Project Defending Life Launches ABQ Public Awareness Campaign: Do You Know? Do You Care?

Press Release
For Immediate Release

August 4, 2013

Project Defending Life Launches ABQ Public Awareness Campaign: Do You Know? Do You Care?

Albuquerque, NM- Project Defending Life and Survivors will begin a public awareness campaign asking the citizens of Albuquerque:

“Do you know, Do you care” that abortion is legal through all 9 months of pregnancy in Albuquerque?

“Do you know, Do you care” that Albuquerque is known as the late term abortion capital of the country?

“Do you know, Do you care” that abortions at 18 weeks and beyond involve greater risk to the mother than carrying the pregnancy to term?

“Do you know, Do you care” that the unborn baby at 8 weeks responds to touch and as early as 20 weeks (5 months) gestation experiences pain?
Ab In July, 27,000 Albuquerque residents proclaimed with their signature that they no longer want Albuquerque to be known as the late term abortion capital in the country. In just 3 weeks the residents of Albuquerque have ensured that the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance will be on an Albuquerque city election ballot.
“This is the beginning of many efforts to make sure that the community votes “YES” on this ordinance when the time comes.The true beneficiaries of this effort to end barbaric late term abortion in Albuquerque are the moms and babies that will be protected as a result. Late term abortions are not in line with the true values of New Mexicans,” stated Tara Shaver.

Monday, August 5 young people will begin educating the community and encouraging voters to support the ordinance that will end late term abortion in Albuquerque.

We would also like to invite concerned citizens to join us for nightly Town Hall Meetings starting August 5-10th at St. Cecilia Hall @ St. Pius School, 4000 St. Josephs Dr. (directly north of the Catholic Center)7:00pm.

Contact Tara Shaver for more information: 505-319-7825

Background

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Abortion Capital, Pt. 5: “We think the process is safe. Nothing is perfect”

This is part final of the five part series “Abortion Capital” delving into the business of lucrative late-term abortions in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

  • Read Abortion Capital, Pt. 1: The Wild, Wild West
  • Read Abortion Capital, Pt. 2: “Am I Killing? Yes, I am. I know that”
  • Read Abortion Capital, Pt. 3: “A baby came out and it was moving”
  • Read Abortion Capital, Pt. 4: The Dancing Dog
  • Albuquerque, NM – Former Baptist minister turned New Age abortion prophet Curtis Boyd operates an abortion clinic in the liberal state of New Mexico, where laws are lax and there is less likelihood for legal entanglements. As far as Boyd and his abortion staff are concerned, the fewer layers of accountability the better. Boyd’s Southwestern Women’s Options is not your average abortion mill. It is where abortions are available throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

    Late-term abortions are overwhelmingly opposed by the vast majority of Americans. According to one Gallup Poll, 68% oppose second trimester abortions and a stunning 84% oppose third trimester abortions. That disapproval is reflected in the law. In most states, abortions after viability are either illegal or highly regulated. Thirty six states have some kind of ban on “late-term” abortions, although the definition of “late-term” varies. Fourteen states prohibit abortions after 24 weeks. Ten states, including Kansas, require a second physician’s approval.

    That Kansas law presented problems for Boyd’s old friend, George Tiller, who had been under investigation since 2003 for conducting illegal late-term abortions in Kansas. At the time of Tiller’s death in 2009, he faced an 11-count disciplinary petition citing illegal late-term abortions and “unprofessional or dishonorable conduct or professional incompetency; and commitment of acts likely to deceive, defraud or harm the public.” That petition would have resulted in disciplinary action that could have included the revocation of Tiller’s medical license. The cased against him was closed only after his death.

    Permissive laws invite late-term abortions

    When Boyd decided to fill in the void left by the closure of Tiller’s Wichita late-term abortion clinic last year, he set up shop in New Mexico, where there are no legal gestational age limits on abortions. The liberal make-up of the state government would make the passage of restrictive laws difficult. Boyd and his wife, Glenna, contribute heavily to pro-abortion candidates to insure that their business is protected from pro-life legislation.

    Boyd’s late-term abortion clinic, Southwestern Women’s Options, located near downtown Albuquerque, follows the same plan pioneered and perfected by Tiller. He even hired two of Tiller’s former abortionists, Shelley Sella and Susan Robinson. Late-term abortions are long, sometimes complex procedures, but the financial pay-off is great. Fees for post viability abortions can range from $5,000-$20,000, depending on the gestational age of the baby.

    Induction Abortion

    The Induction abortion with the use of digoxin injection was developed by Tiller is now widely used throughout the United States by the few abortionists who are still willing to do the late-term procedures, including those at Boyd’s Albuquerque abortion clinic. It has replaced the live partial birth abortion method since the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in April, 2007.

    Tiller described this particular abortion method as the MOLD Technique, which is an acronym for the four products employed in the abortion process: Misoprostol, Oxytocin, Laminaria, and Digoxin.

    It differs from the Partial Birth abortion procedure in one critical way. While the Partial Birth abortion method killed the pre-born baby after the feet, legs and torso had been delivered, the Induction abortion method is meant to insure that the pre-born baby is dead prior to delivery.

    “We think the process is safe. Nothing is perfect.”

    The Induction abortion takes 3-4 days to complete. On the first day the woman is given an ultrasound to determine the gestational age of her baby. Then, with the aid of the ultrasound to guide the abortionist, a lethal dose of the heart medication Digoxin is injected into the baby’s heart directly through the woman’s abdomen. Digoxin gives the baby a fatal heart attack. This is an off-label application of the drug, which was developed and approved as a treatment for heart disease.

    In a video shown to potential late-term abortion patients, Tiller discussed the fatal injection:

    Although you may find this a little difficult and a little uncomfortable, on the first day that you arrive at the clinic we will make an injection of a medication called digoxin into the fetus to initiate fetal demise.

    Tiller elaborated on his reasons for killing the baby before beginning the late-term abortion procedure.

    The first reason is so that there will be no fetal pain. We — we have learned with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of patients that women have the question about, “Will this be painful for our baby? Will this be painful for my baby?” And the answer to that is ‘no.’ We make an injection directly into the fetus with a medication called Digoxin on the day that you arrive so that the baby will expire painlessly. The first reason is no fetal pain.

    However, those who have experienced massive heart attacks, describe them as extremely painful and frightening. It is well documented that babies in the later stages of pregnancy can feel pain, and at least one British study indicates that babies as young as 6-8 weeks gestation may experience pain.

    But the most important reason for killing the baby first is to avoid a live birth that could cause the abortionist to run afoul of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act as well as other state and federal laws protecting the baby after a live birth, even if the birth is the result of an abortion.

    How safe for the mother is the injection into the fetal heart? Not very.

    Complications from lethal fetal injections are well known. In Orlando, Florida, the misuse of Digoxin resulted in the live birth of Baby Rowan, who died after abortion clinic workers denied him medical care. In Wichita, Kansas, Tiller’s needle slipped, and Baby Sarah was injected in the head with a toxic drug that was a precursor to digoxin. She survived and was later adopted, but suffered a malady of medical problems. She died five years later from complications to the injuries she received as a result of the injection. And the stories go on.

    Boyd abortionist Shelley Sella seems particularly prone to botching the fetal heart injection, as discussed in Part Three of this report.

    “The numerous cases of botched fetal injections of which we are aware are just the tip of the iceberg. Obviously, abortion clinics don’t call us when these complications occur. We find out about only a small fraction,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “The dangers of this kind of abortion have never really been fully studied.”

    Tiller, when describing the procedure on a video for to potential abortion patients, remarked, “We think the process is safe. Nothing is perfect.”

    “I left my baby dead in a toilet”

    After the Digoxin injection, the procedure is almost identical to the Partial Birth Abortion method. The woman’s cervix is packed with laminaria, thin tampon-like sticks made of seaweed that expand the cervix gradually over the next several hours. She is sent home or to a local hotel where she must await the onset of labor.

    The next day, the woman is repacked with larger laminaria sticks and given Misoprostol to prepare her for labor.

    On the final day of the abortion, the woman is given the drug Oxytocin, which induces contractions and the onset of labor. Women then are placed in a room where they endure the labor process. When it is determined that the labor has progressed to the stage where the baby is about to be delivered, each woman is taken into a room with a toilet and told to lean on the nurse and push the baby into the toilet.

    The toilet delivery method is used by a number of abortionists including James Pendergraft in Florida, Susan Robinson, Shelley Sella, and Curtis Boyd in New Mexico, and LeRoy Carhart in Nebraska.

    A description of this abortion method was given by Kelly Dickinson, a former late-term abortion patient, during a interview with host Bill O’Reilly in December, 2006. Her account is both heart-rending and horrifying. [See video above.]

    “Baby Chelsea”

    Sometimes, the abortionists may allow the woman to deliver on a delivery table, especially if the baby is particularly large. In that case, the baby’s legs and torso are pulled from the birth canal, leaving only the head inside. Then scissors are used to open the base of the skull so the contents can be removed through suction aspiration. This allows the head to collapse and the baby to slip easily from the birth canal.

    The mother of a baby we call “Chelsea” for privacy reasons, endured this kind of abortion delivery. She and her husband photographed Baby Chelsea’s body during a religious service conducted at Tiller’s Wichita abortion clinic immediately after her abortion. Later, the still-grieving mother provided Operation Rescue with copies of the pictures. In those photos, one can clearly see the hole that was made at the base of the skull and the ridge that formed when the skull bones collapsed. [Read Baby Chelsea’s full story.]

    “Party Pack”

    Other abortionists, such as Michigan’s Alberto Hodari, prefer to remove the dead late-term baby through dismemberment.

    Once the dead baby is delivered, the woman is given a procedure called Dilatation and Curettage, or D& C. Here, a sharp edged spoon-shaped instrument is used to remove any remaining tissue from the uterus.

    After the abortion the woman is given what Tiller’s employees called the “Party Pack,” which includes abortion aftercare instructions and a prescription for birth control pills. They are then released to return home.

    “It’s awful. It’s unnecessary. It’s dangerous.”

    Other abortionists have responded publicly to the increased use in the Induction abortion with digoxin injection method and its dangers.

    Hodari prefers to dismember live babies between 18 and 24 weeks. He told the Detroit News on July 30, 2007, “[The partial birth abortion method] was much simpler and much less dangerous than what we are doing now. But this is now the law. It’s awful. It’s unnecessary. It’s dangerous. It’s more complicated. It makes the woman go through another procedure that’s not necessary. It impacts everything we do after 18 weeks.”

    Hodari admits that Induction abortions are complex and dangerous. He particularly disapproves of the difficult Digoxin injection into the baby’s heart that is supposed to insure that the baby dead prior to delivery. Never one to let scruples stand in his way, Hodari uses the Induction method even though he considers it dangerous.

    “We do not believe that our patients should take a risk for which the only clear benefit is a legal one to the physician,” abortionist Philip D. Darney, chief of obstetrics at San Francisco General Hospital told the Boston Globe on August 10, 2007. He has chosen not to use the Induction method.

    In spite of the dangers, the Induction abortion method remains the method of choice for late-term abortionists, especially those now practicing without governmental restriction at Southwestern Women’s Options in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    The reputation of every abortionist associated with that clinic has been tarnished with allegations – and even an admission – that they have been involved with illegal abortion activity. Now, they are together in a state that looks the other way when it comes to post-viability abortions. That is a recipe for disaster.

    “We expect that there will be serious, life threatening emergencies at Boyd’s abortion clinic just like there were in Wichita. Women need to be warned of the very real dangers that they face at Boyd’s clinic. It is only a matter of time before a woman dies from a botched abortion there,” said Newman. “The nature of the procedure makes it inevitable.”

    “We plan to use every legal option available to us to make sure the killing stops, from First Amendment street activism, to political lobbying, to options that may be available through the legal system. But the first step is to raise public awareness and warn others of the dangers so they don’t fall victim to this predatory late-term abortion mill. We pray that this series of investigative reports will help do that.”

    Abortion Capital, Pt. 4: The Dancing Dog

    This is part two of the five part series “Abortion Capital” delving into the business of lucrative late-term abortions in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

  • Read Abortion Capital, Pt. 1: The Wild, Wild West
  • Read Abortion Capital, Pt. 2: “Am I Killing? Yes, I am. I know that”
  • Read Abortion Capital, Pt. 3: “A baby came out and it was moving”
  • Wichita, KS — Susan Celina Robinson was disillusioned with the work-a-day world. A San Diego trained obstetrician-gynecologist who was working on staff at a clinic in New Hampshire, Susan was tired of endless staff meetings and the pressure to be ever more productive. She longed for more freedom to pursue a simpler life.

    Born a baby-boomer on March 19, 1946, in New York City, Susan grew up in the 60s and had embraced the “counter-culture” ideology of the times. This ideology developed over time, and in 1985, Susan authored a book called Having a Baby Without a Man that explored a trend, popular among lesbians at that time, of having babies through artificial insemination, and parenting them in single-family or all female households.

    Sometime in the early 1990s, Susan met and married David Peterson, a contractor and artisan who shared Susan’s romantic views of traveling the country and working only enough to support their freestyle, neo-hippie life.

    In 1997, Susan and David quit their jobs, purchased a motor home and began a nomadic trek across the country in search of Utopia.

    Dancing Dog Ranch

    But it wasn’t long before they realized that life on the road wasn’t the carefree, romantic adventure they had hoped. They began to look for property where they could build their dream home and live to pursue their passions in life, which included dancing (Susan was particularly fond of Swing and Flamenco), dogs, and for David, woodworking arts.

    They found that spot in the picturesque mountain foothills near the Ukiah, California, and purchased 170 acres in a remote but beautiful area. There they founded “Dancing Dog Ranch,” which seemed the perfect home for the couple and their two dogs, Woof and Roo. So passionate is she for her hobbies that she often goes by the screen name “Dancing Dog.”

    Don’t say, “You’ll be fine. This won’t hurt.”

    Susan began per diem work at nearby hospitals and in May of 1999, she began to work for various Planned Parenthood organizations.

    She complained to family and friends that the driving distances to the two Planned Parenthood clinics were 100 miles to one location and 200 miles to the second, but said she found solace in knowing that her work was “helping people.”

    But the reality was that Susan was an abortionist. For years she never mentioned the true nature of her work to her friends and family. She spoke to them of the joys of teaching others her medical skills, when she was actually training abortionists to kill pre-born babies. Because of her teaching experience in the abortion field, she served in an advisory capacity on a paper produced by the University of California, San Francisco Center for Reproductive Health Research and Policy, titled “Early Abortion Training Workbook,” which, among other things, advised budding new abortionists on page 33 to avoid giving abortion patients such “false reassurances” as, “You’ll be fine. This won’t hurt.”

    Meanwhile, David began doing woodworking and light construction jobs for residents in the area. In a macabre twist, he began making and selling simple pine caskets – including infant sizes – in his meticulously ordered workshop at Dancing Dog Ranch.

    Leaning Left

    Susan has been something of a low-key public activist championing leftist causes. She has spoken out against genetically enhanced foods and refused to patronize pet stores that sell puppies because of what she perceives is the cruel way they are raised. Susan once received an award in Ukiah for her volunteer work at a homeless shelter. She voiced public opposition to a narrowly defeated California initiative that would have allowed for parental notification of minors before abortions.

    Her liberal world-view fit right in with the New Age thinking of abortionist Curtis Boyd, who has opened a new late-term abortion clinic, Southwestern Women’s Options, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He hired Robinson in the fall of 2009, because of her experience with risky late-term abortions in Kansas.

    “This is not a nice woman doing a brave thing at a safe clinic, as pro-aborts would have us believe. Robinson’s history in Kansas should raise red flags in New Mexico. Her presence there in the dangerous late-term abortion business presents health and safety risks to the public,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.

    In the Kansas Killing Fields

    In October, 2005, Robinson began to work as an independent contractor providing abortion services on a part-time basis for George Tiller, who famously ran the largest late-term abortion clinic outside Communist China, in the unlikely community of Wichita, Kansas. It was a tumultuous time at Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services. He was under investigation by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts for his involvement in the third trimester abortion death of Christin Gilbert. After the KSBHA determined that the “standard of care” was not violated in Gilbert’s excruciating death, pro-life groups suspected a politically motivated cover-up and launched the first of two grand juries investigating Tiller for illegal abortion activity.

    Among the charges were allegations that post-viability abortions conducted by Tiller, Robinson, and abortion associates Shelley Sella and LeRoy Carhart were done illegally. Kansas law banned abortions after viability with strict exceptions. If abortions were to be done under those exceptions, the medical necessity of the abortion had to be confirmed by a second referring physician who was “not legally or financially affiliated with the physician performing or inducing the abortion.”

    However, Operation Rescue discovered that abortionist Ann Kristin Neuhaus was the sole “physician” who signed off on all of the late-term abortion done at Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services. She had no office, used a car registered to Tiller (which she later bought), and used his security personnel and office space. Rubber-stamping late-term abortions at WHCS was Neuhaus’ only professional source of income. She had closed her own abortion clinic after she was disciplined by the KSBHA, which had twice declared her a “danger to the public.”

    Tiller was as financially dependent on Neuhaus as she was on him. Without her, there could be no late-term abortions that generated between $5,000 and $20,000 in fees, which accounted for the lion’s share of his clinic’s income and profit.

    Tiller was charged criminally in June, 2007, for his illegal affiliation with Neuhaus, but was acquitted after a trial in March, 2009. The court case had not been without controversy and drama. It included several appeals to the Kansas Supreme Court and a series of hearings — not to mention the trial itself — that called on testimony from former Attorney General Phill Kline, three of his staff members who investigated Tiller, the illicit lover of former Attorney General Paul Morrison who charged Tiller, and was capped by often surprising testimony of Tiller himself, who claimed that the arrangement with Neuhaus was instigated by former KSBHA director Larry Buening, who denied the allegation.

    Moments after Tiller’s acquittal, the KSBHA, by then under new leadership, issued a statement and a copy of an 11-count petition that charged Tiller with illegal late-term abortions based on a complaint filed by Operation Rescue. The strongly worded statement read in part:

    The petition filed includes 11 counts, alleging violations of the Healing Arts Act. Violations alleged include performing an abortion on a fetus that was viable without having a documented referral from another physician not legally or financially affiliated with him; unprofessional or dishonorable conduct or professional incompetency; and commitment of acts likely to deceive, defraud or harm the public…The criminal case and outcome is not determinative of the Board’s administrative case. The administrative case will proceed on its own merits.

    The Board made it clear in subsequent statements that the burden of proof is different in an administrative action than in a criminal case. Petitions like this were almost never filed in Kansas if disciplinary action was not inevitable. Possible discipline included license revocation.

    But before that could happen, Tiller was murdered in a despicable act that was swiftly denounced by Operation Rescue. After Tiller’s death, the case was regrettably closed. However, a complaint filed by another pro-life group sought to include Robinson, Sella, and Carhart in Tiller’s alleged wrong-doing since all late-term abortions done by them also used Neuhaus as the second signer. After yet another change at the helm of the KSBHA, that case against Tiller’s three independent contractors was also closed.

    Robinson has since cancelled her Kansas medical license, a move that will preclude any further attempts at disciplinary action against her related to her abortion work in that state.

    Circuit Rider

    Robinson has long been a “circuit riding” abortionist who currently splits her time between Boyd’s late-term abortion clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Planned Parenthood of Mar Monte in San Jose, California, and Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara, Venture, and San Luis Obispo.

    There is no record of legal or disciplinary action having been taken against Robinson, as there is with her associate Shelley Sella, but that could be because she never seems to stay in one place very long. Of her current employers, she has worked longest for Planned Parenthood SBVSLO, and that has been only for the past 23 months.

    Robinson now lists as her home address a mailbox drop in Northhampton, Massachusetts, where she holds no medical license, and at the headquarters for Planned Parenthood Mar Monte in San Jose. However, information contained in public records indicates that Robinson resides in neither city, but in Paso Robles, California.

    “We understand Robinson’s security concerns, and we certainly would do nothing to compromise that, but the question of the possible false reporting of her true address raises the concern that she may be trying to mislead authorities in Kansas and in New Mexico. We have to wonder if she is not telling the truth about where she lives because that would make it harder for the authorities to prosecute her in the event that disciplinary action or criminal charges are initiated. Given her association with Sella, Tiller, and LeRoy Carhart, who is currently under investigation in Nebraska, that is a legitimate concern,” said Newman.

    “The public and the authorities in New Mexico need to be aware of Robinson’s background of involvement in late-term abortions of dubious legality in Kansas. That information could inspire them monitor Boyd’s late-term abortion business more closely, and that would only serve the safety interests of the public.”

    Coming Soon:

  • Abortion Capital, Pt. 5: “We think the process is safe. Nothing’s perfect”
  • Abortion Capital, Pt. 3: “A baby came out and it was moving.”

    This is part three of a five part series “Abortion Capital” delving into the business of lucrative late-term abortions in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

  • Read Abortion Capital, Pt. 1: The Wild, Wild West
  • Read Abortion Capital, Pt. 2: “Am I Killing? Yes, I am. I know that”
  • Albuquerque, NM – In March, it was announced that Curtis Boyd, an elderly Texas abortionist, was providing dangerous abortions throughout the latest stages of pregnancy at his Southwestern Women’s Options in Albuquerque, New Mexico. That seemed the perfect place for Boyd to establish himself as the late-term abortion “go-to” man in the wake of the death of George Tiller, who had dominated the lucrative late-term abortion market. The state was liberal and had few laws that would hinder his newly expanded business. Late-term abortions are long, complex procedures fraught with risks. If Boyd was going to do large numbers of them, he would need help.

    In September, 2009, Boyd hired two abortionists with experience in late-term abortions, Shelley Sella and Susan Robinson. Both had been employed by Tiller in Wichita, Kansas, prior to the closure of his clinic. There, at what had been the world’s largest late-term abortion clinic, they were responsible for well over half of all abortions done in the U.S. after 24 weeks.

    Troubled Career

    Shelley Sella, 52, was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel. She received her education at the liberal University of Wisconsin in Madison, and at the Sackler School of Medicine in Ramat Aviv, Israel. She received her original medical license in 1988.

    Sella’s first real employment began at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, during which time she also moonlighted at a large community clinic catering to the Hispanic population.

    Sella had a troubled career with Kaiser. In December, 1996, Sella was listed as the attending physician during second trimester botched abortion. Her patient, a 28-year old woman who was 16 weeks pregnant, suffered a perforated uterus and other complications as a result of the abortion. A civil suit was filed and later settled out of court for $25,000.

    In October, 2000, Sella again found herself in civil court. She was accused of negligent management of a labor and delivery when a patient’s uterus spontaneously ruptured, resulting in a dead baby. Kaiser settled out of court for $500,000.

    One month after that lawsuit was filed, Sella left Kaiser under a cloud and hired on as an abortionist at Planned Parenthood of Shasta Diablo, in Concord, California, where she continues to work. Since then, Sella has become a “circuit riding” abortionist that currently splits her time between Planned Parenthood, Pregnancy Consultation Center in Sacramento, and Boyd’s Southwestern Women’s Options in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    Radical Leftist Ideology

    Sella has been a financial contributor to a radical California pro-abortion group called ACCESS, Women’s Health Rights Coalition. This group’s stated goals are to prevent women from patronizing pro-life crisis pregnancy centers and insure greater access to abortion services beyond 20 weeks, or the fifth month of pregnancy and beyond.

    Sella is a lesbian who was married to her female lover, Julie Litwin, in a civil marriage service in San Francisco, CA, on Valentine’s Day, 2004, in the presence of Litwin’s son, who was seven years old at the time. The Sella-Litwin “marriage” was one of dozens of highly-publicized gay civil ceremonies performed in San Francisco in early 2004. Courts later ruled that those “marriages” would not be recognized by the State.

    Ironically, Litwin is a certified midwife, a profession that is ironically antithetical to Sella’s abortion career.

    Sella gained experience in late-term abortions during her eight years of employment at Women’s Health Care Services, (WHCS), in Wichita. There, Sella continued to be troubled with botched abortions and other allegations.

    Michelle Armesto-Berge

    In September, 2007, a former Sella abortion patient came forward and testified before a joint interim legislative committee about her abortion experience. The woman, Michelle Armesto-Berge, told the committee about her hair-raising experience during a coerced second-trimester abortion done by Sella in May, 2003. Armesto-Berge was 18-years old and in her 25th week of pregnancy when her mother coerced her into an abortion that she did not want. Medical records revealed that an injection that was meant to stop her baby’s heart had been botched by Sella and had to be re-administered, causing Armesto-Berge additional mental anguish.

    A complaint was filed by Operation Rescue President Troy Newman against Sella and her employer, George Tiller in October, 2007, on behalf of Armesto-Berge. The complaint alleged that Sella began the abortion process on Armesto-Berge before consent was obtained. Because Armesto-Berge was late and missed the appointment with the second physician that was required to confirm the medical necessity of all abortions on viable babies after 22 weeks gestation, the complaint alleges that Sella misrepresented the 25-week old baby as being “non-viable.”

    While Sella’s Kansas medical license shows “no derogatory information on file,” Sella told the New Mexico Medical Board in her license application that the Kansas Disciplinary Panel “found that a handwritten note for surgical procedures was not legible and insufficient.” The Panel asked that Sella complete a record keeping course and start dictating operative procedures. She complied with the recommendations and the case was quietly closed.

    35 Week Baby Murder?

    But the most shocking allegation against Sella came from a former Tiller employee who came forward in April, 2008, and told Operation Rescue that a baby at 35 weeks gestation was born alive and intentionally stabbed to death by Sella.

    Tina David was a licensed practical nurse who often assisted with the late-term abortions. David contacted Troy Newman and told him that she wanted to speak with him about her time at WHCS. David was interviewed by Newman and Cheryl Sullenger. (Listen to the audio clip.) The following is a partial transcript of that conversation:

    DAVID: Well, my job, like I said, was hold the leg …
    SULLENGER: Uh-huh.
    DAVID: And count the parts, if it was in pieces.
    SULLENGER: Right.
    NEWMAN: Right.
    DAVID: And this was…hmmm, maybe 35 weeks?
    NEWMAN: Um-hum.
    SULLENGER: That’s pretty big.
    DAVID: Yeah. Yeah. It was – It was a big baby.
    SULLENGER: Uh-huh.
    DAVID: And…baby came out, and it was moving. I don’t know if it was alive or if it was
    nerves…I don’t – I have no clue.
    SULLENGER: Um-hum.
    DAVID: Then Dr. Sella looked up right away at me and took a utensil and stabbed it – right
    here – [indicating the left rib section] and twisted, and then it didn’t move anymore.
    NEWMAN: Oh, my goodness!
    DAVID: Yeah, and I don’t remember—because usually we did the injection.

    David could not explain why the baby was born alive since abortions that late in the pregnancy usually begin with a fatal injection into the baby’s heart. However, the Armesto-Berge case showed that sometimes the first injection is not always successful.

    David told Newman that after her interview with Operation Rescue she spoke with some of her former associates at WHCS. Soon after, she stopped returning Newman’s calls.

    “Ms. David gave us a very specific eye-witness account about the incident,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “At 35 weeks, there is no doubt about viability. This is murder in anybody’s book.”

    Newman reported the incident to the police, who opened a murder investigation against Sella. A complaint was filed with the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts asking for the suspension of Sella’s medical license and the immediate closure of WHCS.

    Unfortunately, under questioning by police, Tina David recanted her story. She would only say that she “didn’t want to get involved.”

    “We still believe that the original story that Tina David told us was true based on the fact that we were able to confirm the veracity of nearly everything else she told us. Unfortunately, without Tina, we could never prove it. WHCS had an incinerator onsite where the remains of the baby were cremated. The only physical evidence that may have convicted Sella of murder literally went up in smoke,” said Newman.

    If David had stuck to her story, it may have saved another abortion patient from the worst experience of her life.

    Patient S.

    Twenty-three year old Patient S. had been under routine obstetrical care when she decided to abort her baby due to involvement in an abusive relationship. According to her last menstrual period and ultrasounds that she had received, she was 23 weeks pregnant at the time of her abortion, which she began on Tuesday, September 23, 2008. (Read her full story.)

    However, she believed that WHCS misdiagnosed her as being only 19 weeks – a difference of an entire month of gestation. According to Kansas law, at 22 weeks, a second physician must concur that the abortion is medically necessary. Patient S. never saw a second physician.

    Sella began the abortion on Patient. S. by giving her an injection digoxin into her abdomen, which is meant to stop the baby’s heart. Apparently something went wrong with the injection, because Patient S. began feeling sick. She was sent home for the day.

    On Thursday, while shaky, sick, and running a fever of 103.7°, she returned to WHCS. According to Patient S., George Tiller, not Sella, completed the abortion, during which Patient S. suffered an asthma attack, respiratory distress, and cardiac arrest. She was revived and hospitalized. She was later treated for a painful yeast infection on her face that another doctor said came from the use of a dirty oxygen mask during her abortion. Patient S.’s mother was present during the abortion and told pro-lifers that she believed that the baby was still alive at the time of the abortion delivery process. If true, that would have made the abortion illegal under the Federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.

    A complaint was filed with the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, which found that Sella did not violate the “standard of care” for her part in Patient S.’s ordeal. With Tiller’s death, plans to file a civil suit have been dropped.

    “We have three reported incidents where Sella allegedly botched a critical part of the late-term abortion process, leading to major complications each time, yet she has managed to escape responsibility for this,” said Newman.

    “It is important for the public to know the history here so women can be warned and protected, and so that watchdog groups and authorities can be vigilant. It’s only a matter of time before Sella is involved in abortion complications in New Mexico similar to what we have already seen – or worse. It’s not a case of ‘if, but ‘when.'”

    Coming soon:

  • Abortion Capital, Part 4: The Dancing Dog
  • Abortion Capital, Part 2: “Am I killing? Yes, I am. I know that.”

    This is part two of the five part series “Abortion Capital” delving into the business of lucrative late-term abortions in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    Click to read Abortion Capital, Part 1: The Wild, Wild West

    Albuquerque, NM – At age 73, Curtis Boyd is old enough to know better. Having committed thousands of illegal abortions in the days prior to Roe v. Wade, Boyd has, in recent months, positioned himself as the new late-term abortion kingpin in the wake of the murder of George R. Tiller last year.

    Boyd is a mousy, white-haired wisp of a man who was born in Texas and raised in a Christian home. Early in his life he felt the call to preach, and became an ordained Baptist minister. But fundamental Christian morals did not permanently stick with Boyd. In the sixties he decided to expand his horizons. He left the Church and began a back-alley abortion business in Athens, Texas. Eventually the truth came out about Boyd’s back-alley enterprise to the shock of the small rural community. He was forced out of Athens and moved to Dallas where he continued to ply his illegal abortion trade.

    Women came to him in droves, according to Boyd’s account. He knew it was possible that he could be arrested and jailed, but he thought he knew better than the law.

    I thought the law needed to be changed, the service needed to be provided, and I was going to do it understanding the risk that I was taking, which may have included going to prison. That’s the way a social activist needs to think. Deciding to disobey a law is not something you take lightly.

    In those days, the big fear was someone would either file charges against me or I would have some major complication or patient death. I knew that every patient I saw had the potential to not only take my medical license, but to put me in prison.

    People thought I was dealing drugs because there were so many of these young people coming from college and university campuses…They knew something was going on, because all these people were coming and many of them had out-of-county license tags. Was I supplying them with some sort of drugs? Fewer suspected that the people were coming for abortions.

    There were never any charges filed because I was not dealing drugs. And fortunately no woman ever told why she was coming to see me or filed any complaint with the police. But they did keep me under surveillance. I’d see them parked down the street. They’d just sit there watching.

    In 1973, when Roe v. Wade decriminalized abortion, Boyd was relieved. His days of looking over his shoulder were over. Now, he could openly do abortions, and he was proud to do so. He established the first abortion clinic in Texas, and later expanded his business to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    Experimental abortions

    Boyd was a founding member of the National Abortion Federation, an association of abortion clinics that has become infamous for having more than their fair share of filthy conditions, botched abortions, abortion deaths, and other violations.

    He is known for his invention of new second-trimester abortion techniques. He experimented on his patients trying to develop pain management protocols and discover ways to reduce the risks of abortion surgeries.

    “I shudder to think of what the women had to endure that suffered through Boyd’s ghoulish ‘pain management’ experimentation or his development of new surgical techniques,” said Newman. “We wouldn’t experiment like that on animals.”

    Religious Pretenses Cover “Works of Darkness”

    To this day, Boyd attempts to couch his justification for decades in the abortion business with religious pretenses. But Boyd, in Christian terms, is apostate having fallen away from the truth of the Bible to embrace the unorthodox teachings of the Unitarian Universalist Church that are considered heretical by the standards of most Christian denominations.

    Boyd worked with the Clergy Consultation for Problem Pregnancies, and later with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice to give women seeking abortions the false sense that God somehow approves of their decisions to take the lives of their innocent babies.

    “It is an interesting thing that so many abortionists try to justify their actions in religious terms,” said Newman. “Somehow they need to think God approves of them and what they are doing. Deluding themselves is probably the only way they are able to sleep at night. Deep down in their hearts, unless they are completely reprobate, they have to know that what they are doing is wrong. Boyd admits as much.”

    Boyd raised eyebrows recently when he stated during an interview that he understands that he is killing.

    “Am I killing? Yes, I am. I know that.”

    He says he prays for his abortion victims.

    “I’ll ask that the spirit of this pregnancy returns to God with love and with understanding.”

    “I wish Boyd had actually studied the Bible a little closer when he was a Baptist, because clearly God says that the shed blood of the innocent cries out to God for vengeance that belongs to God alone. In fact, according to Proverbs chapter six, the hands that shed innocent blood are among six things that God says He hates. The Bible also teaches that we should have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness, but should rather expose them. I can’t think of anything that qualifies better as an ‘unfruitful work of darkness’ than taking the life of an innocent baby in the womb,” said Newman.

    “Boyd may find himself in for a rude awakening when he finally faces his Maker and is required to give an account for his life.”

    Vanessa Preston

    For years Boyd operated what was known as the “Fairmont Center” in Dallas, which was the site of numerous abortion protests as well as abortion tragedies.

    On January 22, 1980, Vanessa Preston arrived at Boyd’s Fairmont mill for a second-trimester abortion. According to the RealChoice blog, which documents cases of abortion abuse, Preston was the wife of a local minister who was accompanied to the abortion clinic by her husband and young son. During the Dilation and Extraction abortion, Vanessa began to seize and suffered cardiac arrest.

    Boyd and his staff called for an ambulance and began CPR, resuscitating Vanessa only to have her slip into cardiac arrest again before the ambulance could arrive. They again applied CPR until emergency crews arrived and stabilized her for transport to the hospital.

    RealChoice gives the following account:

    About 40 minutes into exploratory surgery, trying to address a retained placenta and multiple vaginal punctures, Vanessa again went into cardiac arrest. She was given a total of 24 units of blood to try to keep her circulation intact despite her massive, unstoppable blood loss. For an hour and a half, hospital staff tried in vain to resuscitate Vanessa before finally pronouncing her dead.

    An autopsy revealed that she had developed amniotic fluid embolism (AFE – amniotic fluid in the mother’s bloodstream) and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC – a blood clotting disorder) during the abortion. This is what caused her cardiac arrest. When Boyd’s staff resuscitated Vanessa, they caused a small laceration of her liver. This is typical in even properly performed CPR, and is not usually life-threatening. However, because of the DIC, Vanessa’s blood couldn’t clot, and she bled to death from the liver laceration. Since second-trimester evacuation abortions were still new (read “experimental”) at the time, Boyd and his staff didn’t realize that there was a risk of DIC.

    Now days, Texas law requires that abortions done after 16 weeks gestation must be done in a hospital or ambulatory surgical center. When he decided to expand his abortion services to the maximum legal limit in Texas, Boyd was forced to close his Fairmont mill because that location could not meet the minimum safety requirements. In 2009, he reopened his Dallas clinic at a new location as Southwest Women’s Surgical Center and expanded his gestational limit to 24 weeks.

    However, that was not late enough. Tiller had been providing abortions through the full nine months of pregnancy. If he was to fill in the gap in the late-term abortion business left by the closure of Tiller’s Wichita, Kansas abortion mill, then he would have to do that elsewhere. With few laws regulating abortion, New Mexico seemed the perfect place.

    The later the gestational age of the pre-born baby at the time of the abortion, the greater the abortion risks. It is only a matter of time before serious late-term abortion complications or even maternal deaths, such as in the case of Vanessa Preston, begin to occur at Boyd’s new late-term abortion clinics.

    Abortion is a Family Affair

    Boyd shares his abortion practice with his second wife, Glenna Halvorson-Boyd. Glenna is the past president of the National Abortion Federation, of which her husband is a founding member and where the couple still wields considerable influence. Today, Glenna works in Boyd’s abortion clinics as a psychologist.

    The Boyd’s are abortion ideologues who are politically involved, especially in New Mexico where their money has gone to insure that abortions remain unencumbered by restrictions that have caused legal headaches – and sometimes criminal charges – for other abortionists around the nation. Together, the couple has dumped at least $24,600 into New Mexico politics in the past few years. The Boyd’s also have an extensive history of contributing to pro-abortion political campaigns in Texas.

    “Maybe money can’t buy love, but it can buy political cover and favors,” said Newman. “We want the people to know the truth about Boyd and his sordid abortion business so they can hold their elected officials accountable to enforce the laws that are on the books, and enact further protections for women and their pre-born babies. Abortionists thrive in secrecy, but knowledge is power for those who protect life.”

    Coming Soon:

  • Abortion Capital Part 3: “A baby came out and it was moving.”