Brave woman comes forward with evidence showing SWO Dr altered procedure to harvest her baby's brain
Updated: May 15
Nicole Atkins, the older sister of Keisha Atkins, made a gruesome discovery while meeting with attorneys on her sister's wrongful death case. Not only was Nicole a victim of this same clinic's dangerous and unethical practices herself, but it was also determined that her baby's brain from an abortion years prior was used for alleged medical research.
Nicole received an abortion from Dr. Shelley Sella at Southwestern Women's Options in 2010. She was a single mother of 3, the youngest being just 10 months old, when she sought her abortion at S.W.O. Nicole had a documented medical history stating she suffered from depression and anxiety. Rather than provide some avenue to appropriate support or mental health resources, S.W.O. failed to provide Nicole with any support or treatment despite her documented diagnosis.
Nicole was 17 weeks pregnant when she obtained her abortion.
She filled out consent forms for a surgical abortion, and her consent forms had portions for Digoxin consent crossed out. She never consented to the transport and transfer of her baby's body or body parts. However, according to her medical charts, Nicole underwent a two-day induction abortion, not a surgical D&E. She was given Digoxin against company protocol and billed for an induction abortion.
Nicole's treatment fell below the standard of care. In 2017 S.W.O. owner, Curtis Boyd filed a lawsuit in Paxton vs. WWH to overturn Texas' D&E ban. In that lawsuit, Boyd and experts testified to a standard of care contrary to Nicole's care. One such statement is this from Mark Nichols, "Attempting to cause demise prior to 18 weeks is not simply outside the standard of care; it would mandate that doctors experiment on their patients." That court ruling also states that "one does not involve digoxin use before 20 weeks," as the smaller fetal size would make it so "there is no failsafe way to guarantee demise in every case." Nicole's attorney says, "Boyd is playing fast and loose with the courts. He is testifying to a standard of care in Texas but doing the opposite in New Mexico".
Nicole's medical charts show an eerily similar pattern to that of her deceased sister Keisha by showing numerous doses of narcotic and sedative drugs over multiple days. Both Fentanyl and Versed were administered to Nicole on day one and day two of her abortion. She was given an injection of Digoxin on day one and sent home for the night. She was also given a prescription for Oxycodone to self-administer overnight between visits to the abortion facility.
On day two of her procedure, Dr. Sella again administered Fentanyl and Versed, but not before having Nicole take Misoprostol, a labor-inducing drug that was not in the initial procedure order form.
According to Nicole's medical chart and the itemized Medicaid claims, it appears that her procedure, code S2260, was altered, and she received an induction abortion before 20 weeks. Nicole herself says she remembers little to nothing of her procedure, and she doubled up the dose of the forget me drug Versed at the end of day two ensured that. Her attorneys actually had to notify her of what really took place during her abortion procedure after seeing her records. The abortion facility never did tell her she had an induction abortion.
The abortion facility also did not tell her that her baby's body would be used by others for medical research. As previously reported, UNM had been requesting "Digoxin treated brain" from S.W.O., according to their own logbooks. Altering Nicole's procedure would be consistent with the UNM program seeking Digoxin-treated brain. Nicole's baby appears in that logbook as well. According to documents, Nicole's baby was 17-weeks gestation with a 23-millimeter foot length. Her baby is an exact match to the baby recorded in the UNM fetal tissue log book. (pictured below).
Did S.W.O. and Dr. Sella simply see a depressed and vulnerable Nicole as another opportunity to harvest and transfer baby body parts, even if that meant altering her procedure to harvest fetal brain?
In addition to altering Nicole's abortion procedure before transferring fetal tissue, which is a direct violation of the federal code of regulations for research activity and 24-9a-5 of the New Mexico criminal statutes, Dr. Sella also caused personal physical injury to Nicole while attempting to insert cervical dilators. These "superficial lacerations" led to scar tissue, complications, and ultimately a hysterectomy which still did not cure Nicole of her physical discomfort and pain resulting from her injury.
Nicole's medical records from Southwestern Women's Options prove the same as what Keisha's did. That S.W.O. is falling grossly beneath the standard of care, that S.W.O. providers are drugging women for days, that patients are being lied to and physically injured or killed, and that S.W.O. takes full advantage of vulnerable young women and their babies.
Nicole knows some people are likely to look down on her for her choice. But Nicole is also deeply remorseful, regretful, and depressed over her decision. She wishes she would've spoken out sooner. "This abortion has had a profound negative impact on my life." She further says, "I want Boyd to stop taking advantage of women in hard times. And I want the FBI to take action against S.W.O. for the very few remaining fetal transfers left within the statute of limitations."
Of all the fetal trafficking and abortion injury cases covered in the news, Nicole Atkins is one of two post-abortive women who have active cases against Curtis Boyd and S.W.O. and is willing to speak in a trial in order to stop them. She is bravely doing all she can to help end the horrors happening at S.W.O., and she is asking for the support of those who have that same goal.
For more on Nicole's case, follow Abortion on Trial.