Attorney sound bite: Michael Norton
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — An Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorney has filed suit in a Colorado court against Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and one of its doctors on behalf of a woman who claims that they forced her to undergo an abortion without anesthesia and then left part of her baby’s body inside of her.
The suit alleges that 40-year-old Ayanna Byer changed her mind about the abortion after Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs could not provide her with the agreed-upon intravenous anesthesia for pain, but the abortionist proceeded with the abortion anyway. Once the abortion was complete, Byer was sent home but ended up in an emergency room two days later because the abortionist had botched the procedure.
“A woman’s life is more important than Planned Parenthood’s bottom line,” said Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorney Doug Romero of Denver. “What Planned Parenthood did to Ayanna is beyond the pale. They clearly put her through extraordinary cruelty and jeopardized her life. Their actions were intolerable.”
According to a statement provided by the on-call emergency room doctor who assisted Byer, she “was septic with a high fever and elevated white count. She required an immediate high-risk surgery to remove the remaining tissue that had been left during the previous procedure done at Planned Parenthood. Because of the continued pain and heavy bleeding, I was concerned that the patient might have had an ectopic pregnancy. I called Planned Parenthood the following day to inquire about pathology results to only learn that no pathology is done on abortion patients. The doctor performing the abortion ‘looks’ at the tissue and makes a diagnosis.”
“These are my concerns,” the doctor’s statement continues. “No practicing physician can maintain privileges to practice and perform surgery if they do not provide specific coverage for their patients in case of a complication. It is considered ‘abandonment’ of your patient. It is not acceptable to refer your patients to the Emergency Department and assume the on-call doctor will take care of any complications and assume all the risk associated with the complications. It is medically inappropriate for a physician to remove products of conception and not confirm the diagnosis with pathology. I know of no physician or hospital that would allow the removal of a specimen of this nature and assume what the diagnosis was by just ‘looking’ at it.”
According to the complaint filed in Byer v. Doe in El Paso County District Court, Byer told the abortionist in the surgical procedure room that she did not want to go forward with the abortion because she had not received the promised anesthetic after staff members had difficulty getting an I.V. into her vein. The abortionist assured her an I.V. would be administered, turned on the vacuum machines, and told Byer it was too late to stop. He proceeded while Byer, fully awake, was forced to feel the full pain of the procedure against her will and without the promised anesthesia. The abortionist stopped after seven minutes and sent Byer home with pain pills. According to the suit, she was completely unaware that part of her baby’s dismembered body remained inside her.
“Is this the type of organization American taxpayers should be funding to the tune of $540 million per year?” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton, a former U.S. attorney for the district of Colorado who helped author an Alliance Defending Freedom report to the U.S. House of Representatives on the fraudulent use of public funding by Planned Parenthood affiliates. “American tax dollars should be used responsibly and for the common good. Planned Parenthood is irresponsible and only promotes its own self-interest. That was clearly seen most vividly in what they did to Ayanna.”
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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