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Keisha Marie Atkins

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico, August 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A 23-year-old woman died during a late-term abortion process initiated at Southwestern Women’s Options (SWO), the largest abortion facility in the U.S. that openly specializes in abortions throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

Abortion-Free New Mexico obtained the autoposy report of Keisha Marie Atkins, who died on February 4, 2017. She was transferred from SWO to the University of New Mexico (UNM) hospital, which is where she died.

Abortion-Free New Mexico has been in contact with Atkins' family, and national pro-life watchdog group Operation Rescue is helping them investigate.

Atkins, who Operation Rescue says is believed to have been six months or more pregnant, arrived at SWO on January 31, 2017 to begin her late-term abortion. Eighty-year-old abortionist Curtis Boyd was slated to commit the abortion.

When Atkins returned to SWO on February 3, she displayed labored breathing and signs of sepsis, a systemic, life-threatening infection.

According to the autopsy report, Atkins was “preparing for labor,” the final stage of a late-term abortion when the pre-born baby is delivered stillborn, having had his heart injected with poison beforehand. 

A recent undercover call to SWO revealed the facility tells women it “euthanizes” babies in the womb.

Atkins was “short of breath, and her oxygen saturation dropped below her baseline,” the autopsy states. There was evidence of blood clots in her lungs, so she was taken “emergently to the operating room to complete the abortion procedure.”

“During the operation, she sustained a cardiac arrest,” the autopsy report continues. “Extensive resuscitation efforts were ultimately unsuccessful.” 

Operation Rescue notes that how Atkins was transported to the hospital is unclear, because SWO called an ambulance at 12:04 p.m. on February 3, but then cancelled it.

The autopsy was conducted at the UNM Health Sciences Center by the UNM Office of the Medical Investigator, which also serves as the Bernadillo County Coroner. The OMI determined that Atkins' official cause of death was “pulmonary thromboembolism due to pregnancy,” in other words, blood clots in the lungs.

Pro-life groups say listing this as the cause of death is a “whitewash meant to blame Atkins’ pregnancy for her death instead of what appears to be a mismanaged late-term abortion procedure.” The autopsy report admits Atkins died during cardiac arrest during the late-term abortion that had to be “emergently” committed in the hospital.

“She likely did have an infection from the abortion process,” says the autopsy.

“UNM is a biased promoter of abortion that is attempting to shift blame onto Atkins’ pregnancy, instead of the abortion, where the blame rightfully belongs,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Keisha Atkins and her family deserve the truth, not a cover-up. But with UNM and SWO, covering up their misdeeds has become standard operating procedure.”

“We join the family of Keisha Atkins as they grieve her death from serious complications during a late term abortion at Southwestern Women’s Options,” said Tara Shaver of Abortion-Free New Mexico. “She was a 23-year old vibrant woman with her whole life ahead of her that was tragically cut short. For years we have worked to expose the barbaric nature of late term abortion in New Mexico and sought to bring accountability to the unregulated and unaccountable Abortion Cartel. Now more than ever, we need leadership in our city and state to take a bold stand and the necessary steps to prevent the needless deaths of women and their children through late term abortion.” 

The New Mexico Attorney General’s Office is currently investigating SWO and UNM for possible involvement in baby body parts trafficking.

The U.S. House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives issued criminal referrals for both SWO and UNM. The Congressional referral accused SWO and UNM of violating state law related to harvesting and using aborted baby remains in research and failing to provide legally-required informed consent to women. 

“We call on the New Mexico Attorney General to step up their criminal investigation, and we call on the State Medical Board to take a hard, honest look at Keisha Atkins’ death,” said Newman. “Curtis Boyd should be stopped from practicing, and the dangerous Southwestern Women’s Options should be shut down for good.”

LifeSiteNews called SWO for comment, but did not hear back from a spokesperson by press time.

The pro-life group Live Action investigated SWO as part of its Inhuman project, which shed light on America's late-term abortion industry. An abortion worker told a Live Action investigator the facility partners with a local hotel that gives its patients discounts.

Should a mother go into labor in her hotel room, “you'll want to unlock the door to the hotel room, get your cell phone, and just sit on the toilet,” the investigator was told. “You don't have to look at anything … you can stay on the phone with us until the doctor and nurse get there.”

“Just sit on the toilet if the baby comes,” she said.