Sunday, February 28, 2021

February 28: Planned Parenthood's Fatal Haste

A portrait of a young Hispanic woman with her hair dyed an orange shade, holding two little boys on her lap.
Diana Lopez and her children
Diana Lopez, age 25, was 19 weeks pregnant when she went to a Planned Parenthood for a safe and legal abortion on February 28, 2002. Before the day was over, Diana had bled to death. She left two sons, 4-year-old Frankie and 2-year-old Fabian, motherless. The taxpayers of California paid for the fatal abortion, courtesy of Medi-Cal.

Diana‘s husband, David, filed suit, alleging that the abortionist‘s haste caused severe lacerations that killed his wife. The suit says that Diana‘s abortion was rushed through in only six minutes, although Planned Parenthood‘s own web site says such a procedure should take 10 to 20 minutes. The lawsuit also blames Planned Parenthood for proceeding with an abortion even though her hemoglobin levels were abnormally low prior to the procedure.

 Dr. Mark Maltzer
After the abortion, Diana had been rushed by ambulance to County Women‘s Hospital. Dr. Mark Maltzer, who performed the abortion, neither accompanied his patient to the hospital nor spoke to the physicians who were taking over her care. Those doctors performed a hysterectomy was performed and gave Diana five units of whole blood in a futile attempt to save her life. She was pronounced dead at 2:45 p.m. Diana‘s autopsy noted that she had hemorrhaged from a perforation of her cervix.

The family‘s attorney also noted that in 2000, the same Planned Parenthood rushed another woman though a similar 6-minute abortion, lacerating the patient‘s cervix, rupturing her uterus, perforating her sigmoid colon and causing the loss of 2 liters of blood. Planned Parenthood also delayed three hours before transferring the patient to a hospital. Fortunately, this patient survived her ordeal.

A review of Los Angeles County civil cases indicates that this patient was probably Kimberly Thomas, who sued on April 19, 2002, after her abortion by Joseph Marmet. Kimberly‘s suit was one of roughly 50 filed against the Los Angeles Planned Parenthood from 1983 to 2002. The medical board took no action against Marmet.

The medical board took no action against Diana‘s abortionist, Maltzer, either. However, after being pestered by prolifers the California Department of Health Services investigated the facility and cited Planned Parenthood for:

  • Failing to institute a necessary change in medical protocol relating to the use of laminaria (used to expand the cervix) in the dilation and evacuation procedure.
  • Lacking the evidence to show a completed assessment of the competency and credentials of the physician who carried out the abortion.
  • Inadequately advising against a potentially dangerous second-trimester D&E procedure based on low hemoglobin levels which made Diana a high-risk patient.
  • Failing to follow proper surgical abortion policy and procedure by administering Cytotec to Diana on day one of the two-day abortion procedure, when policy requires it to be administered 90 minutes before the abortion procedure.
  • Having a "reproductive health specialist" rather than a physician do the informed consent on this high-risk patient.
  • Failing to inform Planned Parenthood‘s governing body of any adverse outcome related to patient care within the facility.
  • Failing to notify the Health Department of a patient's death within 24 hours of the occurrence.
  • Keeping incomplete records describing the services provided to Diana.

The fact that the Planned Parenthood has made "corrections" to satisfy the state does not satisfy Diana‘s family. "It was wrong. It was wrong," said Judy Lopez, Diana‘s older sister. "She was healthy. She was fine."

I also have some skepticism about how the "corrections" were made, since five years later, at another Southern California Planned Parenthood, a nurse placed laminaria in the cervix of patient Edrica Goode in spite of obvious signs of a vaginal infection. Since laminaria absorb whatever moisture is in the area so that they will expand and dilate the cervix, it's no surprise that the laminaria inserted into Edrica's cervix pulled the infection into her uterus and killed her.

The failure to assess the competency and credentials of a staff member also seems to me to be a Planned Parenthood failure of long standing and large geographic span, since in 1981 abortion patient Elise Kalat suffered a severe asthma attack after her abortion at a Massachusetts Planned Parenthood. When the medics arrived to take over Elise's care they found that nobody on site evidently knew how to perform even layman-quality CPR, much less the type of advanced CPR that would be expected of medical professionals. 

Far too many other women have died from screw-ups and bad judgement at Planned Parenthood. 

Cree Erwin-Shephard, age 24, suffered internal injuries during an abortion at Planned Parenthood in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her mother found her cold and stiff in the guest bedroom on the 4th of July, 2016. 

Tonya Reaves, age 24, left a one-year-old child motherless when she bled to death in July of 2012 after an abortion at a Chicago Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood staff had delayed for four hours before transporting Tonya to a properly equipped hospital.

In 2009, 17-year-old Roselle Owens died from apparent anesthesia complications after an abortion at Planned Parenthood's Margaret Sanger Center in New York. Her family said that the staff had failed to monitor her properly and delayed transport to a properly equipped hospital. 

Holly Patterson, age 18, died in mid-September of 2003 from sepsis caused by abortion drugs she got at a Planned Parenthood in Hayward, California. Instead of instructing Holly to place the second dose inside her cheek and letting it dissolve, as the FDA instructed, Planned Parenthood told her that she could insert it vaginally. Researchers believe that the vaginal insertion of this second drug makes otherwise healthy young women particularly vulnerable to sudden death from toxic shock syndrome.

Vivian Tran, age 22, and died in late December of 2003, six days into a medical abortion process started at another California Planned Parenthood. Like Holly Patterson, she had been told to use the second drug vaginally instead of placing it in her cheek in keeping with FDA recommendations.

Planned Parenthood doesn't seem to be upholding the standards they want everybody to believe they're upholding.

Watch Fatal Haste on YouTube.


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