Is Planned Parenthood Covering Up Botched Abortion Death?

State   Steven Ertelt   Sep 7, 2012   |   3:39PM    Washington, DC

A leading pro-life group that investigates the abortion industry is concerned Planned Parenthood may be attempting to cover up the death of Tonya Reaves, who died after a failed abortion this summer at a Chicago Planned Parenthood abortion clinic.

Supposedly, the family of Reaves has filed a civil lawsuit seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages against the abortion giant. But, one week after Reaves’ family filed suit against Planned Parenthood, the abortion organization agreed to pay the state $367,000 to settle the Medicaid billing case.

In that case, abortion practitioner Caroline Hoke was accused of over-billing Medicaid an estimated $430,380 for mostly undocumented services. Hoke was the state’s fourth highest billing Medicaid physician, asking the taxpayers to fork over $3.9 million to her from 2009-2011 as she served as the Medical Director for Planned Parenthood of Illinois.

But why would the abortion business settle a Medicaid fraud case so soon after the civil lawsuit was filed? One theory is that Planned Parenthood is pushing to get the spotlight off of its shoddy medical care in the case of Reaves’ death.

Although news reports indicate Reaves’ family has filed suit, officials with Operation Rescue and the Thomas More Society, a pro-life legal group, can find no actual evidence one has been filed. The family reportedly sued Planned Parenthood and Northwestern Memorial Hospital after Reaves received a botched second trimester abortion at a Chicago Planned Parenthood office on July 20, 2012.

Also included as a defendant in the suit is the father of Reaves one-year old son, who allegedly pushed Reaves down a flight of stairs five days before the abortion. That leads some to speculate that Tonya may have been pressured into the abortion or that her family is susceptible to pressure from Planned Parenthood into not following through on a lawsuit.

In fact,  OR officials tell LifeNews there appears to be no record that any suit was filed. In a call to the family attorney of record inquiring about the case, he denied a suit was filed.

Meanwhile, local officials are refusing to release the full and final autopsy report. OR says the Medical Examiner’s office indicated that Reaves died from hemorrhaging after a dilation and Evacuation abortion. The full autopsy report has not yet been released, even though Operation Rescue was told by officials that the report was finished but not “finalized” nearly two weeks ago.

The initial OR request to obtain a copy of the autopsy was denied. Life Legal Defense Foundation stepped in and wrote a letter indicating that the open records request was wrongfully denied. The Medical Examiner’s attorney agreed and promised to email a copy of the report once it was finalized, but that was two months ago.

“When there are this many unanswered questions, you know something is terribly wrong. It appears Hoke settled her billing fraud case in order to clear up controversy and take the spotlight off Planned Parenthood, which was struggling to deal with questions about Reaves death,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation. “Now it appears Tonya was also the victim of domestic violence.  The public need to understand why Reaves died, who is responsible, and that the perpetrators will be brought to justice through legal means. Right now, there are more questions than answers.”

What we do know is Planned Parenthood performed an abortion on Tonya Reaves that claimed her life. We also know Planned Parenthood engaged in what could only be described as malpractice.

The Planned Parenthood abortion business, which waited five hours before sending a woman who died from a botched legal abortion to the hospital, never called 911.

Initially, Steve Miller of the CBS news affiliate WBBM released a report showing documents released in the botched abortion death of Tonya Reaves that alarmingly showed Planned Parenthood delayed summoning emergency care for the dying woman for five and a half hours after the abortion failed.

Later John Jansen of the Pro-Life Action League, obtained documents verifying that Planned Parenthood’s Loop Health Center in Chicago did not call 911 on the day 24-year old Tonya Reaves died after having an abortion at the facility.

“Documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act show [PDF] that only one call to 911 was made on Friday, July 20 from the building located at 18 S. Michigan, which houses Planned Parenthood and several other tenants,” Jansen said. “It’s unclear which tenant in the building placed that call, made at 12:46 p.m., but it was concerning an instance of child abuse, and thus could not possibly have been related to Tonya Reaves.”

“Planned Parenthood’s unfathomable negligence in the death of Tonya Reaves raises numerous questions that demand answers,” Jansen added. “Why didn’t Planned Parenthood call 911 immediately once Tonya Reaves started experiencing complications following her abortion?”

“Did Planned Parenthood call a private ambulance company instead of calling 911? If so, why? It was a Chicago Fire Department ambulance that ultimately transported Tonya Reaves to Northwestern Memorial Hospital — five and a half hours after her abortion. If Planned Parenthood didn’t call 911, who notified the Fire Department and told them to send an ambulance?” Jansen asked. “Does Planned Parenthood’s Loop Health Center have a medical emergency policy? If so, was it followed in the case of Tonya Reaves?”

“Most abortion facilities in the state of Illinois are subject to inspections by the Department of Public Health. But due to a loophole in the state’s complicated abortion facility regulatory scheme, all Planned Parenthood abortion clinics in Illinois are unlicensed and not subject to state inspection,’” he continued. “As a result, there is a lot we don’t know about Illinois’ Planned Parenthood facilities.”

Jansen concluded: “But we do know that 24-year old Tonya Reaves had an abortion at Planned Parenthood’s Loop Health Center and died 12 hours later — and Planned Parenthood needs to be held accountable for her death.”

At 11:00 a.m. on Friday, Reaves received a second-trimester dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion at Planned Parenthood, located at 18 S. Michigan Ave. in Chicago. Following the abortion, Reaves began bleeding heavily and it continued at Planned Parenthood for five and a half hours before a Fire Department ambulance finally took her to Northwestern Memorial Hospital at 4:30 p.m., according to Miller.

Then, once the young woman arrived at the hospital, the reports make it appear emergency personnel had to start from scratch to figure out the extent of Reaves injuries.

“Then at 5:30 p.m., doctors performed an ultrasound, and another dilation and evacuation procedure – basically, another abortion – this time at Northwestern,” Miller reports. “But after that, there were then more problems, and pain. That warranted a new ultrasound, and a perforation was discovered. At 10:12 p.m., Reaves was taken back to surgery – and “an uncontrollable bleed was discovered,” documents say.”

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Responding to the report, Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation, said, “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.”

“There can be no doubt that this delay contributed to her death,” Newman argues. “The injury and the untreated hemorrhage happened at Planned Parenthood and they are solely responsible for it.”

Newman, in a press statement to LifeNews, quotes Dr. James C. Anderson, M.D., a 30-year veteran emergency room doctor who said 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,” stated Dr. Anderson. “These delays can have life-threatening implications when dealing with hemorrhage or infection.”