Abortionist Said Keisha Atkins Would “Suffer Harm” Without an Abortion, Then the Abortion Killed Her

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Sep 11, 2020   |   5:19PM   |   Washington, DC

Before Keisha Atkins died, a celebrated late-term abortionist claimed that Atkins would suffer “substantial and irreversible harm” unless she had an abortion.

But in a newly-released video of a legal deposition about the young woman’s death, abortionist Shannon Carr struggled to explain why Atkins’ 24-week abortion was as necessary as she claimed on the medical records.

Abortion on Trial, which is following Atkins’ case closely, released the video and Atkins’ medical records this week. In 2017, Atkins, 23, died shortly after her unborn baby was aborted at Southwestern Women’s Options in Albuquerque. Abortionists Carmen Landau, Curtis Boyd and Shannon Carr are being sued for negligence in Atkins’ death.

Carr’s testimony in the video suggests that there was no medical reason to abort Atkins’ unborn baby who, at 24 weeks, was almost certainly viable. Instead, both she and her unborn baby died unnecessarily.

According to medical records, Carr evaluated Atkins before her abortion and determined that “being forced to continue the pregnancy will cause substantial and irreversible harm to her physical health, her mental health, her family health, her safety and well being.”

She made that determination after a 20-minute interview with Atkins, according to the document.

In the video of the deposition, dated Oct. 21, 2019, an attorney asked Carr to explain why she believed Atkins would experience all of those problems if she gave birth to her child.

“As a medical physician, do you have a specific, irreversible harm to her physical health that you can identify that you were basing this decision on?” the attorney asked.

Carr replied: “I would say that not necessarily. No, not irreversible harm.” She described it instead as “irreversible changes to her physical health” resulting from going through labor and childbirth. Later, she admitted that there would not have been any irreversible harm to Atkins’ physical health to carry her child to term.

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When asked about irreversible harm to Atkins’ mental health, Carr responded that she based her assessment on “speculation” about the difficulties of parenting at a young age as a single mom who was struggling financially.

The attorney said irreversible harm to her mental health was “a possibility but certainly not something that definitely was going to happen,” to which Carr responded, “Correct.”

Abortion on Trial summarized Carr’s testimony:

Dr. Carr didn’t look into Keisha’s medical history or look at any of her medical records.

She admits to doing no mental health assessments and stated “I’m not a psychiatrist” when responding to questions on her diagnosis of mental health necessity.

She didn’t use the [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders] or any other criteria for assessing Keisha’s mental health.

She didn’t speak to any of Keisha’s family to determine if they were healthy or safe.

She didn’t look into any domestic violence or any other safety concerns.

And she based Keisha’s well being solely on Keisha’s own spur of the moment opinion.

Dr. Carr simply chatted with a woman she just met for 20 minutes and from that determined that woman needed a 24 week induction abortion within 24 hours. That is not in any way an adequate assessment on a patient’s physical or mental health.

Carr is a celebrated abortionist who has been featured in documentaries and women’s magazines like Cosmopolitan.

In August, Abortion on Trial also released medical records that document how frequent doses of the drugs Fentanyl and Versed were given to Atkins over the course of three days during her late-term abortion.

“Keisha was drugged, and drugged to make her forget she was drugged,” the group said. “She was drugged beyond the point of being able to change her mind, properly medicate, or seek emergency care. Keisha was held captive to IV and oral drugs for three days leading up to her death.”

It also released a deposition of Carmen Landau, a late-term abortionist at Southwestern Women’s Options, involving Atkins’ death. In it, Landau admitted that they tell women not to go to the emergency room if they are experiencing complications.

Atkins’ mother, Tina, and sister, Nicole, are suing on her behalf.

According to KOB News 4, Atkins went to the abortion facility Feb. 1, 2017, where her unborn baby was aborted. She was about six months pregnant.

Two days later, according to the lawsuit, she went back to the abortion facility complaining of breathing trouble and a high fever. After 10 hours, the abortion facility called for an ambulance to take Atkins to the hospital, and she died there a short time later, according to the lawsuit.

The University of New Mexico Hospital and the abortion facility are accused of medical malpractice, wrongful death and civil conspiracy in the lawsuit. The late-term abortion facility also allegedly violated the New Mexico Unfair Trade Practices Act by telling Atkins not to go to the emergency room but to contact the abortion facility if she experienced a medical emergency.

Operation Rescue and Abortion Free New Mexico, which have been following the case as well, also suspected a cover-up. The groups obtained Atkins’ autopsy report along with a CAD printout of a 911 call from the abortion facility on the date of Atkins’ death. The groups said both documents raised serious questions about the mishandling of Atkins’ medical emergency, and raised their suspicions of an attempted cover-up involving the hospital, with which lead abortionist Curtis Boyd is connected.