Woman sues New Mexico abortion facility for violating informed consent

late-term abortion

According to news reports, 25-year-old New Mexico resident Jessica Duran is suing the Albuquerque late-term abortion facility, Southwestern Women’s Options, claiming she was not given full and necessary information by the facility before choosing to abort her daughter in 2012.

National Review reports that Duran claims “SWO employees did not provide her with informed consent and did not disclose their connection to the [University of New Mexico] research center to which her aborted child’s remains were later given”:

Duran says she was never even told that her child’s body would be used for fetal research at all; she only later discovered her child had been sent to the University of New Mexico (UNM) for just that purpose. The lawsuit alleges that Duran was given a consent form to sign in order to donate her child’s body parts to the clinic, but that form did not indicate a glaring conflict of interest: that the clinic’s leading abortion doctors were also faculty members at UNM involved in its work with fetal tissue. Furthermore, she was never given the opportunity to consent to her child’s remains being sent to UNM itself.

Live Action News has reported extensively on this “conflict of interest,” including details on the close relationship between Southwestern Women’s Options and the University of New Mexico.

According to KRQE News 13 in Albuquerque (video below), Duran signed a consent form for the abortion, but the consent for tissue donation was listed on the same form. This should not be, New Mexico Alliance for Life’s executive director Elisa Martinez told KRQE. The tissue donation consent should be done on a separate form. “They’re supposed to be informed about the nature of the research going on. They’re supposed to be informed about the benefits of the research,” she told the news station. “They’re also supposed to be given the opportunity to ask questions and withdrawal from the research at any time.”

(Hat tip to

A February story by Live Action News’ Carole Novielli corroborates the report that the consent forms are combined into one. At the time, Novielli wrote:

According to a consent form obtained by local pro-lifer Tara Shaver, the remains of babies aborted at Southwestern Women’s Options, are automatically used in research. “Since the ‘consent’ for research is buried in the same consent form for the abortion, it is doubtful many women even realize their babies are being turned into fodder for laboratory experimentation,” reports Operation Rescue – an organization that investigates abortion clinic nationwide.

Abortionists Curtis Boyd, Shelley Sella, Susan Robinson, and Carmen Landau operate Southwestern Women’s Options, which advertises third trimester abortions on its website — abortions like the one below, described by former abortionist Anthony Levatino:

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