ABORTION INDUSTRY IN MELBOURNE, FLORIDA
ROE V AWARE WOMAN
DOCKET / CHRONOLOGICAL FILE
Jane Roe II's visit to Aware Woman on 3/29/97
Jane Roe II's visit to Aware Woman on 3/29/97
By MEREDITH RANEY, 6/25/01
Spokesman for Christians For Life
MELBOURNE, FL -- On March 29, 1997 a woman went alone to the Aware Woman Center for Choice, Inc. abortion clinic for an abortion. She left a few hours later in an ambulance with a perforated uterus, and other internal injuries. This woman used her real name during her visit to Aware Woman. However, she is now using the pseudonym 'Jane Roe II' in the lawsuit she brought against Aware Woman and the abortionist.
Christians For Life witness ambulance call
Christians For Life (CFL), a pro-life counseling group, was present at Aware Woman as usual and witnessed what happened outside the building. CFL offers reproductive health services by way of referral information regarding alternatives to abortion. Jane Roe II drove in without stopping to take the referral information. CFL logged her arrival on their log sheets as they did everyone who went into and came out of Aware Woman.
Only one car remained
Several hours later when an ambulance, fire truck and police cars showed up with emergency lights flashing and sirens wailing even though the clinic had requested "no lights, no sirens." CFL observed carefully what occurred and started praying fervently for whoever was being taken out in the ambulance. Of course, there was no way to know exactly who was being taken out. However, as time went on and everyone else left, there was only one car remaining in the parking lot. It was Jane Roe II's car. Since she had come in alone there was nobody to drive her car away.
Contact made via license plate info
At that time a citizen could get the name and address of a car's owner from the Department of Transportation based only on the license plate number. CFL got Jane Roe II's name and address that way and contacted her to offer help. Jane Roe II accepted. Jane Roes of today likely do not get the help they need because of a new federal law that prevents citizens from getting owner identification information based on a license plate number. This change in the law was pushed heavily by the abortion industry and their ally, the ACLU, for this very reason.
The first thing that was done was to help her recover from her injuries, which took about 6 weeks. As soon as she was ready, CFL helped her file a complaint with the state Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA).
No violations found
The AHCA found no violations. The bottom line of the letter from an AHCA attorney says:
The Consultant found that Dr. Egherman did not breach the standard of care. Perforation of the uterus is a known and common complication of an abortion. Dr. Egherman acted timely and properly when he realized that the perforation might have occurred.
In other words, there was no malpractice according to the Florida AHCA.
What else could be done?
CFL was then able to help Jane Roe II find an attorney, Chris Sapp, who filed a case on her behalf in federal court charging violation of the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) law. See the complaint for details.
The district court rules
The district court ruled that Jane Roe II could not proceed anonymously in the case.
On appeal the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court and allowed Jane Roe II to proceed anonymously.
FLORIDA TODAY newspaper article
In a 6/21/01 FLORIDA TODAY newspaper article, attorneys for the defendants have indicated that they are going to appeal further.
Too many ambulances to keep track of?
This article has the subtitle, "Defendants seek name of woman who sued now-defunct clinic." The defendants know Roe's exact identity. They want the court to force her to use her real name because they know she will drop the case if she is required to do that. The details in the complaint tell the defendants exactly who she is. Just how many women were taken to the emergency room by ambulance from their clinic on March 29, 1997? The defendants are acting like ambulance calls to their clinic are a common every day occurrence and that they had so many on March 29, 1997 that they can't possibly know which one is referred to in the complaint.
It is also interesting that all the defendants apparently are planning to use the "necessity defense." In other words, they admit to violating FACE, but they did it out of necessity for Jane Roe II's own good. If the defendants are successful in this defense, it will set precedent for others to do the same and even physically restrain women out of necessity for their own good to keep them from going into an abortion clinic where they would be in danger of being hurt as was Jane Roe II.
Where are the feminists?
Where is the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the other radical feminist organizations who claim to exist to help women? Why haven't they come to the aid of Jane Roe II and the many other women like her? See Victims of Choice for 3 examples. The silence is deafening. Could it be they are more pro-abortion than pro-choice and once the unborn baby is dead, they could care less what happens to the mother.
Anonymity ruling faces challenge
Defendants seek name of woman who sued now-defunct clinic
By Patricia Walsh
Attorneys for the those named in a civil lawsuit filed by a woman who alleges she was forced to remain on the operating table during an abortion say they will challenge a federal ruling allowing the woman to pursue her claim under a fictitious name.
The woman, known as Jane Roe II in court documents, claims she suffered a perforated uterus and a colon laceration during the operation at the now-defunct Aware Woman Center for Choice Inc., and required emergency room treatment. Her suit names the clinic, Patricia Baird-Windle and Edward W. Windle Jr., who were the owners of the clinic's parent corporation at the time the procedure was performed, and Dr. William P. Egherman.
Merritt Island attorney Andrew Menyhart, who represents the Windles and the corporation that operated the clinic, said all of the individuals named in the suit will seek a rehearing on the anonymity question.
"While we agree that the woman's right to have an abortion is a substantial privacy right, that doesn't necessarily permit any woman who undergoes an abortion to proceed anonymously in any type of case," he said. "Permitting this woman to proceed anonymously is permitting her to impugn and harm the reputation of private individuals, and to make allegations that may be unfounded and without merit . . ."
Egherman's Orlando attorney, Rick Ramsey, said his client also would appeal the anonymity ruling issued earlier this month by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The ruling cited privacy and personal safety concerns. The court stated, however, that the plaintiff must formally reveal her identity to those named in the suit.
The Jane Doe II case, filed in federal court in Orlando, alleges that the clinic violated the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act intended to prevent protesters from blocking clinic entrances by creating a 36-foot, protester-free area surrounding clinic entrances.
Fort Myers attorney Chris Sapp, one of the lawyers representing the woman, said she would drop her case rather than reveal her identity.
The appellate court opinion states that it may be unlikely that clinic personnel held Jane Doe II there to restrict her liberty. Rather, the appellate court said, it is probable that they did so to protect her health and safety after realizing there had been complications.
The court said the woman could proceed with her case if she provided evidence that the clinic, its owners and the doctor violated the federal legislation.
The woman claims that she began to experience extreme pain in her abdomen during abortion procedure, which she hadn't experienced during two prior procedures, court documents state. The opinion states that she demanded the procedure be halted and an ambulance summoned, but that the doctor refused and instructed four clinic assistants to restrain her while he continued the procedure. She was later take to a hospital emergency room.
Menyhart said that the clinic "vigorously denies" the allegations by the woman. "It was obviously necessary in the medical setting to stabilize her rather than releasing her from the clinic, rather than allowing her to leave during a procedure," he said.
Ramsey described the woman's complaint calling the federal legislation unusual. "Normally, you would expect to see a claim of malpractice, which of course we would deny," Ramsey said, adding that Egherman's motive "was just to help her" because she was having surgery. There was no violation of the federal legislation, he said.
Sapp, though, contends that his client was prevented from leaving the clinic entrance, in violation of the law.
"I think we'll be able to prove that hands down at the trial," he said. "We can show at the abortion clinic she was not held down to save her life. We can show that at the abortion clinic, the conduct was illegal and wrongful and violated federal law, even though it was not malpractice, according to the state of Florida."
He said his client opted to pursue a claim in federal court because the state found that the incident did not constitute malpractice.
Menyhart said the woman is misusing the legislation for what amounts to a malpractice claim. The state Agency for Health Care Administration found no violations by the physician, he said, and the plaintiff's federal action came after the statute of limitations for malpractice had expired.
Kim Reed, a spokeswoman for AHCA in Tallahassee, said she could not confirm any malpractice complaint against Egherman stemming from the incident because her agency has no record of probable cause being found regarding such a complaint. Under Florida Statutes, such a complaint would not be public record unless a finding of probable cause had been found, she said.
Meredith Raney, spokesman for the Melbourne-based Christians For Life, said that organizations like the National Organization for Women need to push lawsuits such as the one filed by this woman so far known only as Jane Roe II.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in 1973 in the initial Jane Roe case, striking down state laws banning abortion. The "Roe" in that case, Norma McCorvey, is now an abortion opponent who speaks publicly on the issue.
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