Bonnie Chernin
Blood, money, and maternal mortality
By Bonnie Chernin
July 16, 2018

Something went terribly wrong on the morning of Saturday, January 23rd, 2016, at the Carolina Center for Women in Charlotte, North Carolina. The office staff was turning out the lights and getting ready to close the clinic. A young woman who underwent an early abortion was still inside. The girl's mother was in the waiting room.

Seeing that the clinic was closing, the worried mother had to bang on the glass reception window get staff's attention and find out what was happening with her daughter. Finally, the staff discharged the patient to her mom. Had the pregnant girl's mother not been there, who knows what would have happened. It is possible the young woman may have been left unattended, neglected, and abandoned inside the clinic for the rest of the weekend.

The young girl, Diamond Williams, was only 18. Diamond went home with her mother, Shakira Williams, on the day of her abortion. Diamond began to experience a number of red flag symptoms, including pain. She called the abortion clinic to alert them, but the nurse never called back. Later, Diamond collapsed after suffering an apparent seizure. Taken to the hospital, Diamond Williams died four days after her abortion. This was obviously a botched procedure followed by a cover-up.

Operation Rescue published the circumstances of Diamond's death on their website, and the details of this story are horrible. The cause of death on Diamond's autopsy report is "acute bronchopneumonia," and the pathologist wrote that a "therapeutic abortion" had been performed "without incident."

Although Shakira Williams hired an attorney, to date she has been unable to get a complete autopsy report on her daughter. As Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue reported, the attorney had a conflict of interest. He was representing the Carolina Center for Women on another issue and did not disclose this important information to Shakira Williams.

The American Bar Association Center for Professional Responsibility website publishes rules pertaining to the Client-Lawyer Relationship. The second principle on Rule 1.7, "Conflict of Interest: Current Clients," states:

"Resolution of a conflict of interest problem under this Rule requires the lawyer to: 1) clearly identify the client or clients; 2) determine whether a conflict of interest exists; 3) decide whether the representation may be undertaken despite the existence of a conflict, i.e., whether the conflict is consentable; and 4) if so, consult with the clients affected under paragraph (a) and obtain their informed consent, confirmed in writing. The clients affected under paragraph (a) include both of the clients referred to in paragraph (a)(1) and the one or more clients whose representation might be materially limited under paragraph (a)(2)."

A 2005 article entitled "Conflicts of Interest" posted by The American Bar Association provides additional details about the professional conduct of attorneys in the lawyer/client relationship.

Shakira Williams' lawyer should have been disciplined. The abortion mill should be closed. The Center of Women has since changed their name to "A Woman's Choice of Charlotte" and they remain open and active.

Whenever a young woman is killed by an abortion, there is an underlying hope pro-lifers share that something in the abortion industry will change. It never does. The response from Planned Parenthood and their abortion allies is always the same. Silence. There is no acknowledgement, sympathy, or legal action taken by the abortion profiteers on behalf of the grieving family. In Diamond's case, there was no attempt to investigate what occurred at the clinic, why they were closing the office without attending to their patient, or why the clinic would even perform an abortion on a young girl with a serious medical condition.

It is as if Diamond Williams did not exist and worse, that her death is collateral damage for all women to have the right to obtain a "safe" legal abortion. The major players in the abortion industry never use our tax dollars to get justice for women who are killed.

Instead, Planned Parenthood and their cohorts want Crisis Pregnancy Centers closed. Isn't this a crisis? These are exactly the type of dangerous practices Crisis Pregnancy Centers are trying to prevent.

Why is Shakira Williams still being given the run-around two years later and denied the right to view the full autopsy report?

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Health Service Regulation certifies abortion clinics and publishes safety rules. A detailed report entitled "Subchapter 14E – Certifications of Clinics For Abortion," lists clinic requirements and rules for follow-up care when post-operative complications arise. From the five requirements in the Sub-Section on Post Operative Care1, two were clearly violated by the Carolina Center for Women:

"(b) Any patient having an adverse condition or complication known or suspected to have occurred during or after the performance of the abortion shall be transferred to a hospital for evaluation or admission.

(e) The clinic shall have a defined protocol for triaging post-operative calls and complications. This protocol shall establish a pathway for physician contact to ensure ongoing care of complications that the operating physician is incapable of managing."

Abortion facilities must comply with the Issuance of Certificate:

"The Division shall issue a certificate if it finds the facility can: (1) Comply with all requirements described in this Subchapter; and (2) Assure that, in the event that complications arise from the abortion procedure, an OB-GYN board certified or board eligible physician shall be available."2

The second requirement was not met. There was no physician available for Diamond Williams, and the abortion clinic nurse – if there even was a nurse – never called back when Diamond was experiencing pain.

On March 11, 2016, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services sent a letter to the Carolina Center for Women3 indicating that deficiencies were found. By this time, Diamond Williams had been dead for nearly two months. A survey completed on 02/25/2016 found that some of the equipment at the abortion facility was unsanitary, risking transmission of infection through their use, and that the abortion facility lacked required emergency back-up services in case of complications.

There is no mention in the letter or survey about what happened to Diamond Williams. At the very least, there should have been an inquiry as to why an abortion was performed on a young woman with the pre-existing condition diabetes mellitus, and a thorough investigation done.

The previous year, the Statement of Deficiencies survey completed on June 17, 2015, states that rules were violated with several patients who obtained abortions. As cited in the report, MD #2 had no hospital admitting privileges in 6 of 20 medical records reviewed. Here is one example, of Patient #3:

"The facility 'Surgery Screening Sheet' is a patient signed form used to collect personal medical history, document information items provided and determine appointment date. The information item line which states: "Our physicians have privileges at hospitals within 30 minutes of our facility that offer OB care...was checked and the form signed by Patient #3. The Surgery Report form revealed that MD#2 without admitting privileges performed the SAB procedure."

Many unanswered questions remain as to what caused Diamond Williams' death by abortion. But when it comes to blood and money, don't expect answers from the abortion industry or changes in their policies to keep women safe.

1North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings, Title 10A – Health and Human Services, Subchapter 14E, Certifications for Clinics for Abortion. Subsection 10A NCAC 14E0313 Post-Operative Care.

2Ibid. Subsection 10A NCAC 14E.0107 Issuance of Certificate

3Robin M. Pelland, RN, MN. "Letter to The Carolina Women's Clinic," March 11, 2016. (Note: The addressee on the letter is "The Carolina Women's Clinic." The address is the same so this is likely a name variant. The abortion business has since changed their name to "A Woman's Choice of Charlotte.")

© Bonnie Chernin


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Bonnie Chernin

In 1986, Bonnie Chernin attended her first pro-life convention where she met author Ann Saltenberger and received a copy of her outstanding book, "Every Woman Has the Right to Know the Dangers of Legal Abortion." This book inspired Bonnie to become actively involved in the pro-life movement.

In the early 1990s, Bonnie volunteered at the office of Manhattan Right to Life, and began writing letters and op-ed pieces for local newspapers on the topic of abortion.... (more)


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