71-year-old doctor who did 95,000 abortions battles to find successor

(Photo: Rory Linnane / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism)Protesters outside the Planned Parenthood clinic, an abortion clinic in Milwaukee.

Abortionist Dennis Christensen is ready to retire. But it seems he has to wait until he finds someone willing to take the job, a situation that gives some solace to pro-lifers.

The abortionist routinely posted "vulgar signs" mocking Christianity and pro-life supporters, the Operation Rescue website asserts.

Christensen and his partner Bernard Smith are hoping to pass their clinic onto younger physicians.

Both have performed over 95,000 abortions since their abortion business started in 1973, the same year the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling legalized the procedure.

There are not too many people willing to do abortions and the denial of hospital privileges make things more difficult for Christensen to find a successor.

His abortion clinic, Affiliated Medical Services (AMS) in Milwaukee, has been denied admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, said a report by Operation Rescue in June 24.

Wisconsin law requires abortionists to maintain hospital privileges within 30 miles (50 kilometers) of their abortion facilities.

Barbara Lyons, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life, said the admitting privileges requirement is very important as it  promotes the safety of the procedures.

According to her, the goal is to protect the mother before, during, and after the procedure.


Christensen has had problems with inspectors who have visited his abortion clinics in Wisconsin and other states.

In September 2011, inspectors found that all three abortion chambers in his Illinois clinic "failed to ensure a sanitary environment."

He faces constant opposition in the vicinity of his practice. Pro-life advocates used to come daily to his Madison home carrying signs opposing his practice, the Gospel Herald states.

In 2009, pro-lifers filed suit against the clinic for video-taping a rant by an operative of the clinic that included racial slurs and attacks.

But Christensen is unmoved. He believes the "harassment and stigmatization" he has faced do not compare to the gratitude of his clients.

The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel also reported that the doctor consider his profession as a calling.

"I have always felt that this is a worthwhile endeavor and a necessary one," Christensen said. "And there aren't too many people who will do it."

Representatives from Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin said in court hearings that the organization struggles to hire abortion physicians because many are afraid of harassment.

Meanwhile, Tanya Fields of Minnesota Right to Life says she is "encouraged" by Christensen's inability to find a successor for his practice.

"Personally, the fact that Christensen cannot find someone to follow in his heinous footsteps is a very small, but very significant step in the right direction. This is huge for the pro-life community."

(Photo: REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst)Participants rally on the National Mall for the start of the annual March for Life rally in Washington, January 25, 2013. The anti-abortion marchers on Friday marked the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion, and Pope Benedict expressed support for the demonstrators.
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