Underground Abortions: Beware of Alarming New Trend!


An Operation Rescue Special Report
By Cheryl Sullenger

Las Vegas, NV — He’s known as the “YouTube Abortionist.” A 53-year old career criminal from Las Vegas, Nevada, has been indicted by a grand jury for illegal abortions and sex crimes that should keep him behind bars — where he belongs — for a very long time.

Rick Van Thiel was arrested and jailed in September, 2015, for conducting abortions and other quack medical treatments out of a grimy trailer in his junk-cluttered back yard. He was never formally educated, trained, or licensed in the field of medicine. His background was instead that of a pornographic movie star/maker and inventor of sex toys.

So how did Van Thiel get into the abortion business? He told a news reporter that he learned to do abortions watching videos on YouTube.com.

A Clark County grand jury issued 30 felony indictments against Van Thiel in June 2016, including:

• 19 counts of engaging as a medical physician without a license.
• 6 counts of sexual assault resulting in substantial bodily harm.
• 2 counts of sexual assault.
• 2 counts performance of a health care procedure resulting in substantial bodily harm.
• 1 count child abuse, neglect, or endangerment.

In addition, Van Thiel, already a five-time convicted felon who has been barred from gun ownership, faces three federal firearms charges and has been transferred into federal detention. Serving as his own attorney, he has flooded the court with a flurry of motions that are currently delaying his trial. Thankfully, Van Thiel remains in custody.


Van Thiel was an opportunist. Like many charlatans before him, he saw that offering cut-rate abortions and quack “holistic” cures to hookers and other vulnerable women was a viable means to quick cash. He lured customers through several seedy “adult” websites and by word of mouth.

Given the evidence against him and his public jailhouse confession, it is almost assured that Van Thiel will be convicted in both state and federal court and will remain incarcerated for many years to come.

But, however bizarre as it may be, Van Thiel’s criminal abortion enterprise is not an aberration. In fact, it might be the harbinger of a disturbing new trend.

Within weeks of Van Thiel’s apprehension last fall, two others were arrested for conducting illegal underground abortions. Yet these men are not amateurs. Michael Arthur Roth and James Scott Pendergraft IV are known abortionists that worked for or own licensed abortion facilities in two states.

“The Trunk Abortionist”


Michigan’s Michael Roth, known as the “Trunk Abortionist” was arrested after the police made the gruesome discovery while investigating a traffic accident involving Roth. In the trunk of his car there were aborted baby remains along with abortion equipment and drugs. He had been secretly carrying out hazardous abortions at the homes of his customers. Roth and an accomplice had stolen the instruments and drugs from an abortion facility owned by Angel Ojeda, who had employed Roth.

State Attorney General Bill Schuette criminally charged Roth on June 23, 2016, on ten counts, including:

• 6 counts of identity theft.
• 3 counts larceny.
• 1 count illegal possession of drugs.

The Attorney General’s office is also attempting to permanently strip Roth of his medical license.

While not a “career criminal” in the same vein as Van Thiel, that status could well be applied to Roth. He has a history of discipline and other legal troubles, including 2005 accusations made by his wife in a protection order application that she lived locked in the basement of her home in constant fear of assault by Roth.

In 2003, Roth was charged by the state Board of Medicine for conducting home abortions. He was fined, placed on probation, and ordered to cease and desist from conducting abortions outside a licensed facility.

That weak attempt at discipline was obviously inadequate to persuade Roth to amend his ways.

“The Rolling Abortionist”


Last October, the “Rolling Abortionist,” James Scott Pendergraft, IV, was arrested with a female accomplice during a traffic stop in South Carolina. Sheriff’s Deputies discovered abortion instruments caked with blood and bits of tissue from illegal abortions he was conducting up and down the U.S. Interstate Highway system. They also found drugs used to sedate abortion patients and marijuana.

Pendergraft is a well-known Florida abortionist who operates four abortion facilities in Central Florida, but he was never licensed to practice in South Carolina. He is also serving his fifth medical license suspension, and was recently hit with a crushing $37 million malpractice judgment. His financial difficulties coupled with his inability to personally conduct abortions may have sparked his incredibly bad idea to take his abortion business out of state and underground.


Pendergraft was indicted on May 6, 2016, by a Spartanburg County grand jury on ten counts of drug-related charges.

As with Van Thiel and Roth, Pendergraft’s criminal case is pending, but unlike Van Thiel, Roth and Pendergraft both remain free on bond until their cases can be resolved.

But his South Carolina arrest certainly was not the first time Pendergraft had been caught exceeding the bounds of the law. Operation Rescue reported him and his Maryland associate, Harold O. Alexander, for conducting an illicit multi-state late-term abortion scheme out of Alexander’s unlicensed abortion facility in Forestville, Maryland. (Read more about that.) Unfortunately, Pendergraft suffered no real consequences, except for the loss of income that resulted from the forced break-up of his crime ring. Alexander only received a three-month license suspension, but was ordered not to conduct surgical abortions at an unlicensed facility.

Once again, while Pendergraft spent decades immersed in legal troubles, inadequate discipline failed to reform him.

Stil at large

These illegal – and frighteningly dangerous – abortion enterprises seem to be cropping up with alarming frequency. What is known so far of these shadowy underground abortion schemes may just be the tip of the iceberg.

Operation Rescue has disturbing information concerning four additional suspected illicit abortion operations that should be ringing alarm bells across the nation. While information about these horrific schemes have been reported to the authorities, these perpetrators are still at large.

Among the more disturbing of those is a recent credible report made to Operation Rescue of a man conducting illegal home abortions across several states. He is said to target the poorest urban women of color through a word-of-mouth network. Shockingly, there are reports he offers discounts on his illicit services in exchange for sexual favors.

A second troubling secret abortion scheme reported to Operation Rescue in recent weeks involves the apparent unlicensed practice of abortion by an untrained individual somewhere in the eastern half of the U.S.

Further hair-raising details of these suspected crimes must be withheld for now to ensure investigations are not compromised.

HaroldOAlexander-captionedAnother documented illegal abortionist is Pendergraft’s former partner, Harold O. Alexander, who was reported to the Maryland Board of Physicians earlier this year for conducting prohibited late-term surgical abortions at an unlicensed facility late at night to avoid detection, but so far the only action taken by the Board was to place Operation Rescue’s complaint in his hefty disciplinary file. Alexander continues to conduct abortions with the full knowledge of the authorities. Read more about the evidence.

The last suspected illegal abortionist is the notorious Steven Chase Brigham. Beginning last year, Operation Rescue received reports that he may be slipping into some of his American Women’s Services abortion facilities to conduct abortions even though he is not licensed in any state. However, Operation Rescue has so far been unable to independently verify those reports. Those who engage in pro-life outreach at any Brigham facility should be on the alert.

Cause and effect

While abortion supporters may try to blame the rise of predators like Van Thiel and others on pro-life regulations that have resulted in a record number of abortion facilities closures, that argument falls flat. In truth, there are easily accessible abortion facilities in all the areas where illegal abortionists have been reported.

Operation Rescue President Troy Newman explains that this trend stems from the very immoral nature of abortion itself.

“Abortion is an immoral business that attracts unethical practitioners and criminals – the very worst of the worst – to its ranks,” said Newman. “Traditional discipline and efforts at rehabilitation have been completely ineffective. Now we are seeing that these devious abortionists are moving their negligent abortion activities underground. This is all about criminals making quick, untraceable money through the criminal exploitation of vulnerable women and babies. This has nothing to do with a lack of abortion access.”

Newman explained that a strong deterrent is necessary to halt this incredibly dangerous trend before it further propagates.

“Criminals like Van Thiel are aggressively prosecuted while the likes of Roth and Pendergraft have been treated with kid gloves. Prosecutors need to get tough with all these predators. With more abortionists facing discipline and their abortion facilities being closed by state agencies, an example must be made to deter others,” said Newman. “They cannot be treated with any kind of leniency because these are the kind of people that will just exploit that.”

Raising the alarm

Criminal abortion enterprises usually involve unscrupulous and perhaps financially desperate individuals that view illicit, back-alley style abortions as an opportunity for under-the-table financial gain when all avenues of legitimate employment have dried up. By undercutting the competition’s price, they prey on the poor and vulnerable. For the underground abortionists, the welfare of the women they exploit is the least of their concerns.

Operation Rescue emphasizes the extreme dangers that illegal underground abortionists pose to women and babies, and the necessity of ensuring such predators caught quickly and removed from the streets.

“We are raising the alarm, and asking those involved in outreach to pregnant women, particularly in poor areas, to be vigilant of this underground abortion trend and report anything suspicious,” said Newman.

Anyone that has knowledge of a suspected illegal traveling/home abortion scheme is urged to contact Operation Rescue’s office at 316-683-6790, or make a report to the local police.

Archive of Documented Abortion Patient Death Reports by Operation Rescue

in memory archive banner med

This is a permanent historic archive of reports produced by Operation Rescue related to documented cases of abortion-related maternal deaths. In many cases, Operation Rescue was the primary source that uncovered the abortion patient death, researched and reported on it, and filed complaints against those abortionists and facilities responsible.

The actual number of maternal deaths from abortion are unknown, due to inadequate reporting and the fact that the Abortion Cartel goes to great lengths to cover them up so they can pretend to the public that their grisly business is “safe and legal.” We know better.

The Abortion Cartel wants us to forget these women ever existed, or that their deaths are acceptable losses. We reject both those notions. May we never forget the toll in human tragedy abortion inflicts on women, their babies, and society in general, and may that memory urge us on in our work to protect human lives until abortion has ended for good.

The incidents and links are listed from newest to oldest, with the most informative overall articles highlighted in bold print.

cree erwin 2016

Cree Erwin – 2016

Pro-Life Leaders Confirm that Planned Parenthood Kalamazoo Was Involved in Patient Death 08/31/2016

Chilling 911 Call: Mom Finds Daughter “Cold as Ice” After Abortion 08/10/2016

Abortion Patient Death: Emergency Radio Traffic Spotlights Events on Fatal Night 07/12/2016

Woman Identified Who Was Found Dead after Abortion 07/08/2016

BREAKING! Police Investigate Death of a Michigan Woman Days after an Abortion 07/07/2016

lakisha wilson 2014

Lakisha Wilson – 2014

How Harvesting Organs from a Dying Abortion Patient Thwarted Justice 04/13/2016

Pro-Life Groups to Gov. Kasich: Patient Death & 10 Injuries Make Ohio Abortion Facility Too Dangerous to Operate 03/09/2016

Fire Marshall Ignores Danger of Broken Elevator at Abortion Clinic Where Patient Died 06/23/2015

911 Recordings Reveal New Details of Two More Abortion Complications at Preterm Where Lakisha Wilson Died 05/29/2015

Alive or Dead? Abortionist that Killed Lakisha Wilson Sends Woman “Wrapped Like a Mummy” to the Emergency Room 04/27/2015

Abortionist that Killed Patient in Cleveland Given Award and Promotion 04/13/2015

NPR Ignores Facts about Ohio Abortion Patient Death While Siding with Those that Killed Her 03/05/2015

Pro-Life Leaders Call for Criminal Investigation into Cleveland Abortion Death in Light of New Evidence 01/21/2015

Abortion’s Dreadful Toll Thwarts Dr. King’s Dream 01/19/2015

Joan Rivers Cause of Death Same as Dead Abortion Patient 10/17/2014

Ohio Board Lets Abortionists Get Away With Death of Poor, Healthy Black Woman 09/25/2014

Pro-Life Groups Expose Cleveland’s University Hospital for Enabling Abortionists that Killed Lakisha Wilson 09/08/2014

District Attorney Disinclined to Investigate Ohio Abortion Patient Death 07/25/2014

Autopsy Report Reveals Abortion Patient’s Hemorrhage Not Detected in Time 07/01/2014

Medical Examiner Confirms that Ohio Woman Died from Abortion Complications 05/30/2014

Cleveland Abortion Death: What the Medical Examiner’s Statement Means – And What It Doesn’t 06/05/2014

Buffett Foundation Tied to Cleveland Abortion Clinic Where Woman Died 04/16/2014

Funeral Services Set for Woman who Died at Cleveland Abortion Facility 04/04/2014

ODH Inspectors at Preterm While Pro-Life Leaders Held Press Conference Concerning Abortion Death 04/03/2014

Cleveland Abortion Patient’s Death and Identity Confirmed 04/01/2014

ABORTION DEATH: 911 Records Show Cleveland Abortion Patient “Not Breathing At All” 03/26/2014

jennifer morbelli 2013

Jennifer Morbelli – 2013

Carhart’s Maryland Late-Term Abortion Business Caught Operating without a Lab Permit 05/31/2016

Abortion Access or Safety? You Can’t Have Both 03/07/2016

Carhart Hospitalizes Sixth Abortion Patient in Germantown, Maryland 01/22/2016

Six Abortion Businesses that Prove “Roe” Didn’t Make Abortion Safe 01/20/2016

Suit to Block Abortion-Related Public Records Requests Heard by Maryland Supreme Court 01/11/2016

“After Tiller” Would Be Better Named “Sympathy for the Devil” 09/02/2014

Late-term Abortionist Carhart Faces Licensure Investigation in Nebraska 08/20/2014

Carhart Worker to 911: “We had an issue with the procedure” 05/13/2014

Ambulance Rushes Seventh Carhart Abortion Patient in Two Years to Hospital 04/28/2014

Abortion Nurse’s Hearing Delayed After New Complaints Against Carhart Filed in 3 States 03/19/2014

Another Carhart Botched Abortion Sends Patient to Emergency Room 03/05/2014

911 Redactions Fail to Hide Hemorrhage as Complication to Carhart Late-term Abortion 02/19/2014

Abortionist Involved in Patient Death Receives Inadequate Discipline to Protect the Public 01/09/2014

Carhart Botches Third Late-term Abortion This Year, Patient Receives Emergency Surgery 11/27/2013

Eye Witness Says Carhart Hospitalized 4th Woman in 10 Months, 2nd in 4 Days 12/12/2013

He Will Kill Again: Maryland Board Fails to Discipline Carhart for Patient Death 10/16/2013

911 Recording: Bleeding Threat Minimized by Carhart Abortion Clinic Worker 07/22/2013

Ambulance Transports Another Carhart Abortion Patient to Emergency Room 07/10/2013

Morbelli Autopsy Report Does Not Address Carhart’s Abandonment of Abortion Patient 05/30/2013

Despite MD Health Department Statements, Carhart Is Not Cleared in Abortion Death 05/28/2013

BREAKING: Medical Examiner Says Abortion Complications Caused Morbelli Death 02/20/2013

Documents, Grand Juror, Prove Carhart Deception About Patient Deaths 05/09/2013

Thousands of Citizen Complaints Lodged Against Carhart for Third-Trimester Abortion Death 04/25/2013

Maryland Board Snubs 5,000 Letters Supporting Carhart Abortion Death Investigation 03/19/2013

Death Certificate Confirms Abortion, Not Fetal Anomaly, Responsible for Woman’s Death 03/13/2013

Carhart Under Preliminary Investigation by Medical Board in Late-term Abortion Death, Letter Confirms 03/11/2013

Inspections Uncover Another Patient Death, Suspend Three Maryland Abortion Clinic Licenses 03/09/2013

Abortion Death Prompts House Delegates’ Letter Asking Why Carhart’s Clinic is Still Open 03/06/2013

Operation Rescue Asks for 2nd Degree Murder Charges against Carhart in Patient Death 02/27/2013

Carhart Will Kill Again Unless You Take Action Now! 02/26/2013

Despite Licensing, Carhart’s Late-term Abortion Clinic Not Inspected Prior to Patient Death 02/22/2013

Operation Rescue Files Formal Complaint Against Carhart with MD Medical Board in Patient Death 02/21/2013

Video: Candlelight Vigil Remembers Mom, Baby that Died From Carhart Abortion 02/18/2013

Candlelight Vigil Sunday Will Memorialize Mom and Baby Who Died From Abortion 02/15/2013

Sebelius Linked to Late-term Abortionist Involved in Patient Death 02/14/2013

Maryland Attorney General’s Office: Carhart Under “Serious Criminal Investigation” in Wake of Abortion Death 02/12/2013

Carhart’s Deceased Late-Term Abortion Patient Identified 02/10/2013

Carhart Patient Dead From Horrific 33-Week Abortion Injuries 02/08/2013

Late-Term Abortion

Maria Santiago 2013

Maria Santiago – 2013

Federal Suit Against Disgraced Abortionist Reveals Dangers of Corners-Cutting Methotrexate Abortions 03/18/2016

Six Abortion Businesses that Prove “Roe” Didn’t Make Abortion Safe 01/20/2016

Suit to Block Abortion-Related Public Records Requests Heard by Maryland Supreme Court 01/11/2016

Brigham Quietly Reopens Maryland Abortion Clinic Where Patient Died 11/13/2015

Brigham’s Delaware Abortion Business Halts Surgical Abortions Under Threat of Closure 09/16/2015

Abortion Emergency Filmed at Dangerous Brigham-Owned Pensacola, FL Abortion Clinic 02/23/2015

Suspension Lifted for MD Abortionist Involved in Patient Death 09/04/2013

Abortionist Involved in Patient Death Receives Inadequate Discipline to Protect the Public 01/09/2014

Brigham Illegally Opens Abortion Mill in Philadelphia in Defiance State Order 11/08/2013

Abortion Patient Death Prompts Third License Suspension 06/05/2013

Patient Death Results in Emergency License Suspensions of Two Brigham-Affiliated Abortionists 06/03/2013

Maryland Abortionist that Killed Patient Identified 05/29/2013

Inspections Uncover Another Patient Death, Suspend Three Maryland Abortion Clinic Licenses 03/09/2013

tonya reaves 2012

Tonya Reaves – 2012

Six Abortion Businesses that Prove “Roe” Didn’t Make Abortion Safe 01/20/2016

Dead Abortion Patient Still Waits for Justice Three Years Later 07/10/2015

Abortion’s Dreadful Toll Thwarts Dr. King’s Dream 01/19/2015

Planned Parenthood Abortionist Deceptively Omitted Patient Death on Indiana License Application 11/17/2014

Abortionist that Killed Tonya Reaves During Botched Abortion Has Closed Her Chicago Abortion Business 11/03/2014

Planned Parenthood Abortionist Evaded, Blame-Shifted in Death of Tonya Reaves, Deposition Shows 05/01/2014

Unanswered Questions: Planned Parenthood to Shell Out $2 Million In Botched Abortion Death of Black Mother 02/10/2014

One Year After Her Death, There’s Only Injustice for Tonya Reaves 07/18/2013

Second Suit Filed Against Planned Parenthood in Tonya Reaves Death 01/07/2013

Can Women Trust Planned Parenthood With Their Healthcare? 12/11/2012

Medical Examiner Withheld Pages of Reaves Autopsy Report Mentioning Planned Parenthood 09/12/2012

Autopsy Report Reveals Planned Parenthood’s Negligence Was Responsible for Tonya Reaves’ Death 09/11/2012

New Revelations in Reaves Death as Abortionist Pays Up in Medicaid Fraud Case 09/07/2012

Mom Sues Planned Parenthood for the Botched Abortion Death of Tonya Reaves 08/28/2012

Planned Parenthood Ignored Instructions to Call 911 In Tonya Reaves Abortion Death 08/07/2012

Pro-Life Groups Call for Murder Investigation in Planned Parenthood Abortion Death 08/01/2012

Documents Reveal Tonya Reaves Suffered Incomplete Abortion, Perforated Uterus, and Fatal Delay in Emergency Care Access at Hands of Planned Parenthood 07/26/2012

Obama Disrespects Dead Abortion Victim With Insensitive Comments Supporting Planned Parenthood 07/25/2012

Mr. Obama, does Tonya Reaves look enough like your daughters to investigate Planned Parenthood? 07/24/2012

Woman Dead After Second-Trimester Abortion at Chicago Planned Parenthood 07/22/2012

Alexandra Nunez 2010

Alexandra Nunez – 2010

Sandra Fluke, Women are Already Dying of Botched Abortions in Emergency Rooms While Obama Looks the Other Way 09/06/2012

Grisly Abortion Death Leads to Revocation of NY Abortionist Robert Hosty’s Medical License 05/24/2012

Abortionist Epstein Denies Involvement In Abortion Death 03/01/2010

Abortionist Epstein Under Investigation for Abortion Death 02/23/2010

‘Nothing Happened Here’ – Except Fatally Botched Abortion 01/27/2010

Ying Chen 2009

Ying Chen – 2009

Michigan Abortionist Loses Job after Pro-Life Activist Tips News Station 02/20/2014

New Abortionist with Old Problems Takes Over California “Shop of Horrors” 03/10/2011

Pro-life Groups Ask For Federal Inspections, Congressional Hearings In Wake of Gosnell, Brigham Abortion Scandals 01/27/2011

California Abortionist Rutland, Who Killed Woman, Will Surrender His License 01/26/2011

Justice is Coming – Or Is It? Abortion Cases To Watch In 2011 01/06/2011

Abortionists Face More Legal Woes In Three States 08/26/2010

California Abortionist Accused of Homicide In Patient Death 07/30/2010

The Shadow Practice: Investigative Report Shows Abortionists Preying On Immigrants 04/06/2010

Abortionist Rutland Caught Doing Abortions In Violation of Suspension 02/18/2010

Rutland Banned From Abortions But Retains License For Now 01/08/2010

Abortionist Faces Revocation In Wake Of Abortion Death 01/07/2010

karnamaya mongar 2009

Karnamaya Mongar – 2009

View Operation Rescue’s full archive of reports related to Kermit Gosnell and his murder trial.

Special Report: Why Virginia’s Appallingly Substandard Abortion Facilities Must Not Be Excepted from the Law 09/16/2014

Gosnell Post Script: How They Were Sentenced 07/16/2014

Gosnell Accomplice Steven Massof Sentenced in Abortion “House of Horrors” Case 02/13/2014

House Passes Protection for Late-term Babies in Wake of Abortion Abuse Revelations 06/19/2013

First of Gosnell Employees Sentenced to Probation for Perjury 05/28/2013

Gosnell Case Moves to Penalty Phase 05/14/2013

Video: Evidence from Gosnell “House of Horrors” Trial 05/14/2013

GUILTY! Gosnell Found Guilty of 3 Counts of First Degree Murder 05/13/2013

BREAKING: Gosnell Jury Hung on 2 Counts; Ordered to Try Again 05/13/2014

Breaking: Defense Attorney in Gosnell Case Angry About Fox News Special, Judge Quizzes Jurors 05/06/2013

Jury Deliberations Begin in “House of Horrors” Murder Case 04/30/2013

Impassioned Closing Arguments Stir Emotions in Gosnell Trial 04/29/2013

Gosnell Defense Rests Without A Witness as Judge Clarifies Murder Charge Dismissal 04/24/2013

Shocker: Gosnell Judge Dismissed 3 Murder Charges, Five Remain 04/23/2013

Prosecution: Files Show Evidence of Illegal Late-Term Abortions by Gosnell 04/17/2013

Family of Dead Abortion Patient Give Tearful Testimony at Gosnell Murder Trial 04/16/2013

Carnage: Grisly Testimony and Photos of Aborted Baby Remains Dominate Gosnell Trial 04/15/2013

Mental Illness Plagued Gosnell Employees Who ‘Snipped’ Baby’s Necks 04/10/2013

Gosnell Witness Recants Guilty Plea, Still Testifies of Abortion Horrors 04/09/2013

Powerful Testimony of Horrific Abortion Abuses Ends Prosecution Case in Gosnell Murder Trial 04/08/2013

Exception or Rule? Gosnell’s “House of Horrors” Not So Rare 04/08/2013

Gosnell Employee: ‘It would rain fetuses. Fetuses and blood all over the place’ 04/05/2013

Gosnell Sister-in-Law Emotionally Testifies of Mongar Death, Disposal of Bloody Remains 04/03/2013

Homicide Determination in Abortion Death Sparks Outburst, Anger at Gosnell Murder Trial 03/29/2013

Fight Breaks Out At Gosnell Abortion Murder Trial 03/27/2013

State Inspector’s Horrific Discoveries at Gosnell’s Abortion Clinic Described In Court 03/26/2013

39 Years After Roe V. Wade, No Gurney Access Endangers Two Injured Abortion Patients in Alabama 01/22/2012

Gosnell’s Wife Admits to Grisly, Illegal Late-term Abortions 12/14/2011

Two of Gosnell’s Abortion Workers Plead Guilty to Murder 10/27/2011

Paying the Piper: Abortionists Face the Music at Upcoming Hearings 08/26/2011

Shocking Photos Of Gosnell Murder Victims Included in Grand Jury Report 01/19/2011

BREAKING NEWS! Philly Abortionist, 9 Others Jailed on 8 Counts of Murder in Overnight Raid 01/19/2011

Anapol Schwartz Attorneys File Wrongful Death Suit Against University City Doctor Kermit Gosnell 01/19/2011

PA Abortionist Deceives In TV Interview 03/01/2010

“He Left An Arm And A Leg Inside Me”- PA Abortion Horror Highlights Need For Greater Oversight 02/26/2010

Shop of Horrors: Abortion Death Prompts Raid, Grisly Discovery 02/23/2010

laura hope smith 2007

Laura Hope Smith – 2007

Sandra Fluke, Women are Already Dying of Botched Abortions in Emergency Rooms While Obama Looks the Other Way 09/06/2012

Former Abortion Worker to Receive First Abortion Whistleblower Reward of $25,000 01/20/2011

Blowing the Whistle: How one abortion worker allowed the truth to set her free–and put an abortionist behind bars 01/20/2011

Crusading Mom Eileen Smith Named Operation Rescue’s 2010 Person of the Year 12/29/2010

Abortionist Released From Jail Against Recommendations In Abortion Manslaughter Case 12/08/2010

News Video From Court: Osathanondh’s Conviction in the Death Of Laura Hope Smith 09/15/2010

Massachusetts Abortionist Sentenced to Jail for Abortion Death 09/14/2010

Breaking! Massachusetts Abortionist Pleads Guilty To Manslaughter In Death Of Laura Smith 09/13/2010

Trial Delayed In Massachusetts Abortion Manslaughter Case 09/08/2010

Abortionists Face More Legal Woes In Three States 08/26/2010

Abortion Promoters Whine Over Cape Cod Being Abortion Free 11/10/2009

Illegal Back-Alley Abortionist Opens Risky Late-term Abortion Mill 11/10/2009

Court Delays Manslaughter Case As 2nd Anniversary of Abortion Death Nears 09/11/2009

Abortionist Killed: National News — Abortionist Kills Woman: Ignored 06/16/2009

Abortion Death Helps Friend To Save Her Baby 04/22/2009

Osathanondh Arraigned In Abortion Death, Surrenders Passport 07/25/2008

Mass. Grand Jury Issues Indictment Against Abortionist In Patient’s Death 07/16/2008

Abortionists In Civil Court For Abortion Death, Criminal Indictments Pursued 03/24/2008

Mass. Abortionist Relinquishes License In Wake Of Abortion Death Investigation 02/21/2008

911 Call Reveals Cold-Hearted Attitude Toward MA Woman’s Abortion Death 12/06/2007

Abortionist Ordered To Turn Over Medical Records In Abortion Death 10/24/2007

Massachusetts Abortion Death Case Slowly Progressing 10/21/2007

Massachusetts Abortion Victim’s Mom Comes Forward 09/28/2007

Abortion Death Reported In Massachusetts 09/27/2007

christin gilbert 2005

Christin Gilbert – 2005

In Memory of Christin Gilbert, 1985-2005 Full summary of her story.

He Will Kill Again: Maryland Board Fails to Discipline Carhart for Patient Death 10/16/2013

Documents, Grand Juror, Prove Carhart Deception About Patient Deaths 05/09/2013

Sebelius Linked to Late-term Abortionist Involved in Patient Death 02/14/2013

Late-Term Abortion

Time to Right a Wrong in Kansas 04/11/2011

Tiller May Be Gone, But His Web Of Abortion Corruption Remains 04/23/2010

Sebelius Out Of Touch If She Thinks Americans Happy About Abortion Funding 03/23/2010

Oxymoron: Abortionist Appreciation Day 03/10/2010

George Tiller Was No Hero – And Neither Was Scott Roeder 02/02/2010

NARAL’s “Hall of Fame” Reveals Their Shame 12/30/2009

Sign the Petition: Stop Wesley Medical Center From Helping Carhart Open An International Late-Term Abortion Clinic 08/10/2009

Operation Rescue Announces “Keep It Closed” Campaign 08/03/2009

Pro-life Groups Ask for Comprehensive Investigation of Late-term Abortionist Carhart 07/07/2009

Pro-lifers Lay Hundreds of Flowers At Closed Late-term Abortion Mill 06/20/2009

Carhart to Continue Late-Term Abortions in Nebraska 06/15/2009

Sebelius Unfit For HHS Post – Facts About Her Connections To The Abortion Cartel 04/2009

Not Adding Up: Gov. Sebelius’ Ever-Changing Story About Her Dinner With Abortionist George Tiller And His Abortion Clinic Staff Leaves Ethical Questions 04/11/2009

Tiller Cases Simplified! Time Line Of Events In Efforts To Bring Tiller To Justice 03/27/2009

Operation Rescue Launches Opposition To Gov. Sebelius’ Confirmation As HHS Secretary 03/02/2009

Sebelius’ Role In KS Abortion Scandal Makes Her Unfit For HHS Post 02/09/2009

KS Board of Healing Arts Asked to Reopen Inquiry Into Abortion Death 02/05/2009

Cast of Characters In the Tiller Criminal Case 01/06/2009
Ambulance Transports Yet Another Tiller Abortion Patient To Hospital 10/29/2008

“They’re Liable To Kill Me,” Patient Feared During Botched Abortion That Hospitalized Her 09/29/2008

Patient Feared for Her Life During Botched Abortion 09/29/2008

DA Foulston Insisted To Grand Jury That Abortion Law Is Not Enforceable 07/07/2008

Waiting for Justice: Will the Grand Jury Indict “Tiller the Killer” or Will Injustice Continue To Prevail? 07/02/2008

KS Supreme Court Grills Attorneys During Oral Arguments Tiller Abortion Records Case 04/09/2008

Second Medical Board Official Resigns Amid Scandals Over Cover-ups and Ineptitude 04/03/2008

Second Head Rolls In Kansas Corruption Scandal As Director Of Medical Board Resigns 04/02/2008

Abortionist Tiller Fails To Block Grand Jury Subpoenas 01/25/2008

Tiller’s Bold-Faced Lie Insults Community, Victims 01/23/2008

Newman To Testify Before Grand Jury Investigating Late-Term Abortionist Tiller 01/16/2008

Court Disregards Petition Conditions, Allows Distrusted Prosecutor To Direct Tiller Grand Jury 01/08/2008

Abortionist Tiller Loses Second Attempt To Dismiss Grand Jury 10/01/2007

Grand Jury Petitions Demand Another Tiller Investigation 09/06/2007

Kansas Senator Asks For More Charges Against Abortionist Tiller 08/17/2007

911 Caller In Abortion Death Quits Tiller 08/15/2007

Tiller’s Abortion Clinic Will Remain Closed A Third Straight Week 08/08/2007

Tiller Associate Cut Immunity Deal In Illegal Abortion Case 06/30/2007

What’s Wrong With Kansas 03/12/2007

Abortionists Tiller, Neuhaus Again Under Investigation By KSBHA 03/06/2007

12 Deaths Expose Deception Of NAF Standards 02/23/2007

Abortionist Who Killed Christin Gilbert Attacks Man With Car 02/11/2007

Abortionist Neuhaus Will Testify Against Tiller If Case Is Reinstated 12/27/2006

“I Left My Dead Baby In The Toilet” – Former Tiller Patient Tells Of Abortion Horror On O’Reilly Factor 12/13/2006

Abortionist’s Lawyer “Dead Wrong” On Medical Records 11/02/2006

Legislative Audit Diagnoses KSBHA in Critical Condition 10/19/2006

Abortion Clinic Investigations Are A Matter Of Life Or Death 09/25/2006

Abortion Ignored by KS Gov. Candidates, But Not Voters 09/01/2006

Kansas PAC Reveals Gov. Sebelius Rewarded Large Contributors With KSBHA Appointments 08/18/2006

Grand Jury Leaves Unanswered Questions in Abortion Death 08/17/2006

“Gut Feeling” From Grand Jury Source: “There Is A Major Cover-up” 08/15/2006

Grand Jury Source: Abortionists Tiller and Carhart Dodged Grand Jury 08/14/2006

Tiller Narrowly Escaped Indictment, Grand Jury Source Reveals 08/10/2006

Grand Jury Story On WorldNetDaily 08/02/2006


Grand Jury Day for Tiller Employees? No Babies Die In Unusual Day At WHCS 06/17/2006

Operation Rescue Runs Radio Ads Seeking Justice For Abortion Victim 06/07/2006

KS Lawmakers Will Attempt to Override Sebelius Veto Of Abortion Reporting 05/25/2006

Grand Jury in Abortion Death Convenes, But Concerns About Corruption Continue 05/23/2006

OPINION: The Appearance of Impropriety Demands an Honest Investigation 05/22/2006

Operation Rescue Calls For Nationwide Day of Fasting and Prayer on Monday for Grand Jury Abortion Death Investigation 05/20/2006

Something to Hide? Judge Bans Public, Media, From Abortion Records Hearings 05/15/2006

Judge Orders Grand Jury To Convene On May 22 05/03/2006

Grand Jury Petition Certified — Investigation Into Abortion Death Will Proceed 04/19/2006

Kansas Abortions Down 8% in 2005 04/17/2006

Groups Submit Petitions Calling for a Grand Jury to Investigate Abortion Death 04/08/2006

Operation Rescue Announces The Release Of “The Tiller Report II.” 04/07/2006

Abortionist Commits Hit-and-Run Two Days Before Groups Ask For Grand Jury Investigation 04/06/2006

Effort to Open Abortion Death Probe Gains Media Attention 04/05/2006

Tiller Grand Jury Petitions To Be Submitted April 7 03/24/2006

OpEd: To Block or Not to Block — That is the Question 02/04/2006

Tiller Paranoia Closes Mill, Saves Baby 01/25/2006

Abortion Stigma Hits Home 01/23/2006

Operation Rescue Launches “Year of Justice” Campaign 01/20/2006

Whistleblowers Confirm Need for Grand Jury Investigation 01/18/2006

Memorial Service Remembers Life and Death of Tiller Victim Christin A. Gilbert 01/14/2006

Grand Jury Asked to Investigate Abortion Murder, Misconduct 01/17/2006

KSBHA Letter to Sebelius Raises Questions About the Board’s Integrity 12/01/2005

KSBHA Closes Case Against Tiller in Abortion Death In Spite of Damning Evidence 11/29/2005

Petition Would Force Grand Jury to Investigate Tiller 11/23/2005

Pro-Lifers Demand Answers from KSBHA Attorney In Abortion Death Inquiry 11/04/2005

Operation Rescue Will Hold Press Conference To Demand Action From KSHBA in Abortion Death 11/02/2005

Dr. Kelly Hollowell Publishes Column About KS Abortion Death 09/24/2005

Abortionist Tiller and Pro-abortion Play-goers, Challenged Over Abortion Death 09/21/2005

Cause of Death in Texas Teen: “Complications of Therapeutic Abortion” 09/14/2005

Wesley Medical Center Subject of Ongoing Campaign 07/27/2005

Abortion Death Mystery: Was the Death in George Tiller’s Down’s Syndrome Patient Intentional? 06/24/2005

KSBHA Letter to Sebelius Draws Premature Conclusions About Abortion Death 03/30/2005

“Anna’s” Story 03/06/2005 (True name: Christin Gilbert)

New Documents Verify Abortion Death 03/02/2005

SOMETHING TO HIDE? Department of Emergency Communications Refuses to Release Public Information on Botched Abortion Call 02/25/2005

George Tiller Subpoenaed by Texas 02/22/2005

Press Release–Governor acknowledges death of abortion patient in Wichita 02/21/2005

NEW PHOTOS Show Ambulance at Abortion Clinic 02/03/2005

La Quinta Inns Send Abortionist Tiller Packing 01/31/2005

KSBHA Launches Investigation into Abortion Death 01/28/2005

“SHE’S DEAD!” 01/26/2005

“I don’t have an answer to that question.” 01/21/2005

Botched Abortion Victim from Tiller’s Late-Term Mill Rushed to Hospital Via Ambulance 01/13/2005

tamiia russell 2004

Tamiia Russell – 2004

Notorious Abortionist Hodari Denied License, Lacks “Good Moral Character” 09/24/2014

Michigan Abortion Quacks Hodari and Gerbi Retire 02/05/2013

Wealthy Michigan Abortionist Who Killed 4 Patients Resists Safety Regulations 04/21/2011

Oxymoron: Abortionist Appreciation Day 2010 03/10/2010

Forced Abortion, Rape Victim Comes Forward After Abortionist Given Probation 02/11/2009

Regina Johnson 2003

Regina Johnson – 2003

Notorious Abortionist Hodari Denied License, Lacks “Good Moral Character” 09/24/2014

Michigan Abortion Quacks Hodari and Gerbi Retire 02/05/2013

Wealthy Michigan Abortionist Who Killed 4 Patients Resists Safety Regulations 04/21/2011

Oxymoron: Abortionist Appreciation Day 2010 03/10/2010

How Much is a Woman’s Life Worth? In Michigan, Only $10,000 07/06/2009
Forced Abortion, Rape Victim Comes Forward After Abortionist Given Probation 02/11/2009

semika shirelle shaw 2000

Semika Shirelle Shaw – 2000

Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Abortion Law, Dooms Women to Substandard Care 06/27/2016

Feds Raid Home of PA Abortionist – Seize Documents 04/03/2010

“He Left An Arm And A Leg Inside Me”- PA Abortion Horror Highlights Need For Greater Oversight 02/26/2010

chivon williams 1996

Chivon Williams – 1996

Notorious Abortionist Hodari Denied License, Lacks “Good Moral Character” 09/24/2014

Michigan Abortion Quacks Hodari and Gerbi Retire 02/05/2013

Wealthy Michigan Abortionist Who Killed 4 Patients Resists Safety Regulations 04/21/2011

Forced Abortion, Rape Victim Comes Forward After Abortionist Given Probation 02/11/2009

Sharon Hamptlon 1996

Sharon Hamptlon – 1996

California Set To Enact Dangerous Abortion Expansion Experiment 09/10/2013

Obama’s Taxpayer Funded Abortion Plan Will Bring The Back-Alley To Main Street 08/20/2009

Seven Years Ago: Guilty Abortionist Incarcerated In Abortion Death 05/28/2007

Abortion Doctor Sentenced to Year in Jail in Death of Barstow Patient 05/27/2000

Abortionist Steir Pleads Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter for Botched Abortion 04/06/2000

magdalena ortega-rodriguez 1994

Magdalena Ortega-Rodriguez – 1994

Abortionist that Fled U.S. to Evade Murder Charge May Have Been Found in India 1/18/2016

California Set To Enact Dangerous Abortion Expansion Experiment 09/10/2013

Abortionist Tiller and Pro-abortion Play-goers, Challenged Over Abortion Death 09/21/2005

marla cardamone 1989

Marla Cardamone – 1989

Autopsy Photos Released: Women killed in legal abortions to no longer be swept under the rug 01/09/2013

Chilling 911 Call: Mom Finds Daughter “Cold as Ice” After Abortion

By Cheryl Sullenger

Battle Creek, MI – Usually an anticipated time of fun-filled family festivities, the Fourth of July was anything but a day of celebration for the family of Cree Erwin. In the early morning hours, Cree’s mother, Tanya, made a gruesome discovery. Her daughter, Cree, lay dead in Tanya’s own bed, cold as ice.

While important questions remain, 911 records just obtained by Operation Rescue, along with a police report provided by long-time Michigan pro-life activist Lynn Mills, shed a bit more light on what happened to 24-year old Cree Erwin in her final hours of life as she struggled with complications to an abortion she had less than four days earlier.

The records also reveal a mother’s unspeakable grief at discovering her daughter’s body – gut-wrenching grief that no mother should have to experience – the cruel loss was compounded by the fact that this young lady’s death was avoidable.

The grief in this mother’s voice is reflective of the true toll abortion takes on families, especially when something goes wrong.

“Listening to this 911 call, it becomes clear that we cannot continue to allow abortion to take such a devastating toll on families, communities, and society. The loss of this young lady’s life must not be written off as the cost of ‘choice.’ This price has been paid by far too many families, and we, as a people, cannot afford the bill,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

Cree Erwin

It began when Cree reported to a still unknown abortion facility on June 30, 2016, for an abortion. But something obviously went wrong. Cree began to experience intolerable abdominal pain. On the night of July 2, Tanya took her suffering daughter to the emergency room at Bronson Battle Creek Hospital. There, Cree was supposedly given pain medication and told to see her family physician the next day. She was discharged just after midnight on the morning of July 3.

Tragically, she didn’t live long enough to get to her own doctor.

Still in severe pain and afraid to go home where there was no one to help her, Cree decided to stay at her mother’s house, which was just blocks away from the hospital. Tanya had Cree sleep in her bed with her in her basement bedroom, but Cree was in so much pain that she crawled into bed crossways and did not want to move any further. When Tanya got up in the morning, she thought Cree was still sleeping.

In the afternoon of July 3, Tanya checked on her on her daughter once again. She appeared to be sleeping but her breathing seemed labored, like someone with sleep apnea.

Officer T.M. Wirebaugh, who responded later to Tanya’s frantic call for help noted in his report that he believed that Cree could have been experiencing agonal breathing.

Recognizing agonal breathing can be difficult, because it resembles normal respiration, according to the website EMSBasics.com. Agonal breathing is short gasps that are inadequate to maintain proper oxygenation and is a sign of severe physiological distress requiring immediate emergency medical treatment. It sometimes accompanies a heart attack and is a sign that death is eminent.

Cree’s mother had no way to know that. With Cree still appearing to be asleep, Tanya let her rest.

Tanya decided to turn in shortly after midnight on July 4, and found her daughter still laying across the bed on her side. She tried to get Cree to move, but she couldn’t get her to wake up. She began “shaking and yelling at” her daughter, trying to rouse her, but nothing worked. She realized Cree wasn’t breathing and was cold to the touch.

Distraught and crying, Tanya phoned 911, which began recording her sounds of grief even before the dispatcher answered the call.

According to the partially-redacted and very emotional 911 recording, a desperate Tanya sobbed, “My daughter is cold…I think she’s dead.”

“What’s going on?” the dispatcher demanded.

“She’s been sick. She was sick –,” the mother cried. While the recording was redacted at that point, the unredacted police report with an attachment from the Battle Creek Fire Department filled in the blanks. [Personal information redacted by Operation Rescue.]

fire narrative-cap

The Battle Creek Fire Department dispatch narrative read, “According to the female caller, the patient had an abortion a couple of days ago and has been sleeping all day.”

The dispatcher tried to get Tanya to roll Cree over on her back and begin chest compressions, but Tanya could not push Cree onto her back. She began wailing, “She’s too heavy!…I’m trying! I’m trying! I need help!”

The dispatcher continued to ask Tanya to push her daughter over and begin chest compressions, but the wailing mother could only sob, “She’s cold as ice.”

With that, the dispatcher assured the grieving mother that help was on the way. Within moments, paramedics and police arrived. According to the police report, it only took the medics about 15 seconds to determine that Cree Erwin was deceased.

“That 911 call was the most heart-wrenching I have ever heard,” said Newman. “This is what abortion does. The sorrow is deep, it is raw, and it is very, very ugly. No mother should ever have to face the loss of her child, especially when that death was so avoidable and unnecessary. Our prayers continue to go out for the family.”

With their difficult job done, the medics left the scene and police contacted the medical examiner’s office. The police were provided with Medical Examiner Case Number 0704-16-JC-207-CC. A Crime Scene Tech was dispatched to the scene, which he photographed, but no evidence was collected. Later, an autopsy was performed.

The police inquired about several bottles of prescription drugs that were found in the bedroom, which were prescribed to either Tanya or her husband. There was no mention of the pain drugs that were supposedly given Cree Erwin by emergency room staff.

“While drug overdose remains a possibility, the fact that Cree was incapable of even adjusting herself on the bed makes it appear unlikely that she got up and took drugs,” said Newman.

Cree’s one-year old son was left in the custody of Tanya and police advised her to go to court to get legal custody of the boy.

Cree’s grief-stricken family and friends gathered for her funeral ten days later.

Questions that remain to be answered include:

• Where did Cree Erwin obtain her abortion?
• Did she have a surgical abortion or was she given the abortion pill?
• Who was the abortionist responsible for the abortion?
• What was the official cause of death?
• How culpable is the hospital that discharged Erwin, who was just hours from death?
• What was the result of the homicide investigation first reported by a local news station?

Operation Rescue was told last week by the Battle Creek Medical Examiner’s office that neither the autopsy report nor Erwin’s cause and manner of death would be available for 30-60 more days. In the meantime, a death certificate obtained by Lynn Mills notes that her cause of death is pending an investigation.

The nearest abortion facility is the Planned Parenthood in Kalamazoo, just about a half hour away from Battle Creek. Operation Rescue has confirmed that it conducts both surgical and medication abortions on Thursdays, the day Erwin had her abortion.

Another facility that is an hour and 20 minutes driving time from Battle Creek is the Planned Parenthood in Ann Arbor. That facility also conducts surgical and medication abortions on Thursday, Operation Rescue has confirmed.

“While we must wait for more information, it is obvious that if Cree Erwin had not walked into an abortion facility, she would still be alive today. Those responsible should be held accountable by authorities for her senseless death and for the horrific and completely unnecessary heartache it has caused her friends and loved ones,” said Newman. “We have seen so many women die from negligent abortions that we must try to ensure that this kind of tragedy never happens again. But the truth is, these tragedies will continue to happen over and over again as long as abortion is allowed. To stop the heartbreak and loss of innocent life, we must stop the barbaric practice of abortion.”

Read the police report.
View the death certificate.