Dramatic 41% Abortion Drop in Kansas Reveals Seven Trends

An Operation Rescue Analysis By Cheryl Sullenger

central closed2-featuredWichita, KS — The recent release of Kansas Abortion Statistics for 2014 show that the number of abortions continue to decline in the state formerly known as the “Late-Term Abortion Capital of America.”

“Since we have been working in Kansas, abortions have decreased an extraordinary 41 percent. The tactics we developed over the years have been incredibly successful,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, who relocated his organization to Kansas in 2002. “The Kansas abortion statistics prove beyond doubt that when abortion clinics close, lives are saved.”

Newman and his colleague, Cheryl Sullenger, have recently released a new book, Abortion Free, that describes their efforts in Kansas to end late-term abortions and details step by step, how pro-life activists can employ similar strategies to make their communities abortion free. They are considered experts in uncovering abortion abuses and using that information to close down abortion clinics.

“Since we began working our plan in Kansas, abortions have steadily declined as abortion clinics closed. This shows that when there are no abortion clinics marketing abortions to pregnant women, the majority are willing to find ways to cope with their challenges in ways that do not involve visits to abortion clinics,” said Newman.

Several notable trends emerge from the 2014 abortion data, specially when taken in context with abortion numbers over past 12 years or more.

Trend 1: Overall abortion numbers continue to decline.

In 2014, the number of abortions in Kansas decreased by three percent over the previous year. This continues a trend of decreasing abortion numbers that began in 2001 when the first of five abortion clinics shut down. Since that year, there has been an impressive 41% decrease in abortions in Kansas.

Pro-life efforts in Kansas to document and expose abortion abuses then pass laws to hold abortionist accountable have been tremendously successful.

Trend 2: When abortion clinics close, abortion numbers drop.

When Operation Rescue first began plans to relocate to Wichita, there were seven abortion facilities in Kansas. Today, there are three. Two are located in Overland Park, near the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area and one is in Kansas’ largest city, Wichita, located in the South Central part of the state.

Abortion clinics shut down in 2001, 2005, 2006, 2009, and 2014. In each case, with one exception, abortions decreased significantly the year following an abortion clinic closure. Decreases ranged from 4-12 percent in years immediately following abortion clinic closures.

For example, abortions dropped 4% after Operation Rescue bought and closed Central Women’s Services in Wichita and transformed the building into its national headquarters. When Tiller’s infamous late-term abortion clinic, Women’s Health Care Services, in Wichita shut down in 2009, there was a remarkable 12% drop in abortions in Kansas.

Although abortions did increase the year after Krishna Rajanna’s appallingly filthy Affordable Medicine Clinic abortion facility in Kansas City closed in 2005, there appears to be other factors involved in the increase, including an adverse political climate that aggressively marketed abortions and vilified pro-life efforts. The increase appears to be an outlier in the overall trend.

Today, there are three remaining abortion facilities in Kansas.

Trend 3: Surgical abortion numbers are dropping while medication abortions are on the rise.

Across the nation, surgical abortions have been decreasing while medication abortions have been increasing in usage. In Kansas, that trend holds true. While medications abortions occupy an ever-growing slice of the abortion pie graph, the size of the pie continues to shrink.

In fact, first trimester abortions in Kansas declined 3 percent in 2014 and have dropped 35 percent since 2002.

In 2002, medication abortions accounted for only 8.2 percent of all Kansas abortions while surgical abortions dominated at 79.7 percent.

By 2014, a substantial change had taken place. Statistics show that medication abortions now comprise 44.4 percent of all abortions in Kansas while surgical abortions have dropped to 46.6 percent of the total.

One of the contributing factors in the dramatic increase in Kansas of medication abortions over the past two years that South Wind has been open, has been the fact that the primary abortionist at South Wind Women’s Center, Cheryl Chastine, is a very inexperienced abortionist who has been more comfortable dispensing medication abortions than conducting the surgical procedures. As a result, medication abortions significantly increased 10 percent last year while surgical abortions fell by 15 percent.

It is likely that medication abortions will surpass surgical abortions when the 2015 numbers come out next spring. Free-standing abortion facilities remain by far the primary distribution source of medication abortions in Kansas.

Trend 4: The late-term barbaric Induction Abortion method has disappeared from Kansas, ending abortions 22 weeks and over.

When Operation Rescue first relocated to Kansas in 2002, there were 528 late-term abortions using George Tiller’s Induction Abortion method. This 3-4 day abortion method was used for the very late abortions for which Tiller was so well known.

It involves injecting the baby in the womb with Digoxin, a drug that causes the baby to suffer cardiac arrest. The woman’s cervix is then dilated and softened over the next day or so. Labor is induced and the dead baby is delivered intact. This is still the preferred method of aborting babies in the late-second and third trimesters in states that still allow this barbaric procedure.

With the closure of Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services in 2009 and the passage of a 20-week abortion ban in Kansas, Induction Abortions have been eradicated from Kansas with none having been reported in this state since 2011 when two Induction Abortions were the last to be recorded.

Trend 5: The percentage of Kansas abortions involving Dilation and Evacuation, also known as Dismemberment abortions, has held relatively steady in Kansas over the past 12 years.

This year, Kansas made headlines by passing the first-in-the-nation Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, which criminalized what are known as Dilation and Extraction (D&E) abortions.

D&E abortions are grisly 2-3 day procedures that involve dismembering the pre-born baby with forceps and other instruments in order to remove him or her from the womb.

Statistics show that there has been relatively little change in the percentage of D&E abortions done in Kansas over the past dozen years with the procedure fluctuating only a few tenths of a percent per year. D&E abortions now comprise 8.8 percent of all abortions done in Kansas.

However, in 2014, D&E abortions increased about four percent over 2013 numbers to 637 reported procedures. While the increase is alarming, that number is far from the high number of these barbaric procedures of 933 in 2003.

Thankfully, with this year’s enactment of the ban on dismemberment abortions, we will happily see that number soon drop to zero, barring any legal challenge to the new law.

Trend 6: Abortions on out-of-state women have dramatically decreased.

Kansas has traditionally served as an abortion destination state. In fact, for years the number of abortions done on out-of-state residents has exceeded the number of abortions done on Kansas women.

At one time, women from every state came to Kansas for very late-term abortions that were unavailable elsewhere. More recently, since Missouri has only one remaining abortion facility located in St. Louis, women crossed states lines to avail themselves of three abortion facilities that operated in the Kansas City/Overland Park area.

With the 2014 closing of Aid for Women in Kansas City, fewer women are crossing state lines for abortions. Because of that, for the first time since 1998 (the first year stats are available) abortions in Kansas done on out-of-state women have fallen below the number of abortions done on Kansas residents, which is also in steady decline.

Decreasing the number of women crossing state lines to get abortions is yet another example of the benefits of closing abortion clinics.

Trend 7: When counties are abortion free, women living in those counties receive fewer abortions.

Women who live in counties with no abortion clinics are less likely to get abortions. On the other hand, women who live in counties where facilities are marketing abortions, they are more likely to get them.

This trend shows that, despite the rhetoric from the abortion cartel, women simply do not need abortions. In fact, there has never been even one abortion reported in Kansas done to save a woman’s life. Abortions are medically unnecessary!

Sedgwick County (Wichita) statistics are revealing on this point.

Abortion numbers took a dramatic drop in 2009 when George Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services was open for only five months before closing permanently on June 1. Wichita remained abortion-free until April 2013, when South Wind Women’s Center opened for business in Tiller’s old abortion clinic, which sat vacant for nearly four years.

In 2008, the last full year Tiller’s clinic was open, 1146 Sedgwick County residents obtained abortions. By 2012, that number had fallen to 566 – a stunning 51% decrease in abortions among Sedgwick County residents!

What did women in Sedgwick County do when there was no longer a local clinic marketing abortions to them? A good number of those women simply did not have them.

But if women truly needed abortions, the number of Sedgwick County women seeking the procedure would have remained stable when the last abortion facility closed. Clearly, that was not the case.

This debunks the notion that when abortion clinics close, women will just travel elsewhere to get them.

Since South Wind Women’s Center opened in 2013 and began marketing abortions to women, the number of abortions among Sedgwick County women has risen 32 percent over the past two years for which numbers are available, even while abortions numbers continued to drop in other Kansas Counties.

Marketing creates an artificial “need” for a product that is being sold. When the product is abortion, the results become tragic. Without abortion marketing, most women find that the “need” for abortion simply does not exist.

“In Kansas, we have eliminated abortions after 22 weeks, banned two abortion procedures, closed five abortion clinics, and decreased the total number of abortions by forty-one percent. Our tactics have worked and this data supports that,” said Newman.

To learn more about how to make your community abortion free, please read Abortion Free by Newman and Sullenger, available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and WND.com.

View the full 2014 Abortion Report from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

All Charts by Operation Rescue

Evidence Released: Unlicensed Selma Abortion Business Eager to Make Illegal Abortion Appoints

By Cheryl Sullenger

Selma, AL – Leaders of national and local pro-life groups gathered in historic Selma, Alabama, on February 11, 2015, to call for a full investigation into an abortion facility, Central Alabama Women’s Clinic, that is believed to be operating illegally.

“We are calling on the state of Alabama. We are calling on the medical board to do their job and shut this center down,” Catherine Davis of the Black Pro-Life Coalition told reporters gathered in front of the Central Alabama Women’s Clinic.

During the press conference, Fr. Terry Gensemer, director of the CEC for Life, reported that at one point the receptionist at the abortion clinic shouted at a WorldNetDaily.com reporter, “We don’t do abortions.”

However, taped phone conversations in the possession of Gensemer, Operation Rescue, and Life Legal Defense Foundation say otherwise.

Beyond Legal Limits

In Alabama, the law requires medical facilities that do more than nine abortions per month to be licensed as an abortion facility, but evidence shows the unlicensed Central Alabama Women’s Clinic, operated by Samuel G. Lett, is exceeding that number.

CEC for Life, Life Legal Defense Foundation and Operation Rescue conducted an investigation into tips that abortionist Lett was operating an illegal and unlicensed abortion facility in Selma. The groups recorded multiple telephone conversations with Central Alabama Women’s Clinic workers who were more than willing to schedule appointments for abortions for the callers, who posed as potential abortion customers.

“Our people never had any problem making abortion appointments at Lett’s facility. We were never turned down,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “This abortion business is operating in violation of Alabama law and outside any oversight. That makes this a dangerous place for women. Lett can cut any corners he wants and no one will be the wiser. That makes him dangerous, and we call on the Alabama Department of Health to shut him down immediately.”

The Evidence

The first calls placed on July 14, 2014, left no doubt that abortions were done as a matter of routine at Lett’s clinic. The following exchange was typical of the numerous calls placed by staff of Operation Rescue and CEC for Life.

Clinic Worker: Central Alabama Women’s Clinic.

Caller: Hello, I was wondering, do you do abortions there?

Clinic Worker: Yes, ma’am.

Caller: Um, like, how much do they cost?

Clinic Worker: It’s depending on how far along are you.

Caller: Yeah, well, my last period was in May.

Clinic Worker: Okay, based on – it’s $550.

Subsequent calls reflected similar results, with several urging women to come in for their consultation appointment the next day so the abotion could be done the day after that.

Most recently, a call placed on February 2, 2015, confirmed that abortions were still business as usual at the Central Alabama Women’s Clinic.

Clinic Worker: Central Alabama Women’s Health Clinic. Can I help you?

Caller: Hi, um, I was wondering, when would be the soonest I could get an appointment for an abortion?

Clinic Worker: Um, I am not sure. You would have to come in and do a consultation with the doctor and he can talk to you about that. What day would you like to come in?

Caller: How about tomorrow?

Clinic Worker: Sounds good.

Caller: So what kind of abortions do you do there and how much do they cost? I’m just trying to figure out if I can afford this.

Clinic Worker: Okay, we’re $550.

No Action

“We began in July of last year to give evidence to the Alabama Department of Public Health about what was going on at this clinic,” said Fr. Terry Gensemer, Director of the CEC For Life. “We have asked them on several occasions to move forward with their investigation, and they have really dragged their feet.”

A letter of complaint that included documentation was sent to Brian Hale, Deputy General Counsel of the Alabama Department of Public Health in July 2014, by Life Legal Defense Foundation’s Senior Staff Counsel, Allison Aranda, who is representing CEC for Life and Operation Rescue. In response to follow-up queries, the Alabama Department of Health has responded only that an investigation was “pending.”

Aranda sent a second letter to Mr. Hale on February 3, 2015, expressing disappointment that no action had been taken in the eight months that had elapsed since the issue was first brought to his attention. Aranda also notified Hale of Wednesday’s planned press conference.

In response, Hale told reporters last week, “We are aware of the allegations that Life Legal Defense Foundation and others are [making] and have made in regard to the Central Alabama Women’s Clinic. We have been participating in an investigation of those allegations.”

Letts’ Troubled Background

Samuel Lett has run afoul of the authorities in the past. In 1984, Lett “failed to exercise full and complete care” in surgically treating Deborah Harris. After Harris won a $50,000 malpractice judgment against Lett, her attorney told the Associated Press that “she went through unmitigated hell” after Lett operated on her.

However, instead of taking responsibility for his actions, Lett blamed the loss of Harris’ malpractice suit on “racism.”

In 2003, Lett and his brother, Charles, also denied any wrongdoing despite the fact that they had just lost a lawsuit filed by the State of Alabama, which was left holding the bag after the Lett brothers defaulted on a $2.2 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development loan. The Letts stuck Alabama taxpayers with a whopping $4.4 million bill, which included principle and interest on their defaulted loan over time.

“Lett’s troubled background makes us wonder if financial difficulties drove him into the abortion business where he could make a fast buck by exploiting poor urban women of color,” said Newman. “At $550 a pop, it doesn’t take long for a corners-cutting abortion business to make big money.”

Still Operating

Despite the evidence submitted to the Alabama Department of Health the Central Alabama Women’s Clinic remains open. However, the receptionist is now hesitant to admit that abortions are taking place there, according to a call placed on Friday, February 13, 2015. A partial transcript of that call indicates he may still be in the abortion business:

Caller: I was wondering, when would be the soonest I could get an appointment for an abortion?

Clinic worker: Um, you can make an appointment and talk to the doctor.

Caller: Okay, and he’s doing abortions, right.

Clinic Worker: Uh — I’m not sure.

“It’s clear that even after being exposed publicly as an illegal abortion provider, the Central Alabama Women’s Clinic could still be breaking the law. It is time for the Alabama authorities to take action to protect women from Letts’ unscrupulous and illegal back-alley abortion business,” said Newman.

Take Action!

Please take time to contact the following and demand that the state do its duty to protect the public by shutting down Samuel Lett’s unlicensed and illegal Central Alabama Women’s Clinic abortion facility.

Luther Strange, State Attorney General
Ms. Sandy McLure (Scheduler and Executive Assistant)
PHONE: 334-242-7447
EMAIL: smclure@ago.state.al.us
Office Main Number: 334-242-7300

Brian Hale, Deputy General Counsel, Alabama Department of Public Health
PHONE: 334-206-5209
EMAIL: brian.hale@adph.state.al.us

Kathy Burkett, Investigative Specialist, Alabama Board of Medical Examiners
PHONE: 334-242-4116 (Ask to be transferred to Kathy Burkett)
EMAIL: kburkett@albme.org

NOTE: The following pro-life organizations are supporting this effort:

CEC For Life
Operation Rescue
Life Legal Defense Foundation
National Black Pro-Life Coalition
Pro-Life Action Ministries
The Radiance Foundation
Citizens for a Pro-Life Society
Alveda King
Fr. Frank Pavone
Priests for Life
Secular Pro-Life
Live Action
American Life League
Life Coalition International
Heroic Media
Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust
Life Issues Institute
Pro-Life Action League
This Race Will Self-Destruct
Ben Johnson
Stand True Pro-Life Outreach
Brandi Swindell
Youth Defence (Ireland)
Precious Life (Northern Ireland)
40 Days for Life
Alabama Physicians for Life
Abortion Recovery Alabama
Bound4Life Birmingham
Bama Students for Life

Pro-Life Leaders Call for Criminal Investigation into Cleveland Abortion Death in Light of New Evidence

By Cheryl Sullenger

Cleveland, OH – Operation Rescue has received credible new evidence, apparently leaked from an inside source, that criminal conduct may have been involved in the abortion-related death of Lakisha Wilson at Preterm, a Cleveland, Ohio, abortion facility last year.

Operation Rescue has joined once again with other state and national pro-life leaders in calling for a criminal investigation and closure of the abortion facility.

“The credibility of the evidence is beyond reproach,” said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue. “It was unsolicited evidence provided to me by an unknown source who obviously wants the truth to come out. Once this information came to our attention, it was our duty to report it to the County Prosecutor.”

A letter of complaint was sent to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty on January 16, 2015, by the following pro-life leaders:

• Cheryl Sullenger, Operation Rescue
• Day Gardner, National Black Pro-Life Union
• Denise Leipold, Right to Life of Northeast Ohio
• Molly Smith, Cleveland Right to Life
• Denver Sallee, Lake County Right to Life
• Pastor Walter Moss, National Black Pro-Life Coalition

Copies to the letter were sent to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Attorney General Mike DeWine, and Executive Director of the Ohio Department of Health Richard Hodges.

The groups are calling for an immediate suspension of Preterm’s facility license pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.

The letter focused on two allegations supported by documentation now in the possession of Operation Rescue:

Criminal negligence, related to a small and repeatedly malfunctioning elevator at Preterm, which delayed emergency access and treatment to Ms. Wilson.
Illegal abortion, related to evidence that Ms. Wilson’s pregnancy was well beyond Ohio’s 20 week limit.

Due to the sensitivity of the evidence that supports the complaint, Operation Rescue will only release it to designated law enforcement officials.

Faulty Elevator

Preterm operates five abortion procedure rooms on the third floor of their facility located at 12000 Shaker Boulevard in Cleveland. The only gurney access is through a small elevator that was malfunctioning on March 21, 2014, the day of Lakisha Wilson’s fatal abortion.

The new evidence shows that emergency medical technicians were delayed by the malfunction from reaching Ms. Wilson, who was suffering cardiac and respiratory arrest during a second-trimester abortion procedure.

When EMTs were finally able to access Ms. Wilson, they found her still on the abortion table with her legs in the stirrups. She was not breathing at all and her pupils were fixed and dilated. According to the documentation, Preterm abortionist Lisa Perriera had applied a pediatric oxygen mask to Ms. Wilson, which had to be replace by an adult-sized mask by emergency responders. Ms. Wilson’s IV line had been inadvertently pulled out during the confusion in the cramped surgical room prior to the arrival of ambulance personnel.

While EMTs were able to restart Ms. Wilson’s heart, they were unable to give her other necessary life support measures in a timely manner — including intubation — because in order to do so, they needed to lie her flat on a backboard. However, the inadequate size of the elevator prevented the EMTs from fully reclining the gurney as required.

Instead, Ms. Wilson was transported down the elevator in an upright, seated position. She was then rushed to an awaiting ambulance where she was finally intubated and her IV line restarted before being rushed off to University Hospital Case Medical Center, where she was later pronounced dead.

“There can be no doubt that the size and unreliability of Preterm’s elevator was responsible for delaying emergency care to Lakisha Wilson when every moment meant the difference between life and death,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

This was not the first time that Preterm’s elevator played a role in hampering emergency medical care for an abortion patient suffering from life-threatening complications.

Operation Rescue obtained 911 records that indicated on March 31, 2012, an ambulance was called for a 32-year old patient weighing approximately 300 pounds who was hemorrhaging after an abortion due to uterine atony, a condition in which the uterus fails to contract enough to seal off blood vessels after an abortion. The woman’s estimated blood loss was 600 cc’s, or in American measures, over 20 ounces.

However, the facility’s elevator was broken and the Preterm caller had to request additional responders to help carry the woman down from third floor in order to extricate her from the building so she could get the emergency help she needed.

“Women’s lives literally depend on Preterm’s faulty elevator that is just too small to ensure that proper care can be given during life-threatening medical emergencies. It is negligent for Preterm to conduct abortions under these dangerous conditions,” said Newman. “We also have to question why the Ohio Department of Health continues to allow Preterm to do abortions, knowing that the elevator is undependable and inadequate to allow proper access during the frequent medical emergencies that arise there. It seems irresponsible at best and possibly negligent on their part.”

Illegal Late-term Abortion

The second concern expressed by the pro-life leader’s letter of complaint relates to the possibility that Ms. Wilson’s pregnancy, said by Preterm to be 19.4 weeks at the time of the abortion, was actually closer to 23 weeks – three weeks beyond the legal limit in Ohio. Despite the evidence that Ms. Wilson’s pregnancy was so far advanced, Preterm abortionists conducted no viability testing as required by law.

“We are aware that a person conducting an ultrasound can manipulate the transducer to make the baby appear to be younger or older, depending on the desired outcome. We have reason to believe that there was manipulation of the ultrasound results to make it wrongly appear that Ms. Wilson’s abortion was legal,” said Newman.

Such manipulation of ultrasound results was testified to in court by one of Kermit Gosnell’s co-defendants, Steven Massof, during Gosnell’s illegal abortion and murder trial in 2013, which as attended and reported on by Operation Rescue. Massof told the court under oath that falsification of fetal ages via ultrasound manipulation was routinely done at Gosnell’s abortion clinic. Gosnell was convicted of killing babies born alive during illegal late-term abortions at what has become known as his Philadelphia “House of Horrors” and is serving life in prison.

In addition, Operation Rescue conducted an undercover investigation in January, 2009, at George Tiller’s now-closed late-term abortion facility in Wichita, Kansas, that documented ultrasonic manipulation by a Tiller employee, which rendered a false fetal age on a pregnant Operation Rescue undercover volunteer. Operation Rescue had the actual age of the volunteer’s pregnancy confirmed by two independent ultrasound exams done by reputable providers.

Evidence Ignored

The evidence points to the fact that the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Medical Board are aware of the dangerous conditions at Preterm and of the fetal age discrepancies, but chose to ignore them.

Investigations conducted by both agencies at the behest of the pro-life groups went nowhere. The cases related to Lakisha Wilson’s death were quietly closed without action, leaving women vulnerable to possible illegal late-term abortions, and at grave risk due to a dangerously small and frequently malfunctioning elevator at Preterm.

Other calls for a criminal investigation have been ignored by the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office. A previous letter of complaint related to the Wilson death was submitted to Prosecutor McGinty by Denise Leipold, Executive Director of Right to Life of Northeast Ohio, in July of last year. Leipold never received an acknowledgement or response to her complaint.

Groups involved in the current attempt to gain a criminal investigation and prosecution hope this time, things will be different due to the supporting evidence that was sent to Sullenger.

“Based on the evidence now in our possession, it seems unconscionable that the Ohio Department of Health and Medical Board have allowed Preterm to continue to operate knowing that the lives of women and late-term pre-born babies that should be protected by law are being endangered every day at that abortion facility,” said Newman. “It’s just plain wrong, and now that we know the truth, we are attempting to rectify this intolerable situation and bring those responsible for these violations to justice.”


Wilson’s Autopsy Report
Press Conference from April 2, 2014
Pattern of Botched Abortions at Preterm
Cleveland’s University Hospital Enables Abortions
Buffett Foundation Tied to Preterm