What to Know about the Select Panel’s Criminal Referral against UNM and Southwestern Women’s Options

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By Cheryl Sullenger

Albuquerque, NM — Last week in their 291-page letter to New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, the House Select Panel on Infant Lives laid out a clear and convincing argument for criminal charges against the University of New Mexico (UNM) and a late-term abortion facility, Southwestern Women’s Options (SWWO), related to the acquisition of aborted baby remains.

The report and accompanying documentation included with the letter highlight eight important points.

1. Two UNM abortionists created a radically pro-abortion climate at the “resistant” university and created a cultural shift that now aggressively promotes abortion.

Two UNM abortionists (identified only as “Doctor 1” and “Doctor 4”) set out to force their abortion-expansion agenda on what was at first an unwilling university. The Select Panel stated:

“Since the time when opposition to participating in abortion procedures was the predominant view of UNM medical staff, the culture appears to have changed — along with the composition of UNM hospital and clinic personnel — to one aggressively in favor of the expansion of abortion.” [Page 5]

Those who opposed this new abortion agenda were marginalized and/or punished.

“In January 2016, a medical student filed a lawsuit against the UNM Board of Regents alleging that he was referred to a disciplinary committee by Doctor #1 and sanctioned by UNM for posting his personal views against abortion on his Facebook page, despite the fact that the posts did not mention UNM.” [Page 5]

Doctors 1 and 4 were known to “leverage their status” at UNM to recruit UNM employees and students to participate in political activities that would further their personal abortion agenda.

“Doctor #1, Doctor #4, and other UNM medical faculty members engaged in political fundraising and lobbying for an expansion of abortion services and public funding in support thereof—activities in which UNM students are encouraged to participate. [Page 12]

2. Taxpayers partially fund UNM and SWWO’s abortion businesses

The panel noted that the UNM doctors who were involved in procuring the remains of aborted babies for “research” and other purposes and who oversaw the transformation of that university into one with an aggressive abortion expansion agenda have salaries that are paid for by the taxpayers of New Mexico.

Other funding for UNM’s abortion programs came from the Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation, which contributed over $2.5 million since 2001 [Page 14], and aided in the formation of the UNM School of Medicine Fellowship in Family Planning, which served as the vehicle through which UNM residents were deployed to SWWO.

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Taxpayers also footed the bill for abortion services at Southwestern Women’s Options, the largest late-term abortion facility in the U.S. In the attachment, “New Mexico Medicaid and SCI Reimbursements Received by Southwestern Women’s Options, 2010-2015” on page 159 it noted that SWWO received over $5 million in tax money in reimbursement for abortion services.

Operation Rescue earlier released evidence that New Mexico Medicaid would pay SWWO $16,000 to abort a 30-week Down syndrome baby, which also documented state tax-funding of abortions.

3. The primary goal of UNM’s partnership with SWWO was to increase the volume of second trimester abortions, presumably to provide the UNM Health Sciences Center with an ample supply of aborted infant remains for “research” and other purposes. [Page 4]

Second trimester babies were most desirable for UNM because they provided organs and tissue that was big enough for “research” purposes. They were also less likely to have been injected with digoxin, a drug that is used in later abortions to stop the heart prior to the extraction process. Digoxin renders fetal “specimens” unsuitable for research.

4. SWWO is the sole provider of “aborted infant tissue” to the UNM Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC). [Page 8]

UNM collected hundreds of aborted infant remains during 39 procurement sessions since 2010, (about once every six weeks).

Those babies’ gestational ages ranged between 11.5-30.5 weeks.

• 14-18 weeks (second trimester) were most numerous.
• 20 aborted infants were beyond 20 weeks (5 months).

Harvesting took place on the following:

• 16 week twins with clubbed feet.
• 20 week twins (with intact brains).
• 22.5 week infant diagnosed with Downs syndrome.
• 25.3 week baby girl with an orofacial cleft.
• 30.5 week baby born “intact.”

Collected remains included: brain/head, heart, lung, eyes/retina, kidney, spleen, adrenal gland, intestines, bone marrow, and stomach.

UNM also acted as a distribution hub for aborted infant remains procured at SWWO, which were sent to other institutions such as the University of Florida, University of California San Francisco, and the University of Ottawa in Canada.

5. Whole brains from aborted babies were used for dissection by “summer camp” students.

“Research” wasn’t the only way aborted baby remains were used by UNM. Other applications were more grisly. On pages 9-10 of the Select Panel’s letter, it states the following:

The procurement notes provided to the Panel by UNM further confirm their acquisition of aborted infant tissue from SWWO for research purposes. References to specific studies were written in the notes along with lists of infant parts harvested. The lab tech wrote in May 2012 that someone from UNMHSC “asked clinic for digoxin treated tissue 24-28 weeks for methylation study + because [redacted] wants whole, fixed brains to dissect w/ summer camp students. Clinic est. 27 and 28 weeks.” [Emphasis in original.]

There was no word as to the age of the summer camp students, but if they were minors, subjecting them to Mengele-like dissection of human babies’ brains is inexcusable.

6. UNM’s training agreement with SWWO violated UNM’s own policies and procedures on such contracts.

UNM’s policies and procedures are very clear that UNM’s president, Chancellor of Health Sciences, or member of the Board of Regents were required on contracts. [Page 51]

Nevertheless, UNM’s contract with SWWO to provide training for UNM residents carried only Doctor #1’s signature – the same doctor who was one of the original abortion committee members who set out create a climate at UNM where abortion was aggressively promoted.

After public outcry over the trafficking of aborted baby body parts depicted in videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, UNM terminated its apparently illegal training contract with SWWO.

However, there is no evidence UNM’s practice of procuring aborted baby remains from SWWO ever ended, and the Select Panel assumes that it continues today.

7. UNM granted faculty status to SWWO abortionists that included employee benefits that provided professional and financial benefit. These benefits may qualify as ‘valuable consideration.” [Pages 6-7]

It is a violation of Federal Statute 42 U.S.C. § 289g-2 “for any person to “knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the transfer affects interstate commerce.”

UNM and SWWO insist that no money changed hands in return for aborted baby parts. However, the Select Panel recommends further investigation to determine whether the employee benefits received by SWWO workers qualifies as “valuable consideration” under the law.

While SWWO abortionist were designated as “volunteers” and were not directly on the payroll of UNM, the benefits they received were the same as paid faculty, including some of the following:

• Free use of UNM’s gyms, handball court, tennis court, weight room, and Olympic-sized swimming pool.
• Free access the UNM libraries.
• Free admission to several museums.
• Discounted for tickets to sporting and cultural events.
• Discounted membership at a 9-hole golf course.
• Discounted leisure sporting equipment rentals.

There was only one thing that UNM got out of this arrangement with SWWO abortionists: aborted baby remains.

8. New Mexico’s Spradling Act was violated. [Page 11]

The Select Panel uncovered violations of New Mexico’s Jonathan Spradling Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, which for years has been misconstrued by UNM to allow for the donation of aborted baby remains.

However, Select Panel attorneys found that the act specifically prohibits fetal remains from being donated for research or other uses, making the transfer of aborted baby remains from SWWO to UNM illegal.

According to this law, anatomical gifts may only come from “decedents.” The Spradling Act clearly states that “’decedent’ means a deceased individual whose body or part is or may be the source of an anatomical gift. ‘Decedent’ includes a stillborn infant and, subject to restrictions imposed by law other than the Jonathan Spradling Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, a fetus but not including a fetus that is the subject of an induced abortion.”

Violation of the Spradling Act constitutes “a third degree felony and upon conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000) or imprisonment not exceeding six years, or both.”

Given what could be hundreds of violations, this has become a very serious criminal situation of UNM and SWWO.

Will the New Mexico Attorney General enforce the law?

It remains to be seen as to whether the New Mexico Attorney General’s office will actually take steps to prosecute the University of New Mexico and Southwestern Women’s Options. New Mexico is a very liberal state that has traditionally ignored or dismissed complaints against its abortion businesses.

Tara Shaver of ProtestABQ previously filed a formal complaint with the Attorney General’s office seeking a criminal investigation into violations of the Spradling Act and other crimes, but has told Operation Rescue that she has not been notified that any investigation ever took place.

“We hope that this very heavily documented recommendation from the House Select Panel will persuade Attorney General Banderas to act to enforce New Mexico laws and stop the illegal exploitation of aborted babies for ‘valuable consideration.’” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Due to the serious allegations of criminal conduct, we also hope that he will begin immediate proceedings to shut down the dangerous late-term abortion facility, Southwestern Women’s Options, for good.”

Select Panel Refers UNM & Late-term Abortion Facility for Criminal Charges Related to Fetal Tissue Procurement

SWObotch

By Cheryl Sullenger

Washington, DC – Rep. Marsha Blackburn, chairman of the House Select Panel on Infant Lives, has sent a letter to New Mexico Attorney General Hector H. Balderas, Jr., referring the University of New Mexico and Southwestern Women’s Options (SWWO) for criminal charges and further investigation.

Blackburn’s 291-page letter contained attachments that document what she described as “systematic violations of the law” related to the “transfers of value” of fetal remains for “research purposes.”

“This recommendation of criminal charges against UNM and Southwestern Women’s Options is the fruit of years of research and hard work done by a tenacious community of pro-life activists,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Seeing the fruit of that labor makes this a great day for us. All that’s left now is for law enforcement to read them their rights and take them away!”

Operation Rescue has worked extensively in New Mexico with activists Bud and Tara Shaver of ProtestABQ to expose and oppose Southwestern Women’s Options, which is the largest late-term abortion facility in the U.S., committing abortions throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

ProtestABQ has for years called attention to Southwestern Women’s Options’ long affiliation with the University of New Mexico. SWWO is the only supplier of aborted baby tissue to UNM, and there appears to exist a “symbiotic relationship” between the two, according to Blackburn.

The letter to Banderas explained that UNM aggressively expanded abortion services in Albuquerque over the “resistance” of University officials. This eventually forced an ideological shift at the University to one that now is focused on abortion promotion, using even UNM students to further their pro-abortion political agenda.

Blackburn indicated that the Select Panel uncovered violations of New Mexico’s Jonathan Spradling Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, which for years has been misconstrued by UNM to allow for the donation of aborted baby remains. However, Select Panel attorneys found that the act specifically prohibits fetal remains from being donated for research or other uses, making the transfer of aborted baby remains from SWWO to UNM illegal.

The Panel also notes that SWWO staff were brought on the UNM as “volunteer” faculty and received employee benefits at UNM.

It was Tara Shaver that first uncovered SWWO’s participation in supplying aborted baby tissue after she obtained an abortion consent form that buried brief tissue consent language near the bottom of a wordy form that required a patient signature before abortions could be performed. This raised questions about whether women actually understood that their aborted baby’s remains would be used for “research.” That consent form was modified after Shaver made the initial, illegal form public.

Shaver filed a formal complaint with the Attorney General’s office seeking a criminal investigation into violations of the Spralding Act and other crimes. That complaint has been so far ignored.

“We hope that this very heavily documented recommendation from the House Select Panel will persuade Attorney General Banderas to act to enforce New Mexico laws and stop the illegal exploitation of aborted babies for ‘valuable consideration,’” said Newman. “We also hope that he will put an end to UNM’s practice of using taxpayer funds as well as UNM students to push their political agenda of abortion expansion upon an unwilling community.”

Operation Rescue also calls for the immediate closure of Southwestern Women’s Options in light of the serious criminal accusations that are now pending.

Read Blackburn’s letter to Banderas dated June 23, 2016

Couple Sues Abortionist Warren Hern for Malpractice in Late-Term Nightmare

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By Cheryl Sullenger

Boulder, Colorado — Jennifer and Jason found out sometime in early 2013 that they were having a baby.

The expectancy of a new son or daughter can be a joyous time for couples, but for them, that joy was cut short after their baby boy was prenatally diagnosed with “severe cerebral abnormalities” near the end of Jennifer’s second trimester of pregnancy. She was told that her son would have a life expectancy of less than one year, if he survived delivery.

After consulting with a number of physicians, Jennifer and Jason made the “difficult” and fateful decision to abort their baby in “the best interest of Jennifer’s health.” They scheduled an appointment at Warren Hern’s Boulder Abortion Clinic, in Boulder, Colorado, the nearest facility where very late-term abortions were available.

They probably wish they could take back that decision.

According to a Federal Court lawsuit filed by them in Colorado, Jennifer suffered a horrific late-term abortion complication that she says has caused her physical pain, mental suffering, and the loss of her ability to bear children. The couple is seeking upwards of $75,000 in medical costs, in addition to attorney fees and any punitive damages that might be awarded by the Court.

The lawsuit alleges four causes of action:

1. Medical malpractice.
2. Failure to warn.
3. Negligent misrepresentation.
4. Loss of consortium.

Warren Hern is a well-known late-term abortionist who founded the Boulder Abortion Clinic in 1973. He was featured in the independent film “After Tiller,” which profiled Hern and three others who openly conduct abortions throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

hern forceps

Hern literally wrote the book on abortion. His Abortion Practice was published in 1984, but by 1989, the original publisher had withdrawn the book from the market and destroyed the remaining copies. He invented a number of surgical abortion tools, including the Hern forceps, scissor-like grasping instruments now commonly used in dismemberment abortions. In all, Hern is considered a leading authority on abortion, especially in the later terms of pregnancy.

In fact, in 1985 and again 1994, when medical experts published the authoritative manual on Fertility Control, they had Warren Hern pen the chapter about “Pregnancy Termination.” There Hern warned,”Abortion complication rates are sometimes higher than they should be.”

He talked about inadequate training, poor technique, and the “commonly held view that some complications are inevitable.” To which he retorts, “Maybe they are, but the best attitude is ALL COMPLICATIONS ARE POTENTIALLY PREVENTABLE.” (emphasis added)

But now, at 77-years old, he appears to becoming sloppy at it.

Jennifer was scheduled for a four-day abortion procedure that was set to begin on December 3, 2013. As instructed by Hern’s staff, she checked into a hotel the evening before her appointment and expected to stay until December 7. She was accompanied by Jason and her mother for support during the late-term abortion process. However, once at the clinic, she was told for the first time that she could only have one support person, so her mother was sent away.

Before Jennifer could been seen, she was required to wire $7,500 in advance to the Boulder Abortion Clinic.

Once the money was received, Jennifer was given an ultrasound and blood work. The clinic staff gave Jennifer and Jason “reading material” and required that they watch an instructional video “produced by Dr. Hern’s office” that described the abortion procedure.

But the printed material and video neglected to mention known risks. In fact, according to the lawsuit, she was never informed or warned of any risks to the planned Dilation and Evacuation dismemberment abortion procedure by Hern or his staff.

After the video concluded, the first step of the abortion procedure began. Hern used ultrasound to locate her baby’s heart then inserted a needle through Jennifer’s abdomen and into her baby’s heart. The drug Hern injected was meant to stop the baby’s heart in advance of the actual abortion procedure that was expected to occur three days later. Once the injection was completed, Jennifer was released and told to return the next day.

On Day Two of the abortion process, a member of Hern’s “staff” inserted 1-3 laminaria sticks and packing through the vagina. Laminaria are thin sticks of seaweed about the width of a pencil lead that expand, gently forcing open the cervix or neck of the womb.

She returned on Day Three, when “clinic staff” removed the laminara and inserted six new sticks. She was told to return to her hotel room and come back the next day for completion of her abortion.

Jennifer woke up early on Day Four suffering from “stomach cramps and discomfort.” Then she began to vomit. She felt the laminaria and packing begin to fall out of place.

Jennifer called the Boulder Abortion Clinic and was told to report to the clinic ahead of schedule. There, she was given an IV and suppository that was supposed to halt the vomiting, but it took “several hours” before the vomiting finally stopped.

Nurses prepared Jennifer for the final step of her late-term abortion, but found that they were unable to get her dilated beyond 1-2 centimeters, which is too small of an opening for a dismemberment abortion at her late stage of pregnancy.

Nevertheless, Hern proceeded with the “evacuation,” in which he would remove her son piece by piece until her womb was completely empty.

At least, that was the plan.

A “numbing cream” was applied to Jennifer’s cervix and Hern began to remove the dismembered parts of her baby. During the process, Jennifer felt “a lot of pulling from the lower half of her body all the way up to her chest,” according to the legal complaint.

The pain was intense – so much so that at some point in the process, she passed out.

“It seems completely barbaric to conduct such an abortion process on a woman without providing adequate pain relief, but this is a complaint we hear all too often from women who have experienced abortions,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Denying pain relief during surgical abortions really illustrates how little concern Hern and other abortionists really have for their patients. It is tantamount to torture.”

Hern finally finished the procedure, and Jennifer was sent to a recovery area for a couple of hours. After a visual examination only, Hern announced that her abortion was a success. She was released to go back home to Nebraska.

Jennifer likely thought the worst was over and probably tried to put the unpleasant experience behind her.

But soon, Jennifer began to experience break-through bleeding. She sought help from her hometown doctor, who changed her birth control prescription twice in an attempt to resolve the bleeding issue. Still, Jennifer continued to experience the unexplained bleeding.

Finally, she was referred to a gynecologist who ordered an ultrasound. What he discovered caused him to schedule Jennifer for surgery.

Once in surgery, the doctor tried but failed to remove a mysterious four-centimeter-long object that was cutting into Jennifer’s uterus. He determined that this object was the cause of Jennifer’s months of bleeding. He had no choice but to perform a hysterectomy, permanently ending Jennifer’s ability to bear children.

When the object was finally analyzed, it was determined to be a four-centimeter slightly curved section of bone from her aborted baby’s skull.

“I can’t imagine what if felt like to hear that news. It must have been horrendous,” said Newman. “How ironic that her decision to abortion was ‘in the best interest of her health.’ Would she really have been physically and mentally worse off if she had delivered her baby? Probably not.”

Jennifer insists in her suit against Hern and the Boulder Abortion Clinic that she never was told that there was a possibility that parts of her baby could be left inside. Because Hern had wrongly declared the abortion a “success,” her doctors spent months trying to find other reasons to explain Jennifer’s complication.

Jennifer and Jason’s lawsuit claims that Hern was negligent in seven ways:

1. Hern conducted a Dilation and Evacuation abortion procedure on her nearly third-trimester baby through an inadequately dilated cervix.
2. Hern failed to remove all of the baby’s remains from the uterus.
3. Hern failed to inspect the remains to ensure everything had been removed and accounted for.
4. Hern failed to detect the chunk of bone that he had missed during the dismemberment process.
5. Hern failed to order appropriate postoperative care and tests, which would have discovered the skull fragment.
6. Hern failed to exercise supervision and control over his staff to ensure they provided adequate medical care.
7. Hern failed to provide diagnostic, operative, and postoperative care and treatment “consistent with the applicable standard of care for a physician practicing in Dr. Hern’s specialized area of medicine.”

“From the legal complaint, it looks like there was more effort put into making sure the couple’s money was received by Hern’s bank account than there was in determining whether the abortion was complete,” said Newman. “These were careless, sloppy practices that led to months of suffering and could have cost this lady her life.”

Incomplete abortions are potentially serious complications to abortions and can lead to hemorrhaging, infection, and death, if left untreated.

This case raises an important issue that deserves attention. It is true that many physicians who see patients with complicated pregnancies find it easier to refer the women for an abortion than take the extra time and effort to help her work through her health issues. Sidewalk counselors who have spent anytime offering help to abortion-bound women understand this problem in the medical profession.

“Often, women just need a good doctor who will support them with sound medical treatment and encouragement through their complicated pregnancies,” said Newman. “That can be hard to find in a world where ‘getting rid of the problem’ through abortion is easier than dealing with complicated health concerns. Aborting the baby didn’t work to avoid physical and mental health issues in this case and it probably doesn’t work in the majority of cases.”

If Jennifer and Jason’s suit against Hern and his Boulder abortion clinic is successful, it could serve as the basis for disciplinary action against his medical license.

“If it can be proved that Hern acted negligently, this is a case that should be taken to the Colorado medical board,” said Newman. “Hern’s insurance will probably cover any monetary judgement, but the medical board has the authority to make sure he can never practice medicine again. One can hope and pray to that end.”

Read the Complaint in USDC Colorado Case Number 15-cv-02613.