Couple Sues Abortionist Warren Hern for Malpractice in Late-Term Nightmare


By Cheryl Sullenger

Boulder, Colorado — Jennifer and Jason found out sometime in early 2013 that they were having a baby.

The expectancy of a new son or daughter can be a joyous time for couples, but for them, that joy was cut short after their baby boy was prenatally diagnosed with “severe cerebral abnormalities” near the end of Jennifer’s second trimester of pregnancy. She was told that her son would have a life expectancy of less than one year, if he survived delivery.

After consulting with a number of physicians, Jennifer and Jason made the “difficult” and fateful decision to abort their baby in “the best interest of Jennifer’s health.” They scheduled an appointment at Warren Hern’s Boulder Abortion Clinic, in Boulder, Colorado, the nearest facility where very late-term abortions were available.

They probably wish they could take back that decision.

According to a Federal Court lawsuit filed by them in Colorado, Jennifer suffered a horrific late-term abortion complication that she says has caused her physical pain, mental suffering, and the loss of her ability to bear children. The couple is seeking upwards of $75,000 in medical costs, in addition to attorney fees and any punitive damages that might be awarded by the Court.

The lawsuit alleges four causes of action:

1. Medical malpractice.
2. Failure to warn.
3. Negligent misrepresentation.
4. Loss of consortium.

Warren Hern is a well-known late-term abortionist who founded the Boulder Abortion Clinic in 1973. He was featured in the independent film “After Tiller,” which profiled Hern and three others who openly conduct abortions throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

hern forceps

Hern literally wrote the book on abortion. His Abortion Practice was published in 1984, but by 1989, the original publisher had withdrawn the book from the market and destroyed the remaining copies. He invented a number of surgical abortion tools, including the Hern forceps, scissor-like grasping instruments now commonly used in dismemberment abortions. In all, Hern is considered a leading authority on abortion, especially in the later terms of pregnancy.

In fact, in 1985 and again 1994, when medical experts published the authoritative manual on Fertility Control, they had Warren Hern pen the chapter about “Pregnancy Termination.” There Hern warned,”Abortion complication rates are sometimes higher than they should be.”

He talked about inadequate training, poor technique, and the “commonly held view that some complications are inevitable.” To which he retorts, “Maybe they are, but the best attitude is ALL COMPLICATIONS ARE POTENTIALLY PREVENTABLE.” (emphasis added)

But now, at 77-years old, he appears to becoming sloppy at it.

Jennifer was scheduled for a four-day abortion procedure that was set to begin on December 3, 2013. As instructed by Hern’s staff, she checked into a hotel the evening before her appointment and expected to stay until December 7. She was accompanied by Jason and her mother for support during the late-term abortion process. However, once at the clinic, she was told for the first time that she could only have one support person, so her mother was sent away.

Before Jennifer could been seen, she was required to wire $7,500 in advance to the Boulder Abortion Clinic.

Once the money was received, Jennifer was given an ultrasound and blood work. The clinic staff gave Jennifer and Jason “reading material” and required that they watch an instructional video “produced by Dr. Hern’s office” that described the abortion procedure.

But the printed material and video neglected to mention known risks. In fact, according to the lawsuit, she was never informed or warned of any risks to the planned Dilation and Evacuation dismemberment abortion procedure by Hern or his staff.

After the video concluded, the first step of the abortion procedure began. Hern used ultrasound to locate her baby’s heart then inserted a needle through Jennifer’s abdomen and into her baby’s heart. The drug Hern injected was meant to stop the baby’s heart in advance of the actual abortion procedure that was expected to occur three days later. Once the injection was completed, Jennifer was released and told to return the next day.

On Day Two of the abortion process, a member of Hern’s “staff” inserted 1-3 laminaria sticks and packing through the vagina. Laminaria are thin sticks of seaweed about the width of a pencil lead that expand, gently forcing open the cervix or neck of the womb.

She returned on Day Three, when “clinic staff” removed the laminara and inserted six new sticks. She was told to return to her hotel room and come back the next day for completion of her abortion.

Jennifer woke up early on Day Four suffering from “stomach cramps and discomfort.” Then she began to vomit. She felt the laminaria and packing begin to fall out of place.

Jennifer called the Boulder Abortion Clinic and was told to report to the clinic ahead of schedule. There, she was given an IV and suppository that was supposed to halt the vomiting, but it took “several hours” before the vomiting finally stopped.

Nurses prepared Jennifer for the final step of her late-term abortion, but found that they were unable to get her dilated beyond 1-2 centimeters, which is too small of an opening for a dismemberment abortion at her late stage of pregnancy.

Nevertheless, Hern proceeded with the “evacuation,” in which he would remove her son piece by piece until her womb was completely empty.

At least, that was the plan.

A “numbing cream” was applied to Jennifer’s cervix and Hern began to remove the dismembered parts of her baby. During the process, Jennifer felt “a lot of pulling from the lower half of her body all the way up to her chest,” according to the legal complaint.

The pain was intense – so much so that at some point in the process, she passed out.

“It seems completely barbaric to conduct such an abortion process on a woman without providing adequate pain relief, but this is a complaint we hear all too often from women who have experienced abortions,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Denying pain relief during surgical abortions really illustrates how little concern Hern and other abortionists really have for their patients. It is tantamount to torture.”

Hern finally finished the procedure, and Jennifer was sent to a recovery area for a couple of hours. After a visual examination only, Hern announced that her abortion was a success. She was released to go back home to Nebraska.

Jennifer likely thought the worst was over and probably tried to put the unpleasant experience behind her.

But soon, Jennifer began to experience break-through bleeding. She sought help from her hometown doctor, who changed her birth control prescription twice in an attempt to resolve the bleeding issue. Still, Jennifer continued to experience the unexplained bleeding.

Finally, she was referred to a gynecologist who ordered an ultrasound. What he discovered caused him to schedule Jennifer for surgery.

Once in surgery, the doctor tried but failed to remove a mysterious four-centimeter-long object that was cutting into Jennifer’s uterus. He determined that this object was the cause of Jennifer’s months of bleeding. He had no choice but to perform a hysterectomy, permanently ending Jennifer’s ability to bear children.

When the object was finally analyzed, it was determined to be a four-centimeter slightly curved section of bone from her aborted baby’s skull.

“I can’t imagine what if felt like to hear that news. It must have been horrendous,” said Newman. “How ironic that her decision to abortion was ‘in the best interest of her health.’ Would she really have been physically and mentally worse off if she had delivered her baby? Probably not.”

Jennifer insists in her suit against Hern and the Boulder Abortion Clinic that she never was told that there was a possibility that parts of her baby could be left inside. Because Hern had wrongly declared the abortion a “success,” her doctors spent months trying to find other reasons to explain Jennifer’s complication.

Jennifer and Jason’s lawsuit claims that Hern was negligent in seven ways:

1. Hern conducted a Dilation and Evacuation abortion procedure on her nearly third-trimester baby through an inadequately dilated cervix.
2. Hern failed to remove all of the baby’s remains from the uterus.
3. Hern failed to inspect the remains to ensure everything had been removed and accounted for.
4. Hern failed to detect the chunk of bone that he had missed during the dismemberment process.
5. Hern failed to order appropriate postoperative care and tests, which would have discovered the skull fragment.
6. Hern failed to exercise supervision and control over his staff to ensure they provided adequate medical care.
7. Hern failed to provide diagnostic, operative, and postoperative care and treatment “consistent with the applicable standard of care for a physician practicing in Dr. Hern’s specialized area of medicine.”

“From the legal complaint, it looks like there was more effort put into making sure the couple’s money was received by Hern’s bank account than there was in determining whether the abortion was complete,” said Newman. “These were careless, sloppy practices that led to months of suffering and could have cost this lady her life.”

Incomplete abortions are potentially serious complications to abortions and can lead to hemorrhaging, infection, and death, if left untreated.

This case raises an important issue that deserves attention. It is true that many physicians who see patients with complicated pregnancies find it easier to refer the women for an abortion than take the extra time and effort to help her work through her health issues. Sidewalk counselors who have spent anytime offering help to abortion-bound women understand this problem in the medical profession.

“Often, women just need a good doctor who will support them with sound medical treatment and encouragement through their complicated pregnancies,” said Newman. “That can be hard to find in a world where ‘getting rid of the problem’ through abortion is easier than dealing with complicated health concerns. Aborting the baby didn’t work to avoid physical and mental health issues in this case and it probably doesn’t work in the majority of cases.”

If Jennifer and Jason’s suit against Hern and his Boulder abortion clinic is successful, it could serve as the basis for disciplinary action against his medical license.

“If it can be proved that Hern acted negligently, this is a case that should be taken to the Colorado medical board,” said Newman. “Hern’s insurance will probably cover any monetary judgement, but the medical board has the authority to make sure he can never practice medicine again. One can hope and pray to that end.”

Read the Complaint in USDC Colorado Case Number 15-cv-02613.

  • tolate2412

    Don’t mean to sound cold hearted but you shouldn’t have done that to your baby no matter what

  • scragsma

    “If Jennifer and Jason’s suit against Hern and his Boulder abortion clinic is successful, it could serve as the basis for disciplinary action against his medical license.”

    “COULD serve”?? It should be a given!

  • Traveller62

    It’s too late now, but she should have just gone ahead and delivered the baby full-term, and given it up at birth. There are couples that take care of babies who are severely deformed at birth. If she didn’t have the capability, she just should have given it up. She would not be suffering like she is now.

  • MG

    I agree, just like dog rescue groups, there should be human baby rescue groups for the abortion minded.

  • MG

    That is not cold hearted it is the truth.

  • MG

    They hardly ever take a license away from an abortionist. the only job he has is to Kill. not save.

  • patcarlson1

    The woman who killed her child is not a “lady.”

  • Maggie

    God only knows how many women have been hurt by this abortionist. His “specialized area of medicine’ is NOT medicine (which is to heal and save lives) but his specialty is KILLING. He is a monster.

  • Maggie

    He belongs in jail for the rest of his life. And the murder mill closed.

  • The baby may or may not have had the problem that it was diagnosed with. The logic of “hurry and have an abortion before the baby dies” has never made sense to me. Abortion is NEVER a necessary option. In this case, the mother should have delivered the baby full term, and if it’s condition was as diagnosed, then loved the child until it died, and had a funeral and a clear conscience, knowing that she gave her child all the love that she could. As is, the mother will be at a higher risk for suicide, knowing that she actively participated in killing her only child. Abortion is never a logical answer.

  • Elizabeth Neely

    it is always safer to go full term and deliver a living (but sick) baby, shocking your body like that is very bad, not to mention Immoral. what a tragedy.

  • John Hart

    It’s not Warren Hern, or Jennifer with the most guilt, it’s the American people who allowed the perverse Unconstitutional abortion decision to stand. When the five Justices ruled the unborn had no rights, churches should have called it bloody murder, and people should have demanded they be impeached for treason, but few heard the children’s silent screams, and less did anything to help them. Because the majority who knew, didn’t speak out, America inherited the guilt, and will suffer consequences for the crime.

    Those who know God is Love, and think the God of the old Testament is dead, don’t understand the true nature of Creation. Without Truth, there can be no Love, and truth depends on the Law. Karma isn’t something made up to make people behave out of fear of being sent to hell, and hell isn’t a place made by God to send sinners, it’s created by sinners, and God can do nothing to save those who refuse to recognize their errors(sins) and repent.

    What the consequences will be is determined by Law established by God to Create Reality, and make it possible for people to exist. The suffering of tomorrows children continues unabated in abortion clinics as I write this. What those who abort and allow it to continue don’t know is, they are the children being tortured and murdered. Karma wraps time back on it’s self for those cut off from the saving grace of God.

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing.

  • John Hart

    It’s how society cares for those in need, it will be judged. Once killing is an accepted treatment for anything, it becomes “moral” to use it for anything. Hence we’re farther down the slippery slope than Nazis. Instead of death camps for inferior races, we have death chambers for inferior children.

  • John Hart

    Once society accepts the logic of abortion, there’s no reason to develop treatments for anything. When people get seriously ill, just kill them.

  • Geri

    Is this a case of the general public being so simple (that’s the kindest word I could think of) that the doctor’s word is just taken as if he was God? First to believe that a doctor can diagnose, 100%, that a baby has only a year to live, if he even makes it through delivery. Then to believe another doctor who says that abortions are safe, and complications are just due to poor training? I understand that a lawsuit in this case is appropriate, but when did personal responsibility become extinct?

  • Frank

    What if the woman went to a different abortion clinic? Do you think they would have been better off if they chose another abortion doctor?

  • Mindy Robinson

    The author of this story voices concern for the pain the woman , who chose to murder her baby, experiences. Here’s the reality, women are adults, in the end we have the final say, yes or no. This woman chose to murder her infant, that baby felt pain, then was ripper apart. The woman did not care about the infant , she cared only for her own comfort. It’s time to stop shifting the blame from us, women, to every one else. I expect that G-d is using women like this, to teach them and teach others. This woman forfeited the joy of having children when she chose to kill the baby G-d had already blessed her with and that child would have been born perfect, having been created in the image of G-d. I pray this woman learns from this, I pray that she uses this to G-d glory and that she finds healing.

  • Rachel

    I agree with you Mark.

  • siouxinminny


  • Mima

    Just a week ago, I came across a poem written by the late Spike Milligan, titled, “Unto Us…”. And to think, scientists this week discovered a bright flash of light at the very moment of human conception! I will remember this baby in my prayers.
    You can find the poem at

  • Sherry

    So disappointed with Troy Newman’s quotations in this article. He takes the whole, “if we just cleaned up the ‘practice’ all would be well” approach that ignores the reality of the murder of babies who were created in God’s image. We don’t want to “clean up” abortion. We want to end it. I hoped he would take the opportunity with a case like this to speak to the truth of baby murder being always wrong, no exceptions. You have a platform, Mr. Newman, you should use it to educate about God’s standard of right and wrong, not put forth ideas that even the pro-aborts would advocate.

  • RustyShk

    Please, people, open your hearts and minds to the possibility that your next child may not be the same as “normal” children. They will still be a blessing to you and to the world, if you welcome them lovingly. The heartache can drive you to stick together; it won’t necessarily wedge you apart. Be wise and accept what the Lord has for you.

    As for Dr. Warren Hern, I do not envy him. His eternal destiny is bleak, unless he turns soon. That really goes for us all, actually, since we’re all sinners. Find Jesus. John 3:16. Romans 10:9. Ephesians 2:8-9.

    Cheryl Sullenger did some good research, and I’m thankful for that, but she sorely needs a better editor.

  • guest

    warren hern should be on death row for crimes against humanity.

  • Betty Anthony

    It is what our society is teaching people today that it is acceptable. The last sentence in the book of Judges says ”and every man did what was right in his own eyes”. That is what is going on in this world today. Why are people voting for legalizing assisted suicide? And how long before doctors are going to make that decision because it costs too much to keep someone alive? Even more so if they can sell body parts of younger accident victims that they feel are beyond hope. The old are already being left to die because of Obama care.

  • Betty Anthony

    Doctors have told parents before that their child would be born defective and it was born normal. Then some have been right and the parents love that child anyway. According to PPH, at least two of my grandsons should have been aborted since one is severely autistic and the other has severe mental issues.

  • kathrynjw

    Disgusting. I can’t muster any sympathy for Jennifer and Jason. What they did is depraved and deplorable.

  • Thomas L Stanley

    Dr. Hern and medical professionals of all disciplines, should acknowledge the biological fact that a fetus is a true parasite inside the mother’s body, with its own DNA, its own blood supply connected via the placenta, with its own nervous system and brain, qualifying at least in the third trimester as a human being in the mother’s womb, entitled to Constitutional citizen rights to life.

  • Nata Carlton

    I have a daughter who has severe mental & physical disabilities. She has a rare syndrome & is in medical books. The doctors said she wouldn’t live to be 18 months. She just turned 40. It has been difficult, but I loved her the minute I saw her. I could never have killed her.