Abortion death reported at New Mexico clinic as state officials resist launching investigation
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico, August 23, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Health officials in New Mexico appear to be resisting an investigation of abortion facilities that have placed multiple botched-abortion calls to 911 in recent months, according to pro-life leaders. Meanwhile, the pro-life leaders say a report has emerged of a woman dying at one of the facilities just last month.
The pro-life groups Operation Rescue and Project Defending Life both filed complaints with the New Mexico Medical Board concerning thirteen 911 calls from the University of New Mexico Center for Reproductive Health (UNMCRH) and Southwestern Women’s Options (SWO), a late-term abortion mill operated by Texas abortionist Curtis Boyd.
Several of the calls describe profuse bleeding and other abortion complications. One recording caught the gasping of a woman struggling for breath, whom a clinic worker described as “grayish” and unresponsive, following complications from an abortion.
A letter from the Board dated July 14, 2011, notified Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue that an investigation of three SWO abortionists had been initiated. However, last week the groups received letters from a Board attorney that they say improperly demanded that they supply information protected by patient privacy laws.
Sullenger says she asked Board Executive Director Lynn Hart last week by telephone to clarify whether there would be an investigation, and claims she was rudely treated.
“Ms. Hart was unprofessional and accusatory, reiterating the demand that I ascertain patient names and other private information before the Board would proceed with any investigation. Her language revealed to me a radical pro-abortion mindset. At one point she told me there would be no investigation of any complaint filed by me,” said Sullenger.
After the call, Sullenger says Hart restated in a letter her demand for private patient information. “It is improper for the Board to ask us to do their investigation for them,” said Sullenger.
“The Medical Board has all it needs to investigate the thirteen abortion-related injuries in our complaints. Hart is trying to tank this investigation by making demands that are above and beyond what are actually needed to investigate why women are being injured and possibly killed at two Albuquerque abortion clinics at the rate of one every ten weeks.”
Sullenger and Shaver say they plan to submit additional information as appropriate to the Board this week in an attempt to satisfy some of Hart’s requests.
Meanwhile, a confidential informant came forward after seeing news coverage of one of the 911 calls and told pro-life groups that a woman had died from abortion-related injuries at UNMCRH last month, Operation Rescue reports.
According to the informant, an emergency vehicle picked up the body and transported it to an unknown location. Clinic workers who were visibly upset and shaken at the time of the incident were told not to discuss the situation with anyone.
Operation Rescue and Project Defending Life say they were unable to independently corroborate the patient death, but reported the allegation to police.
“We have seen several abortionists, such as Rapin Osathanondh and Kermit Gosnell, criminally charged and sent to jail after abortion deaths,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.
“Because of the fact that a death is involved, and because there appeared to be an attempt to cover up the death by ordering workers not to talk, it became our duty to report this to the police.”
Executive Director, New Mexico Medical Board