By Cheryl Sullenger
Cleveland, OH — When 22-year old Lakisha Wilson died from a botched abortion she received in 2014 at the Preterm abortion clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, pro-life leaders from across the nation gathered to speak out about her avoidable death and urged the Ohio Department of Health to close Preterm in order to spare other women from being injured.
Also of concern was a faulty elevator that contributed to a delay in EMS personnel reaching Wilson as quickly as possible.
Instead, the Ohio Department of Health brushed aside the complaints filed by Operation Rescue and others and allowed Preterm to continue operations as if nothing had ever happened.
Since then, there have been 13 women who were transported away from Preterm in ambulances after suffering serious abortion complications – including the most recent such medical emergency that occurred on April 5, 2019.
According to Pastor Dale Henkel who recorded the incident, an ambulance, a fire unit, and five police cars responded to Preterm’s 911 call for help, including a police lieutenant who is tasked with supervising all emergency transports from Preterm.
Public 911 records obtained by Operation Rescue show that the 31-year old woman was hemorrhaging. Emergency responders were instructed to go to the third floor, where the surgical abortion rooms are located.
Pastor Henkel told Operation Rescue that abortionist Mitch Reider was working at Preterm during the medical emergency.
He also noted that an elevator repair service was at the abortion facility at the time of the April 5th incident.
There have been chronic reliability issues with the clinic’s lone elevator, which is the only way a gurney can get to the surgical floor. Among them are two in particular that served as a warning of more trouble ahead should Preterm remain open at its current facility.
On March 31, 2012, extra emergency workers were dispatched to Preterm to carry a 300-pound hemorrhaging woman down the stairs because the elevator did not work.
On the day when Lakisha Wilson suffered a fatally botched abortion in 2014, EMS workers noted on page eight of her patient care record that despite the urgency of her condition, which involved complete cardiac and respiratory arrest, the malfunctioning elevator delayed EMS from reaching her with help that may have saved her life.
Fast-forward to April 5, 2019. As Pastor Henkels and other pro-life activists watched, an African American woman, whose head was covered with a sheet, was brought out of the abortion facility on a gurney and loaded into an awaiting ambulance for transport University Hospital’s emergency room.
According to a heavily redacted Computer Event Chronology report, 37 minutes elapsed from the time the first unit arrived at Preterm until the patient’s arrival at University Hospital.
Given the unusually large number of emergency personnel who responded to the 911 call, the fact that the elevator repair company was present, and the length of time it took to get the woman to the hospital, it is fair to conclude that the elevator malfunctioned once again. That makes it probable that the police, EMS, and firemen carried the hemorrhaging woman down two flights of stairs to the gurney that could not access the third-floor surgical rooms.
“We have warned of the dangers posed by this abortion facility and its unreliable elevator until we are blue in the face,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “We have urged the Ohio Department of Health to close Preterm due to its pattern of frequent botched abortions, a patient death, and routine delays in patients receiving urgently-need emergency medical care because the elevator keeps breaking down. It’s time the Department of Health listened before another woman has to suffer or die.”