Family Planning Associates Medical Group is an abortion provider that operates a chain of abortion clinics. (FPA) was founded in California by Edward Campbell Allred. It’s slick and attractive website states that:
“In keeping with our commitment to provide the finest quality medical service available, all FPA physicians practice exclusively for Family Planning Associates Medical Group, Inc. Patients are given complete information about what to expect when they leave the facility. Any post-operative questions and problems are evaluated and resolved promptly and appropriately at no additional fee.”
FPA has grown to be the largest chain of for-profit abortion facilities in the world. The chain has grown due to Allred’s business acumen and his excellent choice of attorneys to keep him from being shut down. That I personally know of, a dozen women and girls have died from complications of abortions performed at FPA facilities.
The first FPA death that I know of took place in 1970. Denise Holmes, a 24-year-old Australian woman living in Texas, decided to undergo an abortion at Avalon Hospital in Los Angeles, California, on her way home for Christmas. Denise checked into Allred’s Avalon Hospital on December 21. During the abortion, Denise suffered an amniotic fluid embolism that carried pieces of fetal bone marrow into her lungs. She was pronounced dead by Allred at Avalon at 5pm.
In 1984, FPA bought out the already-troubled San Vicente Hospital, where Sara Lint, Natalie Meyers, Joyce Ortenzio, and Laniece Dorsey had already died. Clearly the quality of the management didn’t improve under the FPA umbrella, because Mary Pena underwent her fatal abortion at San Vicente shortly after Allred took over. Allred managed to slip Mary’s body through the morgue without an autopsy, but an alert records clerk in Mary’s home county noticed something fishy about the death certificate, and she was exhumed and the real cause of her death determined.
Meanwhile back at one of the more established FPA facilities, Patricia Chacon, age 16, died after an abortion that same year. FPA held that Patricial died of an unforseen embolism during a second abortion procedure. Her parents say she bled to death while left unattended.
In 1985, Josefina Garcia, age 37 and a mother of two, was left unattended in the recovery room after her D&C abortion on May 23. She bled to death.
The next year Lanice Dorsey, age 17, lapsed into a coma and died after an abortion at an Orange County FPA.
In 1988, Tami Suematsu, age 19, underwent an abortion by Vern Wagner at Riverside Family Planning, an FPA facility. After the surgery, Tami had an asthma attack causing respiratory failure, resulting in cardiac arrest. She was transported to a local hospital where she died shortly after arrival.
That same year, Joyce Ortenzio, age 32, went to San Vicente for laminaria insertion by Ruben Marmet on June 7. Later, Marmet performed an abortion, but did not remove all of the fetal parts from Joyce’s uterus. The next day, June 8, Joyce was found dead in her home from abortion complications. She left three children without a mother.
In 1992, Susan Levy, age 30, a homeless woman, was found dead in the car she’d been living in. An autopsy and review of papers found in her possession revealed that she’d undergone a safe, legal abortion at an FPA facility. Fetal tissue was left in her uterus, causing the infection that killed her.
That same year, Deanna Bell, age 13, was brought to Allred’s Albany clinic in Chicago. She was given a massive overdose of brevitol, then inadequately resuscitated. Her abortionist, Steve Lichtenberg, never had staff call an ambulance. Nobody was contacted until he notified the coroner was notified that the child was dead.
In 1994, Christina Mora, age 18, left an 18-month old child motherless when her FPA abortion ended her life. She suffered cervical lacerations and infection.
In 2000, the family of Kimberly Neil filed suit, alleging that FPA staff failed to properly monitor Kimberly, and failed to treat her properly when she stopped breathing during the abortion. Kimberly died May 22.
In 2004, Chanelle Bryant, age 22, was given the drugs for a chemical abortion at a FPA facility in California. She was instructed to use the prostaglandin as a suppository, rather than take an oral prostaglandin. This off-label use was investigated by the CDC and FDA after Chanelle and four other US women died infection after taking RU-486.
Here are a handful of the many lawsuits against Family Planning Associates:
L.V., alleged: abortion by Allred and/or Kenneth Wright and/or Morton Sacks and/or Soon G. Sohn and/or D. Cannon October 28, 1989 at FPA facility; transported Linda to San Vicente for treatment October 28 – November 6; subsequent cramps, hemorrhage, emergency surgery, hospitalization, due to incomplete abortion. (LA County Superior Court Case No. BC008189)
J.V., alleged: abortion at FPA by Edward Allred and/or Wright and/or and/or J. Terrell Crad and/or Soon Sohn July 19, 1983; patient “rendered sick, lame, disabled and suffered injuries which caused and continue to cause pain, suffering, intense anxiety, emotional distress, insecurity, and apprehension;” loss of earnings. (LA County Superior Court Case No. C505315)
A.A., alleged: abortion by Edward Allred and/or Wright October 28, 1980; admitted to hospital November 1 for gynecological infection; A. suffered “severe and permanent injury, disability and damages.” (Orange County Superior Court Case No. 370730)
C.W., alleged: abortion by Edward Allred and/or Leslie Orleans and/or Wright at FPA May 10. 1978; incomplete abortion, “massive uterine bleeding necessitating further medical care.” (Orange County Superior Court Case No. 31-79-68)
P.T., alleged abortion by Edward Allred and/or Wright at Pregnancy Control Medical Group August 6, 1976; failure to diagnose ectopic pregnancy; Penny “suffered severe, acute pain, a ruptured tubal pregnancy, hemoperitoneum, shock, and a resulting total abdominal hysterectomy” August 20. (Orange County Superior Court Case No. 32-02-40)
P.C., alleged abortion performed October 5, 1982, when she was not actually pregnant. Suit names as co defendants Edward Allred, Soon Sohn, Wright, and Ruben Marmet. (LA County Superior Court Case No. NCC238673)
V.P., alleged: abortion March 2, 1980; failure to warn of risks; negligence resulting in “disabling injuries to her body and to her small bowel and uterus, requiring surgical repair.” Wright was named as co-defendant. (LA County Superior Court Case No. C347394)
D.B., alleged: abortion at Avalon by Edward Allred and/or Wright June 19, 1976; incomplete abortion; inadequate follow-up instruction and care; hemorrhage several days later necessitating hospitalization to prevent death and repair damage. (LA County Superior Court Case No. C188819)
Other suits include:
P.S., alleged: 1977 surgery by Wright at FPA’s Avalon Hospital; displaced IUD that was in place at time of surgery; patient required hospital and medical treatment. (LA County Superior Court Case No. C483647)
S.V., alleged improperly attended coming out of anesthesia following October 21, 1985 tubal ligation by Edward Allred and/or Wright; fell, struck by gurney, injured; post-op infection. (Orange County Superior Court Case No. 50-39-14)
P.B., alleged in 1976 suit failure to diagnose and treat, resulting in damages. (LA County Superior Court Case No. C148914)
L.G., alleged in 1974 suture of left ureter during hysterectomy; patient subsequently required cystouethroscopy, left retrograde pyelogram, and left uretero-neocystotomy, with reimplantation of the left ureter to the bladder, also continuing pain and suffering and need for medical care. (LA County Superior Court Case No. C 109353)
Note that these suits were uncovered in searches in Orange and Los Angeles counties; to my knowledge, nobody has yet done a search for suits against Wright or FPA in Fresno County.
Two quotes from Dr. Edward Allred, founder of Family Planning Associates:
“Very commonly, we hear patients say that they feel like they’re on an assembly line. We tell them they’re right. It is an assembly line…We’re trying to be as cost-effective as possible and speed is important…We try to use the physician for his technical skill and reduce the one-to-one relationship with the patient. We usually see the patient for the first time on the operation table and then not again. More contact is just not efficient.”
“Population control is too important to be stopped by some right wing pro-life types. Take the new influx of Hispanic immigrants. Their lack of respect for democracy and social order is frightening. I hope I can do something to stem that tide; I’d set up a clinic in Mexico for free if I could … When a sullen black woman of 17 or 18 can decide to have a baby and get welfare and food stamps and become a burden to all of us, it’s time to stop. In parts of South Los Angeles, having babies for welfare is the only industry these people have.”
both quoted in The San Diego Union, October 12, 1980. Also quoted in Anthony Perry. First quote also found in “Doctor’s Abortion Business Is Lucrative.” ALL About Issues December 1980, pages 10, 14, and 15
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