Planned Parenthood killed a woman in a botched abortion; now her family is seeking justice

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Cree Erwin-Sheppard died after a botched abortion at Planned Parenthood in Kalamazoo, Michigan, last summer.  Michigan Right to Life reported on the ongoing investigation and the family’s desperate attempts to find answers.

Cree was a 24-year-old mother with a young son when she went to Planned Parenthood for an abortion on June 30, 2016.  Two days later, she went to the emergency room experiencing extreme abdominal pain and vomiting.  Despite finding evidence of the botched abortion and pieces of her baby’s body still inside her, emergency room staff sent her home for the Fourth of July weekend with instructions to follow up with Planned Parenthood in a few days.  Cree never had a follow up appointment with the abortionist who perforated her uterus.  By the morning of July 4, Cree was dead.

According to local news reports, last week the family and Pro-Life activists joined in a press conference at the regional medical examiner’s office.  The protestors, led by Cree’s brothers, “had a single goal: Find out what killed her, and demand accountability.”

The family and Pro-Life activists have been seeking answers in the months following Cree’s death.  The many previous requests for information were answered by county officials with heavily redacted documents, autopsy reports and death certificates with many lines blacked out.  County employees claimed that they were trying to protect the privacy of Cree’s family, but the family fears that officials were trying to cover up Planned Parenthood’s role in the young woman’s death.  Last month, the Kalamazoo Gazette filed a Freedom of Information Act request and received an autopsy report without blacking out important facts about the circumstances of Cree’s death.

Unfortunately, the information leaves more questions than answers for the grieving family.  Hospital records and the autopsy report show that the abortionist left parts of the baby and the placenta in Cree’s uterus when committing the abortion with a vacuum aspirator.  Equally disturbing, the autopsy shows the abortionist left a 4-centimeter tear in Cree’s uterus, a life-threatening complication that can occur in abortions.

Cree’s tragic death is yet another example of the danger posed by legal abortion.  Not only are women lied to about their preborn babies, they are also left with scars and emotional wounds that last a lifetime; sometimes their own lives are cut short.  Abortion activists insist that if abortion were illegal, women would die in so-called “back alley” abortions.  The reality is that women die in “safe” and legal abortions at Planned Parenthood and other abortion mills across the country every year.

Texas Right to Life sends our heartfelt prayers to Cree’s family.  We hope the public outcry will lead to a full investigation and prosecution for the negligence that led to this young woman’s untimely death.  As Michigan Right to Life notes, abortion is not simply between a woman and her doctor.  When Cree faced a life-threatening emergency following an abortion, she did not return to the abortionist she had likely only ever met for a brief procedure in which her preborn child died.  She went to the emergency room where medical personnel did not fully address the complications of the abortion that led to her death.  The woman is not the only person affected by an abortion decision, either.  Tragically, Cree’s young son will never know his mother because she died at the hands of an abortionist.

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