September 11, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The autopsy report of 24-year-old Planned Parenthood patient Tonya Reaves is difficult to read.
The document obtained by Operation Rescue this week gives an inventory of the remains of the young woman, who entered a Chicago Planned Parenthood July 20 for a second-trimester abortion, in dispassionate fashion. “All organs are present in their usual anatomic positions ... no evidence of significant recent external injury ... no thromboemboli are present in the pulmonary arteries.”
It’s under the heading of “reproductive system” that the story changes.
“The uterus is received in a separate container accompanying the body,” wrote the medical examiner. The organ, it was observed, was “ragged” from cauterization: a hot iron burning living tissue shut, an extreme measure used to stop a life-threatening internal bleed. The uterus had ultimately been removed by doctors in a last-ditch hysterectomy to save Reaves’ life.
A 3/16” laceration in the uterus was found adjacent to impression marks made by an abortion instrument. Also noted was an “extensive perforation of the left broad ligament” that appeared to slice through the left uterine artery. The cavity of Reaves’ body, it said, was filled with as much as one and a half liters of blood.
At the end of the seven-page report are the words:
The cause of death of this 24-year-old, Black female, TONYA REAVES, is due to hemorrhage resulting from cervical dilatation and evacuation [D&E abortion] due to an intrauterine pregnancy.
MANNER OF DEATH:
Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation, said the autopsy, normally part of the public record, was only handed over after lawyers threatened the coroner with legal action.
“The autopsy was done the day after she died but we did not get it until 7 weeks later,” Newman told LifeSiteNews.com.
The autopsy adds another dimension to Planned Parenthood’s struggle to control the narrative surrounding the death of its former patient, who reportedly bled for five and a half hours in a Planned Parenthood clinic before finally being transported to a hospital where she died.
FOIA requests reveal that the Loop Health Center Planned Parenthood, located at 18 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago, never did call 911 after the July 20 abortion at 11:00 am, and eventually had Reaves dropped off at a local hospital by a Fire Department ambulance at 4:30 pm.
Activists calling for justice for Reaves say hospital staff was left to guess at what had happened to the young woman, and only discovered a uterine perforation hours later, when Reaves’ condition continued to decline following initial treatment for an incomplete abortion.
“Even a level one trauma team could not save her life,” said Newman. Newman’s group has joined other pro-life groups that have called for a murder investigation over the event.
Planned Parenthood of Illinois had said in July they were “shocked and saddened upon learning of a tragic development at a nearby hospital,” and declined comment on “private patient matters.”
“While legal abortion services in the United States have a very high safety record, a tragedy such as this is devastating to loved ones and we offer our deepest sympathies. Planned Parenthood of Illinois cares deeply about the health and safety of each and every patient. We do not publicly discuss private patient matters,” said the group in a statement.
Pro-life leaders says the botched abortion raises further questions about the legitimacy of Planned Parenthood’s practice: while it has been confirmed that Reaves had the abortion at the S. 18th Street location, the clinic’s website indicates that abortions are not supposed to be offered there, but are referred out to two other Planned Parenthood facilities, one on N. LaSalle Street in Chicago and another in Aurora, IL.
“Planned Parenthood’s website indicates that surgical abortions were not supposed to be available at that location, which leads to questions about whether the office was properly equipped for risky second trimester abortions,” wrote Operation Rescue. The group says it plans to complain to the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation over the discrepancy.
Meanwhile, leaders say the autopsy report bolsters calls for criminal charges for “depraved indifference” and negligence on top of criminal malpractice.
“Planned Parenthood killed her, now they must be brought to justice in a court of law,” said Newman.