Can There Still be Justice for Lakisha Wilson?

By Cheryl Sullenger

Cleveland, Ohio – Lakisha Wilson, a beautiful 22-year old African American woman, died three years ago from a fatally botched abortion she obtained at the Preterm abortion facility in Cleveland, Ohio.

What was done to her by Preterm staff is worth retelling on this anniversary of her death.

I found out about Wilson when I was tipped that an ambulance had been called to Preterm on March 21, 2014. As usual, I asked my assistant to order the 911 records. At Operation Rescue, we request so many 911 records based on similar tips that it has become somewhat routine – so much so that when the records arrived, my assistant did not even bother to listen to the recording before forwarding it to me.

When I played it, I was stunned. “It sounds like this patient died,” I hollered down the hallway to my assistant.

That began a fact-finding frenzy where we learned more of Wilson’s deadly encounter with Preterm and its abortionist at that time, Lisa Perriera. I flew to Cleveland and participated in a press conference with other state and national pro-life leaders. We demanded justice. We demanded answers.

Little did I know how those answers would come.

Sometime after that frenzy calmed down, I received an oversized manila envelope from the Ohio Department of Health. Inside was simply a CD with my last name hand-printed on it.

I popped the CD into my computer and was once again stunned by what I saw. Someone had leaked to me all the records – public and “confidential” – that detailed the Department of Health’s investigation into Wilson’s death.

Because of that information, along with the autopsy report and other documents we had assembled, I was able to build the following narrative about her abortion and the investigation that followed.

Wilson reported to Preterm on March 21, 2014, for a second trimester abortion with abortionist Lisa Perriera. The autopsy, which relied on Preterm’s records, showed that she was 19 weeks pregnant at the time of her abortion, but other records contained on that mysterious CD indicated she was actually closer to 23 weeks. Perhaps because of her advanced pregnancy, Wilson suffered blood loss during the abortion and went into shock. Her life-threatening condition was not immediately detected, most likely due to failure to properly monitor her vital signs.

Preterm staff administered medication to Wilson to cause uterine contractions in an apparent effort to control the hemorrhage, but it appeared to be too little, too late.

Depressed respiration caused by sedation may have contributed to the lack of oxygen Wilson’s body received. This only compounded the medical crisis. As a result, Wilson suffered cardiopulmonary arrest and subsequent fatal brain damage all before a Preterm employee finally was told to call 911 for help.

The 911 recording and Computer Aided Dispatch transcript revealed that Wilson was “not breathing at all” at the time the call was placed. In fact, emergency records show that she was not breathing for at least 28 minutes.

When paramedics finally arrived, they were delayed in getting to Wilson due to a malfunctioning elevator. Since all the surgical rooms at Preterm are on the third floor, the elevator is the crucial to patient safety during emergencies such as the one Wilson was suffering.

Once they were finally able to get the elevator working well enough to get them to the third floor, paramedics removed the ill-fitting pediatric oxygen mask that abortionist Perriera had been using and replaced it with a mask of the proper size and fit. They were able to resuscitate Wilson – something the abortion facility staff was unable to do.

However, paramedics could not intubate her, which was necessary to ensure that she was receiving enough oxygen. This was because the elevator was so cramped that they could not lay the gurney flat, which was required for intubation.

Once downstairs, paramedics rushed Wilson out of the building and to an awaiting ambulance, a chaotic moment that was recorded by Pastor Dale Henkel, a pro-life activist who was on the sidewalk praying that day.

So frantic were the paramedics to get her to the ambulance that they never bothered to completely cover her naked body.

Wilson was rushed to University Hospital Case Medical Center, where she was placed on complete life support until an organ procurement company could obtain the documentation needed to harvest her organs. This was callously done against the wishes of the Wilson family, who were concerned that missing organs would compromise any potential investigation. Wilson was officially declared dead on March 28, 2014, leaving her one-year old son motherless.

So what were the consequences for Perriera and Preterm for their obviously negligent treatment of Lakisha Wilson?

Nothing at all.

We may have gotten answers, but there was never any justice for Lakisha Wilson and her family.

The Ohio Department of Health conducted an inspection of Preterm, and cleared them despite their dangerous set up that included third-floor surgical rooms, with gurney access only through a cramped and frequently malfunctioning elevator.

The Ohio Medical Board investigated Perriera and her staff, but despite clear indications of a janky fetal age determination, a hemorrhage that went undetected due negligent monitoring, inadequate resuscitation efforts, and a delay in calling 911 for help, they too were “cleared,” based partially on the coroner’s determination of “accidental death.”

Once the Department of Health files were leaked to me that showed many important deficiencies in Wilson’s treatment, which had been overlooked or dismissed by investigators, our coalition of pro-life groups called for the Department of Health to reconsider the seriousness of those deficiencies and how they contributed to Wilson’s demise.

But they ignored that, too. It was regulatory failure at its worst.

Meanwhile, Perriera was given an award by the Physicians for Reproductive Choice at a posh ceremonial New York City dinner in 2015, for enduring “adversity” during the investigation of Wilson’s tragically avoidable death. She transferred to an abortion facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – a place that never heard of Lakisha Wilson – where she continues to abort babies and place women’s lives at risk, all while publicly advocating for abortion as a “safe” procedure. She also serves as Associate Professor of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Sidney Kimmel Medical Center at Thomas Jefferson University.

Instead of being held accountable for her series of fatal errors that deprived Wilson of her life, Perriera was basically promoted.

Three years later, the sting of this injustice has yet to subside. On the third anniversary of Lakisha Wilson’s death, I still remember, and haven’t given up hope that someday, somehow, there can still be justice.

Leaked Ohio Department of Health files concerning Wilson’s death

No Luck of the Irish for Planned Parenthood Patient Hospitalized on St. Patrick’s Day

By Cheryl Sullenger

Ann Arbor, MI – An ambulance was spotted by two pro-life activists on March 17, 2017, at the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The ambulance appears to have transported a patient.

Video shows an ambulance partially concealed behind bushes at the Planned Parenthood office. The pro-life supporter, who took the brief video was participating in a 40 Days for Life prayer vigil. She noted that she had tried to get post-abortion healing materials to the man who accompanied the patient, but unfortunately, he was not receptive.

Previous medical emergencies that took place at the Ann Arbor Planned Parenthood occurred on March 12, May 8, and June 26, 2015.

“While we don’t have a lot of information on this obvious medical emergency at Planned Parenthood in Ann Arbor, when we look at how many of these incidents are taking place around the country, it becomes obvious that there is a health and safety crisis at Planned Parenthood abortion facilities around the nation,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Since Planned Parenthood insists on profiting from the killing of innocent children and can’t keep their patients out of the emergency rooms and morgues, taxpayers should not be subsidizing their carnage. We must continue to urgently press Congress to defund Planned Parenthood.”

Operation Rescue has documented eight medical emergencies at Planned Parenthood abortion facilities nationwide in the opening weeks of 2017, but that number is far from comprehensive, and reflects the need for better abortion complication reporting laws in every state.

Please continue to contact your U.S. Congressman and Senators and urge them to defund Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood Shutters Maryland Abortion Facility While Texas Clinics Slowly Reopen

By Cheryl Sullenger

Silver Spring, Maryland – The Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Silver Spring, Maryland, permanently closed on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2017, after the property’s management team realized that abortion is bad for business. Pro-life activists, led by Lauren Handy, persuaded the property management company not to renew Planned Parenthood’s lease using a narrowly-targeted educational campaign. Planned Parenthood had occupied the same office, located at 1400 Spring St. in Silver Spring, Maryland, for over 20 years, conducting surgical abortions.

“The men and women who ministered at that Planned Parenthood for two decades deserve a lot of credit for their perseverance and tenacity,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “This closing is a real victory for women and their babies, as well as for the pro-life activists that labored and prayed there.”

This closing comes just days after Planned Parenthood in Easton, Pennsylvania, announced it would shut down on March 30.

However, in Texas, as a result of the U. S. Supreme Court striking down that state’s abortion safety law, HB2, last June in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt, abortion facilities are slowing beginning to reopen. This is perhaps the only state that is bucking the nation trend of abortion clinic closures that has been ongoing since the early 1990s.

Northpark Medical Group in Dallas, Texas, reopened on March 9, 2017. Local pro-life activists told Operation Rescue that owner and abortionist Douglas Karpen was seen entering the facility on its first abortion day. The facility had closed 2013, because its abortionists – including Karpen — all failed to qualify for local hospital privileges as required.

Karpen, who is based in Houston, was investigated by the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives and referred to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Texas Attorney General for criminal prosecution for allegedly murdering late-term babies who were born alive in a manner similar to that used by the notorious convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell. It was these allegations — first brought by Operation Rescue in 2013 — that first tagged Karpen as the “Texas Gosnell,” and contributed to the passage of HB2, which shuttered the Northpark abortion business and others that year. Those allegations were supported by the testimony of four former Karpen employees and photographic evidence. No action has yet been taken on those House criminal referrals.

Meanwhile, Whole Women’s Health announced that they would reopen its Austin facility in April, now that it no longer is required to meet minimum safety standards.

“Twenty-one abortion facilities shut down in Texas as the result of HB2, and the vast majority of them will never reopen,” said Newman. “For nearly four years those 21 abortion businesses were prohibited from killing babies, and as a result the abortion rate dramatically dropped in Texas, saving thousands of lives. Those closures will continue to spare lives through the coming years.”

A recent national abortion facility survey conducted by Operation Rescue shows that abortion clinic closures continue to outpace the few openings.

“We are winning and will continue to win until abortion becomes no more than a tragic footnote in history,” said Newman.