(By Cheryl Sullenger)
Albuquerque, NM – A woman has died as the result of a late-term abortion process initiated at Southwestern Women’s Options (SWO), in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is the largest abortion facility in the U.S. that openly specializes in abortions throughout all nine months of pregnancy.
Abortion Free New Mexico obtained the autopsy report for Keisha Marie Atkins, 23, who died on February 4, 2017, after being transported from SWO to UNM Hospital. Tara Shaver of Abortion Free New Mexico has also been in communication with members of Atkins’ family.
Operation Rescue is assisting Abortion Free New Mexico with an investigation of this tragedy.
This abortion-related death is particularly troubling in light of a criminal investigation that is currently underway by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office into Southwestern Women’s Options and UNM. UNM has aggressively worked to increase second and third trimester abortions at SWO, which, in turn, is UNM’s largest provider of aborted baby tissue and organs. A U.S. House investigation found this arrangement violates state and federal law, despite stonewalling and obfuscation on the part of UNM and SWO.
Atkins reported to SWO on January 31, 2017, for a four day late-term abortion procedure that was to be done by eighty-year old abortion facility owner Curtis Boyd. It is believed that Atkins was six months pregnant or more.
Four days later, on February 3, 2017, Atkins returned to SWO for the completion of the abortion where she displayed labored breathing and signs of sepsis, a systemic, life-threatening infection.
At 12:04 p.m. on February 3, an ambulance was called to transport Atkins to the hospital, but was later cancelled, raising questions of how and when Atkins actually received emergency medical help.
Once at the UNM Medical Center, Atkins’ condition deteriorated rapidly, prompting UNM staff to perform an emergency D&E abortion procedure to remove her baby through dismemberment.
During the procedure, Atkins suffered cardiac arrest. Efforts to revive her were unsuccessful, and she was pronounced dead at 12:10 a.m. on February 4, 2017.
An autopsy was conducted at the UNM Health Sciences Center by the UNM Office of the Medical Investigator, which also serves as the Bernadillo County Coroner. The OMI determined that Atkins cause of death was “pulmonary thromboembolism due to pregnancy,” in other words, blood clots in the lungs.
However, a careful review of the autopsy findings indicates that this cause of death is a whitewash meant to blame Atkins’ pregnancy for her death instead of what appears to be a mismanaged late-term abortion procedure.
“UNM is a biased promoter of abortion that is attempting to shift blame onto Atkins’ pregnancy, instead of the abortion, where the blame rightfully belongs,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Keisha Atkins and her family deserve the truth, not a cover-up. But with UNM and SWO, covering up their misdeeds has become standard operating procedure.”
There is evidence that Atkins suffered from sepsis, a bacterial infection caused by the four-day abortion process, which brought about symptoms consistent with Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC). Atkins suffered hemorrhaging in her brain and left adrenal gland, a buildup of fluid around her lungs, and other symptoms of DIC that the autopsy ignored.
Pro-life leaders believe there is a way to keep other women from suffering Atkins’ fate.
“We call on the New Mexico Attorney General to step up their criminal investigation, and we call on the State Medical Board to take a hard, honest look at Keisha Atkins’ death,” Newman said. “Curtis Boyd should be stopped from practicing, and the dangerous Southwestern Women’s Options should be shut down for good.”
“Coverups are as heinous as the crimes, and the crimes of the abortion cartel in New Mexico have been covered up for too many years. It is time for Hector Balderas to do his job or resign. It is time for the UNM Regents to do their jobs or resign. It is time for the New Mexico Medical Board to fully investigate Keisha’s death without bias,” said Fr. Stephen Imbarrato, The Protest Priest.
“We join the family of Keisha Atkins as they grieve her death from serious complications during a late term abortion at Southwestern Women’s Options. She was a 23-year old vibrant woman with her whole life ahead of her that was tragically cut short,” stated Tara Shaver of Abortion Free New Mexico. “For years we have worked to expose the barbaric nature of late term abortion in New Mexico and sought to bring accountability to the unregulated and unaccountable Abortion Cartel. Now more than ever, we need leadership in our city and state to take a bold stand and the necessary steps to prevent the needless deaths of women and their children through late term abortion.”
View the autopsy report.