After 24-year-old Tonya Reaves reportedly bled to death following an abortion at a Planned Parenthood facility, a legal group is charging that Chicago authorities are violating their state’s public records procedures by refusing to release documentation about the incident.
Allison K. Aranda, a senior staff counsel for the California-based Life Legal Defense Foundation, confirmed today that a formal public records request for Reaves’ autopsy report was made in writing July 23 by a staff member for Operation Rescue.
The attorney said a caller from the medical examiner’s office told Operation Rescue the request was being rejected because OR did not have family authorization or a subpoena.
However, according to Life Legal, “Illinois law specifically states that all records in the custody or possession of a public body are presumed to be open to inspection or copying, and nowhere does the state exempt autopsy reports from compliance.”
The legal team confirmed that the Freedom of Information Act Guide for Law Enforcement published July 12, 2012, by the Illinois office of the attorney general “specifically states that autopsy reports are public records and should be released.”
Likewise, the legal team reported a 2010 Illinois Public Access Counselor review also stated clearly that autopsy reports in the files of the medical examiner are within the provenance of the FOIA and concluded that, “the reports are public records and should be released.”
“The medical examiner’s office has no basis to deny my client’s request for the autopsy report involving the deceased Tonya Reaves,” Aranda said.
She called for the Chicago authorities to comply with the public access requirements, which include, “Each public body denying a request for public records shall notify the requester in writing of the decision to deny the request, the reasons for the denial, including a detailed factual basis for the application of any exemption claimed, and the names and titles or positions of each person responsible for the denial.”
The controversial manner of Reaves’ death on July 20 triggered a hailstorm of calls for abortion provider regulation in Illinois, which currently has almost no oversight of the abortion businesses.
“I expect your office will immediately comply with Ms. [Cheryl] Sullenger’s lawful request for this public document. If your office does not comply, we will be forced to take legal action pursuant to Illinois Compiled Statues Annotated Section 140/11,” the letter said.
WND reported just a day earlier that the Planned Parenthood abortion business had been told on a separate issue to call 9-1-1 for help in an emergency – the same day Reaves died.
Operation Rescue reported it got a copy of a telephone call placed at 12:43 p.m. on July 20 from the Loop Health Center Planned Parenthood in Chicago regarding a fracas that developed with a mother and daughter who were at the abortion business.
That situation was unrelated to that of Reaves, who had her fatal abortion at about 11 a.m. at that location on that day, Operation Rescue said.
But the 9-1-1 dispatcher on the call is heard admonishing the Planned Parenthood worker for calling 3-1-1, a number used primarily to provide information regarding city events and programs, during an emergency.
The mother-and-daughter issue developed when a 16-year-old patient was “physically assaulted” by her mother, and Operation Rescue said the caller indicated abortion business staff members pulled the two apart after they saw the mother kick her daughter and pull her hair.
Part of the conversation, which can be heard at the Operation Rescue website, is as follows:
Dispatcher: OK, and once you called – you see, next time you need a police car to come out for any reason whatsoever, you need to call 9-1-1.
Caller: Right. OK. I just –
Dispatcher: That way you don’t waste time with 3-1-1.
Caller: I know, I know, I just (laugh) I just hate to use services to make, you know –
Dispatcher: I know. Well, they don’t dispatch police cars. All they do is transfer you to 9-1-1.
Dispatcher: So you’re waiting in that queue and then they flip you over to our office.
Dispatcher: Now I don’t have any of your information. So, what is your telephone number?
OR reported the dispatcher “is heard admonishing the Planned Parenthood worker for calling 3-1-1, which caused a delay in dispatching aid to the scene.” That means the facility “ignored instructions from an emergency dispatcher to directly call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency in order to prevent wasting precious time,” OR said.
OR said it got the transcript through a Freedom of Information Act request with the Chicago office of Emergency Management and Communications.
WND reported earlier when pro-life leader Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics called on state attorney Anita Alvarez of Cook County, Ill., for an immediate investigation of Planned Parenthood for what he alleged was the murder of Reaves.
Crutcher cited the Illinois “depraved indifference murder” statute as being more than enough to warrant a thorough inspection of the death of the African-American woman – to determine if criminal charges can be pressed against Planned Parenthood.
“If it can be shown that this young woman might have survived if emergency treatment had not been withheld from her for more than five hours, then this was not an accident and it was not medical malpractice,” Crutcher contends. “It was a homicide, and those responsible should be on the evening news wearing handcuffs and leg irons.”
On July 20, Reaves was left for several hours at the abortion giant’s Chicago facility after a staff abortionist ripped a hole in her uterus. An ambulance eventually was summoned, but she died from extensive hemorrhaging.
The National Black Pro-life Coalition also is seeking to hold Planned Parenthood accountable for Reave’s death.
“At a minimum, Planned Parenthood was criminally negligent when they left Tonya bleeding in their facility for more than five hours,” said Walter B. Hoye, who serves as president and founder of the Issues4Life Foundation. ” Planned Parenthood’s lack of action demonstrates a depraved indifference for the life of this young woman. Planned Parenthood must be held accountable for the death of Tonya Reaves.”
King for America founder Alveda King said, “We demand the unjust targeting of the black community by abortionists be investigated and immediately ended.”