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Planned Parenthood Faces New Lawsuit for Killing Woman in Abortion

by Steven Ertelt | Chicago, IL | LifeNews.com | 1/7/13 2:01 PM

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The Planned Parenthood abortion business in Chicago, Illinois now faces a second lawsuit over the botched abortion it performed that killed Tonya Reaves. The autopsy report shows beyond a doubt that the 24-year old woman died from three major complications during a botched second-trimester abortion suffered at a Chicago area Planned Parenthood abortion clinic on July 20, 2012.

The Chicago Sun Times has more details about the second lawsuit:

The father of a young child whose mother died after a July 2012 abortion filed a wrongful death lawsuit Thursday against Planned Parenthood of Illinois and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Tonya Reaves, 24, died July 20, 2012, at Northwestern Hospital after she began hemorrhaging at a Planned Parenthood clinic at 18 S. Michigan Ave., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

The lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, claims the clinic “improperly performed” the procedure and failed to properly care for her complications resulting in her death at the hospital.

It is the second wrongful death suit filed on behalf of Reaves’ estate. Reaves’ mother, Dorsey Johns, filed a suit in Cook County Circuit Court in August 2012.

Alvin Jones, Jr. was appointed the guardian of Alvin Jones III Nov 1, 2012, and the administrator of the estate of Reaves on Thursday, according to the lawsuit. It is not immediately clear what became of Johns’ suit and attorneys for both parties could not be reached for comment.

The five-count lawsuit seeks at least $250,000 in damages from the clinic and hospital for Reaves’ son, who is a minor.

The full autopsy report indicates Reaves’ injuries were survivable if she had received proper emergency care in a timely manner.

The autopsy report is seven pages in length but it took two months for it to be released publicly, despite requests from pro-life advocates. Operation Rescue president Troy Newman tells LifeNews the autopsy is missing any information about the Planned Parenthood clinic that did the failed abortion as well as the name of the abortion practitioner responsible for taking Reaves’ life. Newman says these omissions give substance to suspicions that there is an on-going cover-up of Planned Parenthood’s actions that led to Reaves’ death.

It is the official opinion of the Cook County Medical Examiner that Reaves’ cause of death “is due to hemorrhage resulting from cervical dilation and evacuation due to an intrauterine pregnancy.” In plain language, Reaves bled to death as the result of a bungled D&E abortion. The pregnancy itself did not contribute to her death.

Operation Rescue has filed a complaint with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation seeking a full investigation and has been interviewed by a state investigator in relation to that complaint. OR has joined with other pro-life groups in calling on Cook County Illinois State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez, to launch an investigation into the death of Tonya Reaves under the state’s “depraved indifference murder” statutes.

“A young woman has died an avoidable and death at the hands of Planned Parenthood, which appeared more interested in concealing the fatal complication than getting Tonya the care she needed to save her life. We simply cannot look the other way,” said Newman. “We pray that between the lawsuits and the complaints, those responsible for this tragedy will be held legally accountable.”

“We strongly believe that criminal charges such as Depraved Indifference, Criminal Negligence, and Criminal Malpractice are applicable in this case and we again call for a criminal investigation into the death of Tonya Reaves,” said Newman. “Planned Parenthood killed her, now they must be brought to justice in a court of law.”

“As bungled as this abortion was, we believe Tonya Reaves could have survived her injuries if she had gotten immediate emergency care and if Planned Parenthood had shared medical information with the hospital related to her incomplete abortion and uterine perforation,” said Newman. “Instead, Planned Parenthood left the trauma team in the dark to solve the puzzle of Tonya’s injuries while her life ebbed away.”

Newman said the autopsy reveals the following about Reaves:

  • She was a healthy woman who was approximately 16 weeks pregnant at the time of her abortion, well into the second trimester.
  • She suffered from an incomplete abortion. The Medical Examiner discovered pieces of placenta still attached to the inside of her womb even after a second abortion done by the hospital to remove fetal remains left by Planned Parenthood.
  • She suffered a 3/16 inch uterine perforation near forcep impression marks. D&E abortions involve dismembering the baby in the womb and removing the pieces with forceps.
  • She suffered an “extensive” perforation of her broad uterine ligament with a possible severing of her left uterine artery as a result of her abortion. This accounted for the internal bleeding that was discovered only too late by the hospital trauma team.
  • There were 1-1.5 liters of blood and clots inside her abdominal cavity. The human body holds roughly five liters of blood. Reaves bled about 30 percent of her total volume of blood into her abdomen, and that does not account for the amount of blood lost through what was likely substantial vaginal bleeding due to the retained fetal remains.
  • In a vain attempt to save her life, the hospital trauma team performed an emergency hysterectomy on Reaves.

Some news report have indicated that a contributing factor in Reaves’ death was injuries received from being pushed down a flight of stairs by her one-year old son’s father. However, the autopsy indicated, “There is no evidence of significant recent external injury.” This puts the responsibility for Reaves’ death solely on Planned Parenthood.

Newman is also concerned that Planned Parenthood is engaging in false advertising about the abortions it does at the Chicago clinic where Tonya died.

“Reaves’ abortion took place at the Loop Health Center Planned Parenthood, located at 18 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Planned Parenthood’s website indicates that surgical abortions were not supposed to be available at that location, which leads to questions about whether the office was properly equipped for risky second trimester abortions,” he said.

The pro-life group is also concerned about Carolyn Hoke, who is believed to have been responsible for Reaves’ abortion. Hoke serves as the Medical Director for Planned Parenthood. One week after Reaves’ family sued Planned Parenthood of Illinois for killing Reaves, it agreed topay the state $367,000 to settle a case against Hoke involving fraudulent over-billing of Medicaid.

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.

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.

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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.”