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Domestic News | August 29, 2012

Family of Tonya Reaves sues Planned Parenthood

Pro-life

Lawsuit blames abortion provider for carelessness and negligence in Reaves' death

Tonya Reaves (Photo from Facebook)

Dorsey Johns, mother of Tonya Reaves, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Planned Parenthood of Illinois, following her 24-year-old daughter's death after a botched abortion. Johns' suit alleges Reaves died due to negligence. The family wants at least $120,000 in compensation, as well as money for Reaves' one-year old son, Alvin.

Johns claims Planned Parenthood "carelessly performed" Reaves' abortion on July 20 and failed to properly monitor her afterwards. According to a dispatch transcript obtained by pro-life group Operation Rescue, Planned Parenthood never called 911 for Reaves, despite her profuse bleeding. The additional delay in getting Reaves to the hospital could have been a contributing factor in her death. The suit also blames Planned Parenthood for not warning the on-call doctor at Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital about Reaves' condition.

Johns' suit also names the hospital, where Reaves was taken five and a half hours after her abortion. Johns alleges that medical staff failed to immediately discover the uterine perforation inflicted by the abortion, which caused Reaves to bleed to death.

After Reaves' death, Planned Parenthood of Illinois President and CEO Carole Brite issued a statement offering condolences to the family. Brite did not acknowledge the role her staff members played in the incident.

"Our hearts go out to the loved ones of this patient," the statement said. "While legal abortion services in the United States have a very high safety record, a tragedy such as this is devastating to loved ones and we offer our deepest sympathies."

But Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, whose group documents instances of injury and death at abortion facilities, notes complications during procedures are not rare.

"Lack of proper monitoring is a chronic problem in the abortion industry as a whole," Newman said. "Once abortion businesses get the money and kill the baby, they are essentially done with the woman. If she happens to have complications, they blame her."

The medical examiner ruled Reaves' death an accident but has so far refused to release the autopsy report.