Wednesday, February 01, 2023

February 1, 1995: Eleventh of Sixteen?

 When 24-year-old Ta Tanisha Wesson went to Family Planning Associates Medical Group on January 26, 1995 for a safe, legal abortion, she brought a friend with her, Ms. Mickey Gaton.

Mickey had been sitting in the waiting room for several hours when she saw an ambulance approach. Though staff knew that Mickey had come with Ta Tanisha, she said, they didn't tell her anything about complications.

Somehow Mickey found out that it was her friend being loaded into the ambulance. She called Ta Tanisha's parents, Lin and Nicole Wesson, who rushed to the facility. There, Ta Tanisha's father said, they were unable to get any information about their daughter from the staff. "Everything was done in secrecy," he said.

Ta Tanisha was taken to the hospital, never regaining consciousness. She died on February 1, leaving behind a five-year-old son, David, motherless.

Her parents sued, saying that Ta Tanisha was given too much anesthetic. Their attorney said, "This death definitely could have been avoided. ... Ta Tanisha Wesson was given too much anesthesia, which caused her to vomit and choke. We are claiming negligence by the clinic staff who were not present when she began vomiting and ultimately delayed 20-25 minutes before calling for emergency help."

At a rally outside the clinic, a family spokesperson gestured to little David and said, "All my words could never speak as eloquently as the expression on this little boy's face who will never see his mother again."

Other women who died from abortions perpetrated at Family Planning Associates include:

  • 1970: Denise Holmes
  • 1984: Patricia Chacon and Mary Pena
  • 1985: Josefina Garcia
  • 1986: Laniece Dorsey
  • 1988: Joyce Ortenzio and Tami Suematsu
  • 1992: Deanna Bell and Susan Levy
  • 1994: Christina Mora
  • 1998: Nakia Jorden
  • 1999: Maria Leho
  • 2000: Kimberly Neil and Maria Rodriguez
  • 2004: Chanelle Bryant
FPA founder Edward Campbell "Fast Eddie" Allred held that processing many abortion patients through as quickly as possible was his duty. "When a sullen black woman of 17 or 18 can decide to have a baby and get welfare and food stamps and become a burden to all of us, it's time to stop. In parts of South Los Angeles having babies for welfare is the only industry the people have." The supporters gathered for Ta Tanisha's family speculated that racism might have played a role in the substandard care the young woman received.

Family Planning Associates is a member of the National Abortion Federation.


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