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Springs woman claims abortion without anesthesia; files suit against Planned Parenthood

By Heather Skold, Weekday Evening Anchor, heather.skold@krdo.com
Dana Molina, Multimedia Journalist/Telemundo Anchor, dana.molina@krdo.com
Published On: Feb 21 2013 11:22:20 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 22 2013 07:50:42 PM CST

Woman claims Planned Parenthood forced her to have an abortion without anesthesia and then botched the procedure.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

A Colorado Springs woman claims she was forced to have an abortion without anesthesia, and parts of the fetus were left inside her.

Ayanna Byer filed suit against her abortion doctor and Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.  The suit was filed Feb. 6 in El Paso County District Court.

According to court documents, Byer claims she was prescribed the abortion pill Mifepristone for her eight-week-old fetus in October of 2012.  During a follow-up appointment, it was determined Byer was further along than originally thought, and the abortion drug would not terminate the pregnancy. 

At that point, Byer was "pressured" to have an immediate abortion at the Centennial Boulevard location.  Byer agreed, with the understanding she would receive an IV for anesthesia. 

Byer claims medical personnel were not able to find a vein for the anesthesia.  An attorney working on Byer's case said at that point, she changed her mind.

"She said 'no, I don't want to go forward with the abortion under these circumstances. I want out of here,'" said Michael Norton, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom.

Byer alleges the doctor went ahead with the procedure - despite her request to stop.

According to the complaint, the doctor then told her the anesthesia would be given, and he turned on the vacuum machines, telling Byer it was "too late to stop" the abortion.

The complaint then alleges Byer was forced to "feel the full pain" of the abortion, against her will, and "fully awake."

"She was in very, very severe pain and cried out for them to stop," Norton said. "And ultimately they did."

After seven minutes, the medical personnel stopped the procedure because Byer was crying.

Byer alleges she was not seen by a doctor or nurse post-procedure and given a prescription for Vicodin and antibiotics. 

Two days later, after more pain and bleeding, Byer went to Penrose Hospital's emergency room. A Comprehensive Women's Health doctor then performed an emergency D&C because the Planned Parenthood doctor left "particles of the fetus" inside Byer. 

"Dr. Foley was horrified by what he found," Norton said.

In a statement, Dr. Steven Foley, who treated Byer, said, "she required an immediate high-risk surgery to remove the remaining tissue that had been left during the procedure done at Planned Parenthood."

He also called some of what Planned Parenthood allegedly did, medically inappropriate.

"It is not acceptable to refer your patients to the emergency department and assume the on-call doctor will take care of the complications and assume all the risk associated with the complications," he said.

In an email, a Planned Parenthood spokesperson said in order to protect the privacy and confidentiality of their patients, they can't comment on the care they provide to any particular patient.

But she said they are "very proud" of the care they provide.

"Nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being of the
patients we serve."

Byer declined to comment Thursday night.  

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