Breaking: Medical records from Curtis Boyd's facility document unconscionable coercion of patient.
Updated: May 15, 2021
In 2012 Jessica Duran became pregnant and had no support. Her family encouraged her towards abortion, as did the baby’s father. Although she wanted her baby, she eventually felt she had no choice but to schedule an appointment at Curtis Boyd’s New Mexico abortion facility, Southwestern Women’s Options. After her initial appointment, Jessica left with doubts about abortion and was considering adoption, as her chart states. But upon returning home, still pregnant, she was met with questions and demands from family and partners that she return and have her abortion completed. Still unsure, Jessica made a second abortion appointment a few days later.
When her next appointment began, Jessica was once again vocalizing her desire to continue her pregnancy and deeply questioning her decision to be where she was despite feeling she had no other viable options. At that time, her mother was in the waiting room asking to speak with her before the appointment continued. Rather than encourage Jessica to speak to her family member before making such a big decision, the clinic staff shut the doors to prevent Jessica’s mom from communicating with her. The clinic also confiscated Jessica’s phone, which prevented her from receiving a text message from someone asking her to reconsider.
When Jessica was given Misoprostol pills to begin her abortion procedure, she felt she could not go through with it. She spit the pills out and stated, “I can’t do this,” as clearly documented in her chart.
Jessica was then directed to a small room in the back of the clinic, where she was isolated for “re-counseling." After reminding Jessica of her initial concerns regarding parenting, clinic staff left her alone. It’s undocumented how many hours Jessica was in the room before she ultimately broke down and agreed to take the pills. She was given new pills to take and left to read a journal of abortion success stories while the pills took effect.
She refused sedation and pain medication for the surgical portion of the abortion due to being so distraught. She demanded she not be exempt from any pain her baby would have to feel. This is yet another sign she was not at ease with her decision. Her surgical abortion procedure was ultimately completed and charged to taxpayers as medically necessary for mental health reasons, a common theme among S.W.O. patients.
After the abortion was completed, Jessica suffered from immense depression and regret. Years later she still feels the sting of the loneliness she felt then. “I wanted my baby.” She says, “I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to go get an abortion. I fought for my child’s life for three months. I fought until I literally couldn’t physically or emotionally handle fighting that pressure anymore.”
Abortion On Trial Director, Jamie Jeffries, said “This is clearly psychological malpractice. This provider should’ve sent Jessica home that day. There was no reason she had to go through with an abortion then or never. She was clearly not decided, and had they not taken her phone, prevented her from speaking to family, and shoved her in an isolating room, she probably would’ve found the strength to walk out with her baby alive. Jessica’s well-being wasn’t their priority. They could’ve given her more time, more options, more support. But they wanted to sell a Medicaid-funded abortion instead.“
S.W.O. has a documented past of charging patients’ abortions to Medicaid under the fraudulent claim of mental health necessity. Not only was Jessica shown immense levels of coercion and pressure to follow through with her abortion, but taxpayers also footed the bill for that coercion and manipulation, leading to the death of a 13-week old unborn baby.
Jessica eventually filed suit against Southwestern Women’s Options and is now using her voice and experience to help save others from what she experienced. “How many others have been “re-counseled?” she asks. The thought is haunting. Women are being led to abortion under the guise of empowerment when in reality, Jessica felt anything but empowered by what she experienced that day.
“I thought they had my best interest at heart. I was wrong,” she says. “Nobody loved my baby but me. I wish someone would’ve been there to tell me that my love was enough.”
The Duran Vs. Curtis Boyd & S.W.O case is proceeding. Abortion On Trial is actively involved in the proceedings and will have more on this heartbreaking and evolving case soon.