Albuquerque, NM, February 13, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) — The New Mexico Medical Board is seeking to change Board Regulations on Complaint Procedures to shut out pro-life activists, according to two pro-life organizations. The move comes in the wake of the high-profile case against late-term abortionist Shelley Sella, who was cleared last week on charges of gross negligence related to a botched 35-week abortion that resulted in a ruptured uterus.

Sella’s attorneys had repeatedly protested the charges since the complaint against Sella originated from Operation Rescue and Project Defending Life, which discovered the life-threatening incident after obtaining 911 records. Currently, New Mexico rules allow any member of the public to bring a complaint against a licensee.

But with the appointment last week of a task force to revamp the complaint process, that may be about to change, said the two pro-life groups.

“This is a direct attempt by a radically motivated pro-abortion Medical Board to prevent future investigations into the practices of unregulated abortionists in the state,” said Tara Shaver of Project Defending Life, who obtained records of 14 medical emergencies at Albuquerque abortion clinics over a 2 year time period. “Since 2010, the New Mexico Medical Board has done nothing less than try to cover for Albuquerque abortionists who are injuring women at staggering rate.”

According to the pro-life groups, Lynn Hart, Executive Director of the NMMB met the complaints from pro-life activists with resistance, which the groups charge was not based on the merits of the complaints, but because pro-life supporters were involved in bringing them. 

Just last month, a medical board complaint brought by Shaver against Planned Parenthood abortionists Shauna Jamison and Richard Adams was returned by the Board with a letter stating their refusal to investigate was based on the fact that Shaver did not personally know the patient who suffered a perforated bowel during a failed tubal ligation in May 2011. Seven months later, the woman became pregnant. She later filed suit against Jamison and Adams alleging negligence.

“This is nothing short of discrimination against complainants based on their deeply held religious views that oppose abortion. In order to pander to abortionists, the NMMB is attempting to exclude us from the process, and that will only serve to further endanger the very women the Board is duty-bound to protect,” said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue.

“In so many cases, if we did not bring an abortionist’s dangerous or illegal conduct to the attention of medical boards, no one would. Women who suffer abortion injuries are usually hesitant to become involved in the complaint process for a number of reasons, including a desire to conceal their abortions or just move on. This culture of secrecy allows dangerous abortionists to continue to place the lives and health of unsuspecting women at risk. It is completely unacceptable for the Board to further insulate abortionists by prohibiting complaints by third parties that uncover their substandard practices.”

Shaver is seeking to hold the NMMB accountable to investigate all complaints without bias.

“I am calling upon Governor Susana Martinez to correct the agencies under her control and instruct them to perform the duties with which they were entrusted. Until this happens, women will continue to be subjected to substandard care and the NMMB will continue to keep the general public’s interest below their own and continue to endanger the lives of all,” she said.