New Video with Urgent Message to Senate: Defund Planned Parenthood Now

By Cheryl Sullenger

Washington, DC – As the Senate considers legislation that would defund Planned Parenthood, a new video produced by Operation Rescue provides a compelling reason for urgency.

The 1.5-minute video plays an excerpt from the chilling 911 call placed by Cree Erwin-Shepard’s mother when she found her daughter dead from a botched abortion on July 4, 2016. That is followed by a video clip of remarks made by Erwin-Sheppard’s brother, Tyler Sheppard, at a press conference held last month outside the Planned Parenthood in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where Erwin-Sheppard received her fatal abortion.

Referring to Planned Parenthood, Sheppard explained, “They are ravaging these women . . . I want to know what happened. I want to know why my sister’s life wasn’t good enough to save.”

“Our federal tax money currently enables Planned Parenthood to continue to inflict human tragedy on our society,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “The response of Cree’s family to her loss humanizes that tragedy. This gives new urgency to the Senate’s impending vote to defund Planned Parenthood. If this family’s grief and pain are overlooked or ignored, then the Senate is only creating conditions that will ensure more women like Cree will be injured or killed, and more families will suffer.”

Please contact your Senators today and demand the defunding of Planned Parenthood.
Pick your state for contact information.

Family Comes Forward with New Evidence, Questions about Cree Erwin’s Fatal Botched Abortion at Planned Parenthood

An unredacted autopsy report surfaces that shows a 4 cm perforation and internal hemorrhaging as the result of a botched abortion

By Cheryl Sullenger

Kalamazoo, MI — At a press conference with pro-life leaders held yesterday outside the Calhoun County Medical Examiner’s office in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Tyler Sheppard, the brother of Cree Erwin-Sheppard produced new evidence to show his sister suffered an incomplete abortion in addition to a large uterine perforation.

Sheppard, who lives in Florida, traveled to Michigan specifically to participate in the press conference, so he could call attention not only to what happened to his sister, but also to what goes on at Planned Parenthood.

“They are ravaging these women . . . I want to know what happened. I want to know why my sister’s life wasn’t good enough to save,” he said.

Sheppard displayed a copy of Cree’s medical record obtained by another family member from Bronson Hospital in Battle Creek where she had sought help for severe abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting two days after having a 12-week abortion at Planned Parenthood in Kalamazoo.

At the hospital, records show that an ultrasound discovered “products of conception” inside the uterus consistent with an “incomplete miscarriage,” the hospital’s term for an incomplete abortion.

“They saw baby parts still inside of my sister and they still sent her home . . . I want to know what happened,” Sheppard said, questioning why she was not treated at this hospital.

Instead, the Bronson Emergency Department prescribed a pain killer and an anti-nausea medication to Cree and told her to report to her doctor or Planned Parenthood after the long July 4th weekend.

However, the hospital pharmacy was closed for the weekend and Cree was in too much pain to get those prescriptions filled. She died just hours later.

Cree’s death certificate noted mysteriously that her “injury” took place because of “unprescribed drug use,” but Sheppard insisted that his sister did not use illegal drugs. Methadone was found in Cree’s system but Sheppard said he believes that she took the methadone because she was in excruciating pain and she could not fill the prescription for pain medication prescribed by the hospital.

The press conference, led by Michigan pro-life activists Lynn Mills of Pro-Life Detroit and Monica Miller of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, also spurred the local news media to conduct their own research. As a result, the Kalamazoo Gazette requested and received public records from the City of Battle Creek that contained a final police death investigation report and an unredacted autopsy report.

Pro-life groups, including Operation Rescue, which has worked with Lynn Mills and Catherine Davis, Founding Core Member for the National Black Pro-Life Coalition to investigate Cree’s death, were given heavily redacted copies of the autopsy report that covered any mention of Cree’s abortion and injuries she suffered because of it.

However, the unredacted autopsy, now in the hands of Operation Rescue thanks to the Kalamazoo Gazette, sheds new light on exactly what Cree’s botched abortion did to her.

The coroner reported a four-centimeter long full-thickness perforation that ran through the lower back side of her uterus. The autopsy also discovered 250 cc’s (or 8 ½ ounces) of blood that had hemorrhaged internally into the space behind her uterus. Her womb was also filled with “clot material,” in which the Bronson Emergency Department identified parts of the aborted baby.

As for the redactions found in the copies provided to pro-life groups, the Kalamazoo Gazette confronted Calhoun County Jim Dyer, who admits he made the decision to omit the abortion related information from only certain copies.

Dyer admitted that he withheld critical information from those he determined to be “curiosity seekers,” in order to “protect the family.” However, Dyer’s poor judgement in deciding who deserved access to public information only hurt the family – and helped cover up for Planned Parenthood.

“I want those responsible for my sister’s death to take accountability for it, be responsible. Giving us the information they gave us is insulting our intelligence,” Sheppard stated, referring to the redactions in Cree’s autopsy report.

“I have a message for Mr. Dyer and any other city official who thinks he or she can dole out public information to whomever they deem worthy,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “We are not ‘curiosity seekers.’ We are members of the public who happen to be serious pro-life investigators and journalists that have a keen interest in truth and justice. The law says we’re are entitled to public information such as autopsy reports. You have no right to violate the public records laws simply because you do not like those who are seeking public information. Mr. Dyer should resign and issue Cree Erwin-Sheppard’s family a public apology.”

The Kalamazoo Gazette also learned that after the Battle Creek Police referred Cree Erwin-Sheppard’s death investigation information to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, it was determined that Cree’s death warranted no investigation, and the case was closed on September 9, 2016.

However, Mills learned last week that a complaint filed by Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue against Laura Castleman is still open. Castleman is the abortionist whose name was on a Kalamazoo Planned Parenthood prescription slip made out to Cree Erwin on the day of her fatal abortion.

“In our attempts to hold Castleman accountable, we pray for an unbiased investigation that does not assume, as so many investigators do, that everything possible was done for Cree. It wasn’t. It was unconscionable for Planned Parenthood to kick Cree down the road with an incomplete abortion and a big hole torn in her uterus,” said Newman. “It may have been a mistake, but people are forced to pay for their mistakes all the time. Abortionists should be no different, especially when the mistake is a fatal one.”

Tyler Sheppard wants the world to know that before she died, his sister acknowledged that she regretted her abortion decision.

“She was very sorrowful. She was regretting it. Not just because she was in agonizing pain. She was bawling. She was crying her eyes out. She didn’t like that she did that,” Tyler Sheppard told reporters.

Read Erwin-Sheppard’s Bronson Hospital Records
Read Erwin-Sheppard’s Unredated Autopsy Report
Read Battle Creek Police Final Death Investigation Report

MI Pro-Life Advocates Demand Answers in Planned Parenthood’s Fatal Botched Abortion

Kalamazoo, MI – Pro-life supporters, holding signs that read “Justice for Cree and Her Baby,” gathered outside the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on a frigid Friday morning to call attention to Planned Parenthood’s responsibility for the death of a 24 -year-old patient.

The March 31, 2017, protest, led by Lynn Mills of Pro-Life Michigan and Monica Miller of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, pointed to documentation that shows Cree Erwin-Sheppard died from injuries, including a perforated uterus, during an abortion she received during an early suction aspiration abortion at the Kalamazoo Planned Parenthood. [Read more and view full documentation.]

While Erwin-Sheppard’s death certificate listed the full cause of death, the autopsy report was heavily redacted and made no mention of her abortion, which took place on June 30, 2016. Erwin-Sheppard died three days later in her mother’s home in Battle Creek.

“We know she died as a result of coming to this place for a surgical abortion. We’d like to put pressure on the M.E. to release all facts related to the autopsy report,” Mills told reporters.

Mills went on to say in an interview with the Kalamazoo Gazette that the heavy redactions were not about protecting Erwin-Sheppard’s privacy, but more likely were done to protect Planned Parenthood.

“We want to know why the medical examiner felt it was necessary to black out, to redact, all of these complications,” Mills said. “Why is she covering up for Planned Parenthood?”

Mills refuted the notion that the redactions were done for privacy reasons.

“They are not protecting the privacy of Cree Erwin,” she said, noting that “they put out everything females would not want exposed,” from Erwin-Sheppard’s weight to condition of her body, tattoos and piercings and details of her underwear.
“They are not protecting Cree’s privacy, they are covering up that horrible place and what they did to Cree,” she said, gesturing toward the clinic beyond the metal fence that surrounds it.

The protest prompted reporters to reach out to Detective Sgt. Troy Gilleylen of the Battle Creek Police Department, who had opened a homicide investigation into Erwin-Sheppard’s death last July. He indicated that the case had been turned over to the State of Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, and that he planned to “release more information next week.”

Currently there are open complaints filed by Operation Rescue against the Kalamazoo Planned Parenthood and an abortionist, Laura Castleman, whose name was found on an unused prescription slip issued from Planned Parenthood on the day of Erwin-Shepard’s abortion.

“A healthy woman walked into Planned Parenthood, received an abortion and died. I don’t care how safe Planned Parenthood says abortions are, it was fatal for Cree or her baby. Those involved in killing Cree must be held accountable for her death,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.
__________
Note: Operation Rescue’s Cheryl Sullenger teamed up with Lynn Mills and Catherine Davis Founding Core Member for the National Black Prolife Coalition in July to investigate Cree Erwin-Sheppard’s death and Planned Parenthood’s involvement. The documents referenced above were obtained by them.

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

Perforated Uterus Led to Death of Michigan Planned Parenthood Abortion Patient


By Cheryl Sullenger

Kalamazoo, MI – The death of a young mother, Cree Erwin-Sheppard, just three days after receiving a surgical abortion at a Planned Parenthood facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan, has turned into a mystery worthy of the fictional Sherlock Holmes. Questions of why she died and who was responsible remain covered up under heavy redactions in her recently released autopsy report.

After a delay of over eight months, the Calhoun County Medical Examiner’s autopsy report is filled with strategic redactions that obscure the most pertinent parts of the report, including most of the cause of death determination.

In fact, just reading the redacted autopsy report, submitted by Elizabeth A. Douglas, MD, one would never know that an abortion was involved, much less Planned Parenthood.

While important information in the autopsy report was blacked out to remove any mention of an abortion, the toxicology reports noting trace amounts of Methadone and other pain/anti-convulsant drugs was left completely unredacted.

“It is my opinion that there is an effort on the part of the Calhoun County Medical Examiner’s office to protect Planned Parenthood while wrongly blaming Erwin-Sheppard for her own death,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “The way the autopsy report is censored, it falsely leads one to believe that unprescribed drugs caused her death, while the fact that her uterus was perforated is completely expunged from the record. Planned Parenthood corruption appears to have infiltrated the Medical Examiner’s office.”

If it was not for other bits of documentation obtained by Operation Rescue and its team, the cause of Cree Erwin-Sheppard’s death would be a complete mystery.

First, Operation Rescue obtained an unfilled prescription slip that was provided to Erwin-Sheppard by abortionist Laura Castleman at Planned Parenthood in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on June 30, 2016, the day of her abortion. That script directly placed Erwin-Sheppard at Planned Parenthood.

Operation Rescue partnered with long-time Michigan pro-life activist Lynn Mills to get to the bottom of what really caused the death of this young mother. Mills obtained Erwin-Sheppard’s unredacted death certificate that shows the full cause of death, much of which was omitted from the autopsy report. Yet, even that document contributes its own mysteries.

The manner of Erwin-Sheppard’s death was listed as “Accident,” although that does not rule out negligence. The determination of “Accidental” death is the default setting for coroners who examine abortion death cases. Most never look further into conditions and practices at the abortion facilities that may have contributed to the death.

[Redactions to this document were done by Operation Rescue.]

Cree Erwin Sheppard Amended DC v2_Redacted by Cheryl Sullenger on Scribd

The cause of death listed on Cree Erwin-Sheppard’s amended death certificate is as follows:

Complications of intrauterine pregnancy, including pulmonary emboli related to uterine vein thrombosis and uterine perforation status post early vacuum aspiration and intrauterine contraceptive device placement.

The autopsy report noted the only area of vein clotting in Erwin-Sheppard’s body was found in the uterine vein. This lends itself to the conclusion that trauma to the vein caused the clots, which later broke away and traveled to her lungs.

The only source of trauma or injury in Cree’s body was the uterine perforation, which could well have resulted in damage to her uterine vein.

Uterine perforation is a common complication to surgical abortion and is a known complication to IUD placement. However, the death certificate curiously notes that the perforation somehow happened after the suction aspiration abortion and IUD placement at some unknown place and time.

To further muddy the waters, in Box 41c of the death certificate, the medical examiner is asked to “Describe how the injury occurred.” The puzzling answer? “Use of unprescribed drugs.”

“That answer is completely ridiculous,” said Newman. “Drugs don’t cause the uterus to put a hole in itself. It’s hard to believe this is the best the medical examiner could come up with after eight months.”

The death certificate also contains other inconsistencies. Methadone use is noted in a box that asks for “Other significant conditions contributing to death but not resulting in the underlying cause given in Part 1.”

If the methadone did not result in the underlying cause of death, why is it listed as the “injury” that led to Erwin-Sheppard’s death?

Based on the information available at this time, it is logical to reach the following conclusions:

1. Cree Erwin-Sheppard received a surgical suction aspiration abortion on June 30, 2016, at Planned Parenthood in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
2. During that abortion or subsequent IUD insertion, her uterus was perforated and her uterine artery was injured.
3. On July 2, suffering from intense abdominal pain, Erwin-Sheppard was taken by her mother to Bronson Battle Creek Hospital’s emergency room, according to a police report. There, Cree was supposedly given pain medication and told to see her family physician the next day.
4. In so much pain that she was afraid to go home, Erwin-Sheppard was taken to her mother’s house and put to bed. She slept through the day.
5. While at her mother’s home and desperate to ease the pain, Cree somehow accessed a dose of methadone.
6. In the early morning hours of July 4, 2016, Erwin-Sheppard’s mother found her daughter dead in her bed.
7. An autopsy was performed by Elizabeth A. Douglas, MD, on July 4, 2016 at 8:25 a.m. A uterine perforation was discovered. Blood clots were found in her uterine artery and lungs, which caused her death. Blood and urine was sent for toxicology screening.
8. When the autopsy was finally released on March 9, 2017, all mention of the abortion, uterine perforation, and IUD insertion were redacted along with the salient portions of the cause of death while other sensitive information was left intact.

“This autopsy report and inconsistent entries in the death certificate just don’t pass the smell test,” said Newman. “It is more than a little suspicious that the one that benefits from the cover up of information is Planned Parenthood. Politics and personal ideology have no place in the investigation of Cree’s death. A full and honest investigation must be conducted by the Michigan medical board to determine who is responsible for this abortion-related death before tragedy strikes another Planned Parenthood patient.”

This is a mystery that deserves to be solved for the sake of other women who may seek services at Planned Parenthood’s Kalamazoo office. Operation Rescue will continue to seek transparency and justice on behalf of Cree Erwin-Sheppard and her family until those responsible for her needless death are brought to justice.

[All redactions in this document were done by the Calhoun County Medical Examiner’s Office.]

Erwin-Sheppard Autopsy Report – Redacted by Medical Examiner by Cheryl Sullenger on Scribd