11th medical emergency at Ohio abortion clinic in 5 years raises questions

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By Mark Ellis

Lakisha Wilson died after undergoing an abortion at Preterm on March 21, 2014 (Shown with brother, Richard)
Lakisha Wilson died after undergoing an abortion at Preterm on March 21, 2014 (Shown with brother, Richard)

As the U.S. Supreme Court weighs a Texas law regulating health and safety requirements for abortion clinics, a 911 audio recording reveals that a 22-year old abortion patient suffered a life-threatening medical emergency during a late-term abortion at the Preterm abortion facility in Cleveland on February 13th.

This is the same facility that inflicted a fatal abortion on a 22-year old woman, Lakisha Wilson, nearly two years ago, and the 11th documented abortion injury at the same clinic since 2010, according to Operation Rescue, who has received copies of the 911 recordings in question.

In the most recent incident, the young woman was 21.3 weeks pregnant, according to the Preterm worker that dialed 911. Such late-term abortions are inherently risky, yet Preterm is inadequately equipped to handle complications that seem to arise there on a regular basis, according to Operation Rescue.

While the Preterm employee who dialed 911 knew details about the patient, she would not say exactly what “went wrong” during the late-term abortion.

The following was transcribed from the recording of the 911 call:

Dispatcher: Tell me exactly what happened.

Preterm: We’re an abortion facility. She was in the middle of an abortion. She’s 21.3 weeks. And something went wrong during the procedure.

Moments later the dispatcher again asked what happened.

Dispatcher: What went wrong? Does she like have – Is she awake still?

Preterm: I don’t know, ma’am. I’m not in the room. So I’m assuming bleeding. Maybe a perforation? I don’t know.

Rally in support of Preterm in 2015 with clergy present
Rally in support of Preterm in 2015 with clergy present

According to Operation Rescue, the patient was carried down a back stairwell to an ambulance. “The only gurney access to the third-floor procedure rooms is through a frequently malfunctioning elevator,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue. “The patient was brought out a back door of the facility that leads to the rear stairwell. There is no access to the elevator from that door.”

“Eleven medical emergencies in the past five years is simply unacceptable. Women walk in but they don’t walk out,” he added. “The public has a right to be protected from such shoddy and incompetent practices. For years, Ohio Department of Health inspectors have taken note of one abortion-related injury after another but have continually neglected to hold Preterm accountable, even in light of the avoidable death of Lakisha Wilson.

“It’s time to shut down this house of horrors before anyone else ends up on a slab in the morgue.”

For more information about Operation Rescue, go here.

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