Pro-Life Victory: Baby Body Parts Researcher Barred from Lab, Emails Obtained by NMAFL Reveal Possible Criminal Conduct
The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNM HSC) has permanently suspended neonatologist Dr. Robin Ohls and all other researchers under her supervision from transferring, harvesting or conducting fetal tissue research. An investigation was conducted after Ohls was caught begging for compensation for her lab assistant who harvested and shipped human fetal eyes across state lines.
NM Alliance for Life has spearheaded the investigation into the partnership betweeen UNMHSC and the scandal-ridden late-term abortion clinic, Southwestern Women's Options harvesting aborted baby parts for research. We've also pointed out that Ohls and her lab assistants are already paid employees of the university, and additional payments could be a violation of federal statute. A federal law prohibits the exchange of baby body parts for any value above the cost of shipping and handling, the law also carries criminal penalties.
"UNM officials must immediately turn their investigation over to federal authorities to ensure that these abuses will no longer harm women and commodify unborn children. If they won't, we will," stated NMAFL's Elisa Martinez in a press release.
Dr. Ohls has been UNM HSC's leading human fetal tissue researcher since 1995, where she has been conducting research with the scandal ridden late-term abortion clinic Southwestern Women's Options. Ohls and other UNM employees have harvested aborted infant body parts from 10 weeks up to 35 weeks from the clinic for the UNM DREAM Lab.
In Ohls' DREAM Lab, baby parts were harvested without proper consent and various studies used fetal eyes, fetal skin and heart vessels. Some baby body parts harvested were listed as "intact" and shipped to other universities across the country. Brains from a 27-week baby were ordered by lab employees to dissect at a summer camp with high school students at UNM. In other cases, NMAFL exposed UNM lab employees making depraved comments, including "entire pancreas - whoo hoo!!" showing a callous disregard for human life.
NMAFL obtained shocking emails between Ohls, recently retired UNM DREAM Lab director Suzanne McCoghany and Tammy Movsas, an adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at Michigan State University and heads Michigan-based Zietchick Research Institute (ZRI).
Movsas offered up to $7500 reimbursement of $150 per tissue samples using a National Institute of Health (NIH) grant to Ohls and her assistant. Movsas assures Ohls in the emails of monetary payment for "all your sample acquisition costs" in exchange for fetal eye samples. She adds: "I hope to reimburse you for more of your time and effort as further grant money is acquired."
Ohls and her assistant are employed by the university, but Ohls still emailed Movsas pleading for compensation, "our collaboration is really the only compensation we receive to cover the amount of time needed for tissue collection."
"The burden now lies on UNM to prove that Dr. Ohls and her research team did not profit from the transfer of aborted baby body parts, which would be considered criminal conduct," said NMAFL's Elisa Martinez. "Why would an internal policy violation spur the closure of a 20 year program, that Dr. Roth [UNM HSC Chancellor] once defiantly touted in the midst of criminal investigations?"
"It should be easy enough for UNM to disprove whether or not the $7500 fee was paid to reimburse UNM for shipping," said New Mexico state Rep. Rod Montoya (R - San Juan). "All they need to do is to provide shipping invoices, especially since they are required to keep records of bio-hazard shipments. If not, it would appear UNM violated federal law by receiving valuable consideration."
Martinez concludes, "we applaud the closure of the research program using aborted baby parts under Ohls, however it is shocking that UNM's veteran researcher in this area was wholly unaware of a long-standing federal statute, this along with the criminal referrals from Congress reveals an institution wide problem under the leadership of Paul Roth at UNM Health Sciences Center."
In 2016, a congressional panel found potential violations of both state and federal statutes in the fetal tissue program between UNM and the SWO clinic. The Panel referred UNM and SWO to the Department of Justice and Attorney General Hector Balderas for criminal investigation for previous violations.
A series of shocking emails released by New Mexico Alliance for Life and published by the Albuquerque Journal indicate a potential civil conspiracy in the cover-up of the death of 23-year-old Albuquerque woman, Keisha Atkins. Atkins was undergoing a late-term abortion at scandal-ridden Southwestern Women's Options last February when she experienced a medical emergency and was rushed to University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH) where she died.
Emails obtained by pro-life attorney Michael Seibel, who is representing Atkins' estate show UNMH emergency doctors "floored" by the outcome of Atkins' autopsy, which stated her cause of death as "natural" "due to pregnancy" from a "pulmonary thromboembolism." Pulmonary thromboembolism [PE] is a type of blood clot in the lungs that is a leading cause of death in pregnancy.
The highly questionable autopsy report released by the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator, located at the University of New Mexico, was conducted by Dr. Lauren Dvorscak MD, who is also an Assistant Professor of Pathology at UNM School of Medicine.
One shocking email, from UNMH Emergency Medicine Dr. Trenton Wray reads:
"Everything about her course was consistent with septic abortion → refractory septic cardiomyopathy → death."
Days before Atkins' family was to meet with hospital doctors to discuss the autopsy results, Wray also wrote:
"I have to admit, I was floored by the cause of death being a massive PE."
The emails also indicate multiple doctors diagnosed Atkins with a massive infection from the abortion, which the UNMH doctors affirm caused Atkins untimely death, and found no evidence of "pulmonary thromboembolism."
The UNMH radiologist, Dr. Gary Hatch, who performed a CT scan of Atkins' lung and heart stated,
"Second review reveals no segmental or larger emboli. There just simply isn't PE."
Live Action News reported , "It seems the only people who see Atkins' manner of death as "natural" are those who signed the documents certifying it in the office of the New Mexico Medical Investigator (OMI)." Read more below.
When questioned by UNM Hospital doctors Wray and Hatch, Dvorscak states that she does not know whether the source of the embolism is from the septic abortion, despite her autopsy attributing the cause of death as an embolism, solely to the pregnancy, "However, there is no way for me to know if she embolized from a deep vein, completely separate from her sepsis. Unfortunately, I don't think we will know."
Another email from UNMH radiologist Dr. Gary Hatch states, "The autopsy diagnosis doesn't make sense to me. Who did the autopsy?" Following up in another email, Hatch states, "There was no massive PE present at the time of scan. Period...I am also confident there was no segmental or greater PE..."
“The OMI office really had to go out of their way to come up with such a biased and compromised autopsy report, one that wholly overlooks the diagnosis of every single doctor at UNMH who treated Keisha Atkins for a septic abortion infection and symptoms from the infection,” said Seibel. "My client and her family were denied their rights to justice and due process in this matter, while the Office of the Medical Investigator has attempted to shield Curtis Boyd from medical liability, as well as deterring an investigation into the source of infection.”
The emails indicate that the physicians who treated Atkins expressed concerns about the findings of the autopsy conducted by Dr. Lauren Dvorscak after they diagnosed and treated her symptoms from a septic infection relating to the abortion, while they did not see evidence of a pulmonary embolism.
"This sends a chilling effect across the entire medical community since we can no longer trust the Medical Investigator's office to operate in an unbiased and ethical manner," said Elisa Martinez, spokesperson for the Atkins estate. "To put honest doctors' careers at risk in order to protect Curtis Boyd's business interests is simply unconscionable and gives the appearance of civil conspiracy."
NMAFL was the first to uncover the close and longstanding collaboration between the University of New Mexico, (where the Office of the Medical Investigator is located), and Southwestern Women's Options abortion clinic. NM Alliance for Life has questioned the potential conflict of interest between the Office of the Medical Investigator located at the University of New Mexico and Southwestern Women's Options. UNM and SWO have a longstanding collaboration involving harvesting of infant body parts for research, training of UNM residents at SWO and SWO doctors receiving faculty appointments at UNM. Both UNM and SWO have maintained that the clinic does not receive remuneration for the supply of infant body parts provided to the University, however, a congressional panel and an NM District Court found potential violations of state law in their exchange of body parts.