Diane Sawyer and the Non-Story of Lawson Akpulonu
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How much can an abortionist get away with while the mainstream media pointedly look the other way? Quite a lot, as I'm about to describe.
Recently I've been covering the ho-hum, big yawn attitude the mainstream media show toward violence committed by abortion advocates and/or against life advocates.
Today I'd like to look at the most glaring example of mainstream media treating wrongdoing by abortionists as "a non-story."
In March of 1995, when we were working on Lime 5, Life Dynamics got a call from one of Diane Sawyer's assistants. Ms. Sawyer, we were told, had heard rumors that some abortion facilities were selling abortions to women who were not, in fact, pregnant; they just thought they were.
We told Ms. Sawyer's assistant that this was a slow news day kind of story - "Generalisimo Francisco Franco is still dead." Whenever a local newspaper or TV station wants to do a sensationalist little story, they send female reporters to local abortion mills with male reporter's urine specimens, and they document being told they're pregnant and the attempts to sell them abortions.
We supplied the assistant with what he asked for -- a list of abortionists who were still practicing even after having been caught selling abortions to women who were not pregnant. But we also included a list of abortionists who were a serious public health threat and were still practicing, suggesting that these fellows might make a more news worthy project than rehashing something local news organizations across the country had been doing for over twenty years.
While I was compiling documentation and verifying that certain quacks were still in practice, we got a call from a nurse in California. She told us, "I'd always thought that the stories of seedy abortion mills were just a bunch of bogus stories made up by right to lifers. But I just quit a job at one of those seedy mills, and I want to report this guy before something terrible happens."
This nurse told us that she had answered a help wanted ad placed by Dr. Lawson Akpulonu, and had been hired on the spot on January 14, 1995. After four hours, she was so appalled that she quit. After wondering what to do and who to contact, she saw an advertisement for Life Dynamics' abortion malpractice litigation program, and decided that we were the right people to call.
Akpulonu, she told us, had the filthiest clinic she'd ever seen. She saw life-threatening conditions including:
Scott helped her to prepare a complaint for the California medical board. In her complaint, she reiterated what she'd told Scott, and warned the medical board:
"Akpulonu performed five abortion procedures. ... I saw old specimens, apparently from earlier abortions performed the day before, in urine sample glasses stored in the medicine cabinet. ... When Akpulonu began the abortion procedures, he did not allow anyone else in the room with him. There was no nurse or assistant with him.... After the procedures, Akpulonu asked me to empty the products of conception from the gauze bag attached to the vacuum aspirator into containers. ...he referred me to the medicine cabinet. The only containers in that cabinet that could have held the specimens were the plastic urine sample glasses. I followed instructions and then asked an intern if that was the standard procedure at the clinic. She said it was. The specimens sat on the counter for several hours. ... Based upon what I saw in the short time that I was there, it does not appear that Akpulonu is sending any specimens to a pathology lab. ...I truly believe that someone will become seriously injured if something is not done immediately."
We also asked her if she would be willing to talk to Diane Sawyer about what she'd seen. She said absolutely, that she wanted this guy exposed for what he was before something terrible happened to any of his patients. We contacted Diane Sawyer's assistant and faxed him a copy of the complaint the nurse was about to file -- a real scoop on a breaking story, to get a copy of a complaint before the medical board even got it.
The next day, Diane Sawyer's assistant called us back, told us that Miss Sawyer had reviewed all the material we'd sent her, and had decided that seedy abortion facilities were "a non-story."
A few days later all hell broke loose.
California Saline Deaths 1970-72
Fatal Instillation Abortions
Illegal Abortions by Amateurs
Illegal Abortions by Paramedical People
Illegal Abortions by Physicians
LDI Tombstone Project Deaths
LDI Tombstone Project Deaths by State
LDI Tombstone Project Deaths by Year
National Abortion Federation Deaths
New York Saline Deaths 1970-72
Pre-Roe Abortion Deaths
Post-Roe Illegal Abortions
Pre-Roe Legal Abortions
Self-Induced Abortion Deaths
Teens Killed by Abortion
Undiagnosed Ectopic Deaths
Food for Thought
19th Century Abortion Cases and Other Self-Injury
Abortion, Law, and Real Choice
Abortion, Suffering, and the Chinese Widow
The Abortion War and Communication
Another Anti-Choice Fanatic
Are Abortions Used as Birth Control?
The Bad Old Days of Abortion
Botched Abortion Leads to Amputation
Coathanger Abortion: Powerful image, but how true to life?
Comparative Safety - Abortion & Stuff Folks Get Riled About
Diane Sawyer and the Non-Story of Lawson Akpulonu
Did I Deserve the Death Penaltyh
Do Rape Victims Really Need Abortions?
Fetal Diagnoses Leading to Unnecessary Abortions
Freaks Teaches Pro-Life Lesson
Is Childbirth Safety Relevant to Abortion?
Is This the Face of the Enemy?
Is 'Who Decides?' Really the Question?
The "Koop Report" on Abortion
LDI and the CDC
Misplaced Priorities Cost Women's Lives
A Mother's Nightmare
Pro Child/Pro Choice Rings Hollow
Stress and the Abortion Decision
Study - Effect of Abortion Legalization on Sexual Behavior: Evidence from Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Unequal Burden on the Poor?
Unintended Late Abortions
Unplanned Pregnancies that Worked Out
What Real Informed Consent Would Look Like
What's "Adequate Access" to Abortion?
What's the Need for Abortion?
When the POC Really is Just Tissue
Where's the Pro Choice Movement on Elective Amputations?
Who is the Enemy?
Who's Putting the Unborn Ahead of the Born?
Women Who Change Their Minds After the Abortion
Women's Rights are Common Ground
Your Bedroom, the Government, and Abortion Laws