“Ayanna is very fragile and understandably upset by all of this,” Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Michael Norton told CNA March 6.
“However, she's very brave and has come forward and wants to see Planned Parenthood held accountable for how it treated her. And it should be held accountable.”
Ayanna Byer, 40, had initially sought a chemical abortion at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic in October 2012. The clinic determined she was later in pregnancy than she initially believed and employees began to “pressure” her to decide to have a surgical abortion, her Feb. 6 complaint against Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains charged.
She agreed to the abortion on the condition that she receive intravenous anesthesia. However, the doctor began the abortion before clinic employees administered the anesthetic. The doctor allegedly began the abortion despite her request that he stop.
Byer was “fully awake” during the procedure and was “forced to feel the full pain of the procedure against her will,” her complaint charged.
Two days after the abortion, she went to the emergency room at Penrose Hospital where staff told her she needed an emergency procedure because the abortionist failed to complete the abortion and had left fetal tissue inside her body, which had caused the infection.
Norton said that Steven A. Foley, the attending doctor at the emergency room, was “very upset” by Byer’s condition and contacted Norton’s Denver-area law firm because of it.
Foley said in a statement that Byers was “septic with a high fever” and required an “immediate high-risk surgery”to remove the remaining tissue. He said it is “not acceptable” to refer patients to the hospital emergency department and assume the on-call doctor will take care of the complications.
Norton referred the case to Doug Romero, a Colorado attorney allied with Alliance Defending Freedom, who is handling the lawsuit.
Norton said that the case shows the need to examine taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, which receives taxpayer funding for family planning services but not abortions.
“This is the kind of organization that we would not want more than $540 million in taxpayer dollars to go to,” Norton said.
“They are not responsible and tax dollars ought to be used for the common good. They simply promote their self-interest and their bottom line. That’s really seen vividly here in what happened to Ayanna.”
Norton said Colorado has “very minimal” regulation of abortion facilities, though the doctor involved in the case will face a forthcoming complaint against him before the state medical board.
He said that Alliance Defending Freedom seeks “to hold abortionists accountable” through uncovering heath care fraud committed by abortion providers and through examining “botched abortions.”
Norton said the Alliance Defending Freedom often finds that abortionists don’t have medical doctors on staff. This means the doctors leave before any medical problems are discovered. When complications happen, the abortion clinic then has to call 911 and ask for an ambulance to take the woman to a nearby hospital.
“Abortion is a tragedy for everyone that’s involved, the mother, the father and of course the unborn child, but I think it also has to be a tragedy for those involved in what is a very evil industry,” Norton said.
Norton said his organization hopes that abortions will no longer occur in the U.S. but it is still encouraging women who undergo abortions to come forward “and hold abortionists accountable for their wrongs.”
An attorney has called for greater Planned Parenthood accountability after a Colorado clinic allegedly performed abortion without anesthetic on an unwilling woman which sent her to the hospital.
Abortion, Planned Parenthood, Abortion complications