaving one and stirring it into his lunch.
The unsanitary conditions in Krishna Rajanna's clinic prompted legislative approval of new abortion regulations in Kansas, a bill that was vetoed by the governor. Rajanna's activities have reportedly been the subject of law-enforcement investigations for nearly two years.
Rajanna first came to the attention of police in September 2003 when he called police to investigate alleged employee theft.
Detective William Howard of the Kansas City Police Department responded.
"I thought I had heard and seen every vile, disgusting crime scene, but was in for a new shock when I started this investigation," he would say later. Howard turned the matter over to the local district attorney and three state agencies.
Topping the list of horrors was an employee's account that she and others witnessed Rajanna "microwave one of the aborted fetuses and stir it into his lunch," as Howard recalled earlier this year when testifying before a Kansas House committee.
Rajanna denied the accusation. But he did keep fetuses in Styrofoam cups in the refrigerator along with food and drink.
"Dr. Rajanna lacked personal hygiene," testified Howard. "His hair was messy, hands dirty, and his clothing was wrinkled and stained. He put on old, used foot booties while we were there."
Howard testified the clinic was dark, dingy, had poor lighting and smelled musty. There were dirty dishes in the break-room sink and on the table, trash everywhere, and roaches crawling on the countertops. Howard was afraid to sit down.
Howard noted there were no hazardous waste containers anywhere. (An employee later testified Rajanna took home all contaminated, medical and biohazard waste for residential trash pick-up.)
As for the "procedure room," Howard's partner spotted dried blood on the floor and said the room looked "nasty."
Two dishwashers located next to the staff toilet served as sterilizers, according to employee testimony. Photographs show the toilet was bloody and functioned as a human waste disposal in the literal sense.
On Saturday, the State Board of Healing Arts voted unanimously to revoke Rajanna's license.
In March, a board inspector made two surprise visits to Rajanna' clinic. He reported the facility was unclean and that he found syringes of medications in an unlocked refrigerator. The inspector also reported finding a dead mouse in the hallway.
Rajanna said in his 10 years of performing abortions in Kansas City, no patient has complained about care.
Rajanna can appeal the decision to district court. He argued that he had not been given an opportunity to meet with the inspector to correct the deficiencies. But board members concluded that Rajanna's clinic represented a danger and said that as a doctor, he shouldn't have needed the board's prodding to keep a clinic clean and safe.
Board members also noted that Rajanna had been previously disciplined, in 2000 and 2001, for not properly testing his patients for their blood types and for improperly labeling medications. Also, in February, Rajanna signed an agreement to improve his clinic's conditions and paid a $1,000 fine.
With Rajanna's case pending, abortion opponents won legislative approval of a bill requiring abortion clinics to obtain an annual license from the Department of Health and Environment, hire surgeons as their medical directors and report patient deaths to the state within a day. The measure also mandated that the department set standards for equipment, medical screenings, ventilation and lighting.
But Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, an abortion-rights advocate, vetoed the measure, saying medical professionals – not legislators – should set standards.