A late-term abortion clinic in New Mexico faces a lawsuit after it killed a baby in an abortion and then harvested the baby’s body parts for research — without the mother’s consent. As LifeNews previously reported, a woman who aborted her baby in 2012 says the abortion facility donated her aborted daughter’s body to researchers at the University of New Mexico without her full knowledge or consent.
Jessica Duran filed a lawsuit against the Southwestern Women’s Options alleging that the abortion facility did not tell her that donating her aborted baby’s body was voluntary. Duran also said the abortion facility did not give her details about how her baby’s remains would be used in the research.
Duran’s lawsuit accuses SWO of deceptive trade practices and violation of state law, which requires informed consent before providing an abortion.
In a written ruling handed down last week, District Judge Clay Campbell of Albuquerque denied a motion by late-term abortionist Curtis Boyd and his business, Southwestern Women’s Options (SWO), to dismiss the lawsuit.
Judge Campbell ordered that all seven causes of action in Duran’s lawsuit, including the unauthorized harvesting of her infant’s body parts for research at the University of New Mexico (UNM), should go to trial and be decided by a jury.
“This ruling confirms the findings of our investigation,” said Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who chaired the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives last Congress. “We found evidence that women were being misled by these consent forms. I welcome this ruling and applaud Ms. Duran for continuing her fight against these injustices on behalf of the women who have endured the same.”
The transcript of the judge’s ruling points out deficiencies within the abortion consent form, which contains language about donating fetal tissue for research: “the only people being authorized, on its face, to do the research, is the clinic and the doctor. It doesn’t authorize UNMH to do the research.” Judge Campbell also stated, “failing to disclose the collaboration with the University of New Mexico. That fact should have been disclosed, wasn’t disclosed.”
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“This is a monumental finding by the court,” said Elisa Martinez, executive director of the New Mexico Alliance for Life. “It shows UNM was not authorized to do any research using aborted infant bodies from Curtis Boyd’s abortion business, and thousands of women were deceived who now deserve justice.”
The Judge further noted the conflict of interest between UNM and Boyd, “I understand he [Curtis Boyd] was wearing two hats. The second hat was not disclosed, and it’s fairly clear from the allegations, taking them as true, that the research was being performed wearing the hat of him as an adjunct professor of UNMH. ”
Attorney Michael Seibel who represents Duran alleges SWO did not legally inform women of their rights according to NM statute, federal regulations, and standards of medical care.
Judge Campbell’s order rejects efforts by Boyd and Southwestern Women’s Options to dismiss Duran’s lawsuit, while dismissing some claims due to the the statute of limitations. The order allows the lawsuit to go to trial. No trial date has been set.
The New Mexico pro-life group also launched a new website where women who believe their rights were violated at Southwestern can go to learn more and receive free legal consultation.
Duran is not alone. Last January, a Silent No More Awareness event featured a woman named Nancy who said Planned Parenthood staffers coerced her into donating her aborted baby’s body to research.
Her story continued:
I said I didn’t want to sign it (the fetal tissue donation consent form) and they said I had to or I couldn’t have the abortion. I didn’t want my baby to be used for scientific research and I was told, “Don’t worry, it’s not a baby.” I told her I had two daughters already and I knew what a baby was. She said, “We don’t think its a baby.”
I had changed my mind. I was looking for a way out of going through with the abortion, so I thought about just not signing the (fetal tissue donation) consent form. But the Planned Parenthood Staffer told me “what you think of as a “baby” will be used for something good.” So I signed the form. I was on the table, but wanted to leave and I was pushed back down. They said it was too late to change my mind.
Testimony during a Congressional hearing in March also revealed how Planned Parenthood deceives women on its “fetal tissue” consent forms.
The Planned Parenthood form promises pregnant women considering abortion that aborted fetal tissue “has been used to treat and find a cure for such diseases as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and AIDS.” No cures for these diseases are currently available, and no current therapies for them use aborted fetal tissue.
Dr. Lawrence Goldstein, a scientist from the University of California at San Diego and the key witness for Planned Parenthood, admitted to the Select Panel on Infant Lives that the abortion group’s claims were “inappropriate” and never would have passed his review board.