Documents on last week's death of a 24-year-old woman after an abortion were released and indicate that the Planned Parenthood clinic in Chicago "botched" the procedure and delayed summoning emergency care. Pro-life groups are now calling for regulation of abortion in the state.
Tonya Reaves was suffering bleeding after she received a second-trimester dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion at 11 a.m. on July 20 at Planned Parenthood on S. Michigan Ave in Chicago, Ill, according to documents CBS Chicago obtained.
A fire department ambulance took her to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, but as late as at 4:30 p.m., and an hour later doctors performed an ultrasound, and another dilation and evacuation procedure. But that caused more problems, warranting a new ultrasound, and a perforation was discovered, documents say.
At 10:12 p.m., Reaves was taken back to surgery, and "an uncontrollable bleed was discovered." At 11:20 p.m., she was pronounced dead in the operating room.
"It is clear that Planned Parenthood botched the procedure that resulted in uncontrolled bleeding, then failed to treat the hemorrhage while Reaves was at their clinic, allowing her to bleed for over five hours before finally calling for help," Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation, said in a statement. "There can be no doubt that this delay contributed to her death."
Newman charged that Planned Parenthood left the emergency room doctors to figure out what happened to her.
The statement by the two groups quoted Emergency Room Physician Dr. James C. Anderson, M.D., as saying that in his 30 years of experience, abortion clinics never informed him about their patients' conditions.
"I have always had to evaluate the situation, come to my own conclusions, and initiate what I thought was appropriate treatment. This definitely created some time delays that were not in the patient's best interest," Anderson said. "These delays can have life-threatening implications when dealing with hemorrhage or infection."
Another pro-life organization, Life Education and Resource Network (L.E.A.R.N.), accused the clinic of negligence.
"That abortion clinic is dangerous and should be closed. The abortionist should not be allowed to continue to inflict harm on women and should have his medical license revoked," the African-American group said in a statement. The case once again calls for accountability in the state's currently unregulated abortion industry, it added.
Pastor Ceasar LeFlore, the pro-life group's Midwest director, has written to Illinois' president of the Senate, John Cullerton, Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, and House Republican Leader Tom Cross to increase abortion clinic regulation, saying, "This state's lack of even the most basic health regulation of abortion providers and clinics is setting the stage for it to happen again."
The lawmakers should join the 20 other states in the country that mandate counseling for women who are scheduled to undergo an abortion, the group said.
The Planned Parenthood clinic "is clearly not equipped to provide a second trimester abortion or to respond to an emergency situation," said LeFlore. "A woman who goes to an abortion provider naturally assumes that she is going to a medically approved facility and not to a company that is operating an unlicensed, uninspected, and unregulated surgery."
In Illinois' last legislative session, lawmakers failed to call for a vote on H.B. 4117 which would have required all abortion clinics to meet the same health and safety standards as all other ambulatory surgical treatment centers, including those run by Planned Parenthood, the group pointed out.