A doctor at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains allegedly performed an abortion with no anesthesia against the will of Colorado Springs resident Ayanna Byer, according to charges in a lawsuit Byer filed on February 6. Byer’s suit brings claims of negligence, battery, uninformed consent, false imprisonment, extreme and outrageous conduct (emotional distress), and breach of fiduciary duty against the Planned Parenthood facility and a doctor identified in the complaint only as “Dr. John Doe.”
According to her complaint, Byer was just over 8 weeks pregnant in October 2012 when she visited Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains seeking an abortion. Byer alleges she was informed by Planned Parenthood that a surgical abortion would be necessary to end the pregnancy.
“Upon Plaintiff’s condition that she would receive anesthesia for pain through an I.V. for which Plaintiff would pay an additional fee, Plaintiff agreed to the surgical abortion,” Byer’s suit alleges after claiming that Planned Parenthood employees “proceeded to pressure Plaintiff into making an immediate decision on whether to proceed with a surgical abortion.”
The complaint further alleges the Planned Parenthood employee attempting to administer her anesthesia prior to the abortion “could not get the I.V. in Plaintiff’s vein.” The employee left to find someone else to administer the anesthetic, but “before the I.V. was inserted and before the Plaintiff had received any anesthesia, the Planned Parenthood Doctor began the procedure to abort the pregnancy.”
At this point in the operation, Byer alleges she asked the doctor to stop and informed the doctor “that she believed this to be a sign she should not go through with the abortion.” The doctor allegedly told Byer “it was too late to stop” and continued to perform the abortion against the patient’s wishes and despite the lack of anesthesia.
According to the suit, after seven minutes of the procedure – with a vacuum used to abort and dispose of the child – Ayanna Byer was crying in pain. The Planned Parenthood doctor informed Byer the procedure was over, and Byer alleges she was told there was no need for a follow up appointment, even though it is standard medical procedure for nearly all other types of outpatient surgical clinics to schedule multiple follow up visits with their patients.
Byer claims she suffered pain and bleeding not resolved by the medications Planned Parenthood prescribed, and mustered up the strength to admit herself into the emergency ward at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs two days after the abortion. A gynecologist at the hospital allegedly performed an emergency Dilation and Curettage procedure because the Planned Parenthood doctor had not completed the abortion.
The doctor at Penrose Hospital informed Ms. Byer that she had developed a serious infection because parts of her unborn child were still in her body after the Planned Parenthood procedure, the complaint states.
Ayanna Byer’s complaint has raised questions concerning the health policies of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and the regulations set forth in order to guarantee patients’ safety. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment regulates health standards for the majority of clinics and health facilities in the state of Colorado, from birthing centers, to outpatient surgical centers, to rural health clinics.
However, the Health Facilities branch of the department informed Media Trackers that Planned Parenthood was not a facility that their department either licensed or regulated. The department was unable to provide the Colorado state agency or governmental branch who actually regulated the health standards for Planned Parenthood facilities in the state of Colorado.
Media Trackers contacted all other regulatory affairs divisions within Colorado, only to be told that Planned Parenthood clinics did not fall under any of them, nor did officials at any of the departments have a knowledge of the clinic’s health standard regulation.
Ayanna Byer is currently being represented by Doug Romero, a lawyer with the Colorado Christian Defense Counsel in Denver.
This post was originally featured at Media Trackers Colorado.