SUMMARY: Cree Erwin-Sheppard, age 24, died on July 3, 2016 after an abortion almost certainly performed at the Planned Parenthood in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

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Cree Erwin-Sheppard
Factory worker Cree Brianne Erwin-Sheppard hadn't been feeling well since undergoing a safe, legal abortion on Thursday, June 30, 2016.

On July 2, Cree was suffering from abdominal pain, so her mother, Tanya, took her to the hospital. She was discharged shortly after midnight on July 3 with instructions to follow up with her family physician.

Cree was in so much pain that she didn't want to go home. Instead, she stayed at her mother's house, where she went down to her mother's basement bedroom and just lay crosswise across the bed.

Tanya was finding it difficult to sleep with her daughter in that position, so finally at around 5:00 she asked Cree to move into a more normal position. Cree moved to make more room for her mother to sleep more comfortably.

Tanya awoke for the day and let her daughter sleep in. On the afternoon of July 3, Tanya thought that Cree's breathing sounded like somebody with sleep apnea.

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Dr. Laura Castleman

At around 12:40 on the morning of July 4, Tanya went down to check on Cree only to find her unresponsive and cold to the touch. It was then that she made a heart-wrenching 911 call. At first, it's difficult for the 911 operator to even understand Cree's mother through her cries of anguish. Help is dispatched but it's clear from what Tanya is describing that Cree is dead.

EMS workers arrive soon after Tanya hangs up with 911. By the time police arrive, EMS has already pronounced Cree dead. The police begin their investigation into Cree's death, nothing that her one-year-old child will now be in Tanya's care.

Cree's abortion had been performed at the Planned Parenthood facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan, about half an hour away from Cree's home. There, Dr. Laura Denise Castleman provided Cree with pain medication even though her license to prescribe such medications was lapsed at the time.

Cree's final death certificate mentions the abortion in a very oblique way that makes it more likely that her death will be tabulated by public health officials as a pregnancy death but not as an abortion death. This is done by putting as the primary cause of death "Complications of intrauterine pregnancy, including pulmonary emboli related to uterine vein thrombosis" and putting as "and uterine perforation status post early vacuum aspiration and intrauterine contraceptive device placement." Note the total absence of the word "abortion."

The place of injury and date of injury are given as "indeterminate" and "unknown" respectively, even though Cree's abortion was performed at Planned Parenthood on June 30. How the injury -- a uterine perforation -- occurred was listed as "use of unprescribed medication," as if that somehow puts a hole in your uterus. Rather, this seems more like an attempt to paint Cree in a bad light and blame her death on her rather than on the people who caused the fatal injury and evidently failed to properly treat it.

The autopsy also shows signs of trying to cover up for Planned Parenthood in what they redact and what they fail to redact. Things that could be considered personal -- descriptions of Cree's breasts and genitals and the presence of methadone in her system -- are not redacted, but any information specific to the type of injuries she received under Planned Parenthood's care are redacted.

Sources:


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911 call audio. (Warning: VERY distressing)