By Cheryl Sullenger
Albuquerque, NM – A confidential informant has come forward and told pro-life groups that a woman died from abortion-related injuries at the UNM Center for Reproductive Health in Albuquerque, New Mexico, last month. In a related development, the New Mexico Medical Board is now sending mixed signals concerning a promised investigation into 13 life-threatening abortion injuries revealed by a series of 911 emergency calls.
The informant spoke several times with Tara Shaver of Project Defending Life and expressed concern about the death. 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. Other details provided by the informant gave credibility to the story.
Operation Rescue and Project Defending Life have attempted to independently corroborate the patient death, but HIPAA laws have so far prevented the groups from doing so.
The alleged abortion death has been reported to police.
“We have seen several abortionists, such as Rapin Osathanondh and Kermit Gosnell, criminally charged and sent to jail after abortion deaths. 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,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.
The informant came forward after hearing news reports concerning a 911 call placed by the UNM Center for Reproductive Health that had been released by Operation Rescue. During that disturbing call, the patient in the background could be heard groaning and struggling for life.
Operation Rescue and Project Defending Life both filed complaints with the New Mexico Medical Board concerning that call and 12 others from UNMRCH and Southwestern Women’s Options (SWO), a late-term abortion mill operated by Texas abortionist Curtis Boyd. (Listen to the calls.) A letter from the Board dated July 14, 2011, notified Sullenger that an investigation of three SWO abortionists had been initiated.
Last week, complainants Tara Shaver and Operation Rescue’s Cheryl Sullenger received troubling, factually inaccurate letters from a Board attorney that improperly demanded that they supply information that is protected by patient privacy laws.
Sullenger asked Board Executive Director Lynn Hart last week by telephone to clarify whether there would be an investigation. Hart spoke rudely with Sullenger, often interrupting and raising her voice.
“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.
“To add confusion, Hart followed up with a letter restating her demand for private patient information. It is improper for the Board to ask us to do their investigation for them. 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. For the Board to not investigate this medical crisis is to shirk their duty to protect the public from negligent medical practices. Hart is putting her pro-abortion political agenda ahead of the health and safety of women and in doing so has made New Mexico the most dangerous state in America for women.”
Sullenger and Shaver plan to submit additional information as appropriate to the Board this week in an attempt to satisfy some of Hart’s demands. However patient privacy and safety concerns would best be served by a confidential Board investigation instead of asking private citizens to discover patient identities.