The Albuquerque Journal newspaper reports that the University of New Mexico (a publicly-funded institution) has halted a training program using abortionists from the late-term abortion facility Southwestern Women’s Options.
Owned by Texas abortionist Curtis Boyd, the abortion center had also been providing the University with fetal tissue for research. Southwestern Women’s Options, with locations in Dallas and Albuquerque, has been the subject of a previous undercover sting conducted by Live Action:
SWO owner Curtis Boyd is one of a handful of doctors in the country that performs abortions in the third trimester. He claims to be a former Baptist minister and admits that he knows he is “killing.”
Pro-lifers Tara and Bud Shaver, founders of the pro-life group ProtestABQ, have for years diligently exposed the practices of the late-term facility. In July, Tara Shaver filed a formal criminal complaint with the Attorney General of New Mexico asking for a complete and thorough investigation of Boyd’s facility following revelations that Planned Parenthood was taking part in a gruesome baby parts operation. Shaver indicated Boyd was also using the body parts of babies he aborted for research, basing her allegations on documents (obtained by ProLifeWitness.org) indicating SWO staff members are, “in fact, harvesting baby body parts for use in medical research.”
The documents included copies Southwestern Women’s Options’ informed consent paperwork – which every abortion patient must sign – indicating that Boyd and SWO may use the aborted babies in medical research.
The 2015 consent form (image above) states:
I understand that the pregnancy tissue will be removed from my body during this procedure. The pregnancy tissue may be examined here at the Clinic and the Clinic doctors may dispose of the tissue according to the law. The pregnancy tissue may be used for medical research.
This consent form from 2012 (image below) says, “tissue and parts will be removed during the procedure.”
The form goes on to state, “I consent to their examination and their use in medical research and their disposal by the clinic and/or physician in the manner they deem appropriate.” (Surprisingly, an admission that “pregnancy termination at 18 weeks and above involves a greater risk than carrying the pregnancy to term” is included, as well.)
Protest ABQ pointed out that New Mexico has a law prohibiting the selling of body parts. But despite the law, UNMH officials admitted to the Journal that they have been accepting fetal tissue from Boyd’s facility for a decade, claiming the abortionist is not paid for the baby body parts. In addition, Dr. Richard Larson, executive vice chancellor and vice chancellor for research at the UNMHSC, the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, told the Journal that SWO is the school’s only supplier of fetal tissue.
To justify the use of dead children in the late gestational age, Larson told the Journal that the “fetal tissue” they collect from Boyd will “reduce the mortality of premature babies, especially these extremely premature babies.” Officials also claim that their grisly research will reduce the likelihood of blindness, cognitive defects and other anomalies found in newborns between 24 and 30 weeks, the same age as the babies killed at SWO. In a May 2015 letter to UNMH, the Journal reports that Boyd specified that in abortions of less than 20 weeks, his doctors use “aspiration, dilation and evacuation.” Abortions after 20 weeks involve “feticide” by injecting the fetus with the drug Digoxin, Boyd’s letter states.
University officials still find the use of “fetal tissue” acceptable. What they are now publicly distancing themselves from is their training program with Boyd’s clinic and his fellow abortionists who were described as “faculty” under the training agreements with UNM. The decision by UNMHSC officials to no longer send medical fellows or residents to Boyd’s clinic follows a letter from New Mexico state Rep. Rod Montoya and other legislators who questioned top Health Sciences Center officials last July about the university’s relationship with Boyd’s clinic and the use of “body parts” from women who have abortions there, the paper states. Montoya told the Journal that the argument could be made that the residents and fellows were helping the abortion facility to augment its staffing for abortions.
“Initially, it had the appearance of being a transaction of sorts,” Montoya said, according to the Journal. “Of staffing in return for the body parts. That’s the appearance, and I informed them, ‘that’s how it appears to me,’ ” he said, adding that he is concerned that there is no oversight of abortion facilities in the state.
“We know that the vast majority of New Mexicans believe we should not have a free-for-all when it comes to abortion,” Rep. Montoya added.
In addition to the using fetal tissue for research in New Mexico, a former employee of Boyd’s testified that he also had an agreement with the Director of Fetal Research at the University of Texas Health Science Center to use “large babies” for fetal research there. The former staffer, Nita Whitten, made this statement at a “Meet the Abortion Providers” workshop sponsored by the Pro-life Action League of Chicago, directed by Joe Scheidler:
One thing that happened at the clinic that I worked at that was incredibly devastating, right before I left. Dr. Boyd had made an agreement with a doctor, and I cannot name this doctor because I just don’t think it would be wise to name him today, but he was the Director of Fetal Research at the University of Texas Health Science Center at that time. He had made an agreement with this doctor to give him our large babies for him to do fetal research on. They did this, and I believe at the time, it was against the law. I don’t know if it is now, and I’m not familiar with the legal terms because I’m not a lawyer, but I remember we were told not to tell anyone, and they only came in secret to get the babies….
He had them come in and they dissected a baby for us in our lab room so we could see what they were doing with the body parts. They did that right there and everybody filed in and looked. I looked at it. I pretended like I was being brave and walked out. It made me sick.
Pro-lifer Bud Shaver says he is calling for the university to cut all ties with the late-term abortionist. “The University of New Mexico (UNM) has been caught red handed trafficking and using baby body parts for their medical research,” he told Live Action News.
“This is unethical and immoral which is why Protest ABQ is calling for UNM to cut all ties with Curtis Boyd at Southwestern Women’s Options (SWO) which is their sole provider of baby remains. The fact that the residency training rotation has been stopped at SWO is merely a bandaid on the bigger problem, which is UNM’s overall radical abortion agenda – which is what Protest ABQ is demanding UNM to halt,” he added.
In an email, Elisa Martinez of New Mexico Alliance for Life (who shared information with the Journal, prompting their report) said, “This is one of the most significant victories for the pro-life movement in New Mexico and we celebrate this change that came about from New Mexico Alliance for Life’s investigative work exposing the invalid contract UNM had with Curtis Boyd.”
NMAFL added that “it was only after NMAFL pointed this out to state leaders and the Journal did UNM ‘halt’ the controversial program.“
You can read the Albuquerque Journal’s report here.