By Kelsey Hazzard, Secular Pro-life
Women can, and do, have elective late-term abortions. Even in the second and third trimesters, abortionists will perform abortions on healthy mothers carrying healthy babies — and will falsify bogus “health” reasons on the paperwork.
I realize that’s a bold claim. And extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. How about a late-term abortionist’s testimony under oath?
23-year-old Keisha Atkins was 6 months pregnant when she sought an abortion. She had no physical or mental health diagnosis; she simply did not want to be pregnant. Abortionist Shannon Carr of Albuquerque (pictured) was happy to oblige. But that baby wasn’t the only one to die; Keisha also lost her life. Carr was forced to testify in the wrongful death lawsuit brought by Keisha’s family, which earlier this year settled for over a million dollars.
Our friends at Abortion on Trial have video footage of Shannon Carr’s deposition, in which she admits that the supposed health risks she documented to justify Keisha’s 6-month abortion were pure speculation. A transcript is below.
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According to a document typed by Dr. Shannon Carr, a 20-minute interview with Keisha Atkins was enough to determine that being forced to continue with her pregnancy would “cause substantial and irreversible harm to her physical health, her mental health, her family health, her safety and well-being.” The following deposition footage shows Dr. Shannon Carr responding to attorneys’ questions on that diagnosis.
Attorney: You indicated here that it was your professional opinion that being forced to continue the pregnancy would cause substantial and irreversible harm to Keisha Atkins’s physical health. What are you referring to there?
Carr: (coughs) Excuse me. (drinks water) Well, moreso that continuing a pregnancy (clears throat) is — takes it toll on women (coughs) in a physical way, and that per her own wishes in wishing to end the pregnancy that, um, she made a conscious decision to not be pregnant and not go through with the pregnancy and, um, parent, and that would change her path in life? And that’s not something that she wanted to do.
Attorney: As a medical physician do you have a specific irreversible harm to her physical health that you can identify, that you are basing this decision on?
Carr: I would say that… uh, not necessarily, no, not irreversible harm. Irreversible changes to her physical health, having, um… gone through labor and childbirth.
Attorney: So your saying that there was irreversible harm to her physical health is inaccurate.
Carr: Um, I would say more to um, her, her, future and mental well-being, yeah, that would a more of a, a more of a, a modifier for than her physical health, correct.
Attorney: So then there was no irreversible harm to her physical health for carrying the child to term.
Attorney: Now is it your testimony that she would, um, have sustained substantial and irreversible harm to her mental health if she were forced to continue the pregnancy?
Carr: It could be, yeah, if she were forced to parent.
Attorney: Can you give us an example of what irreversible harm would occur to Keisha’s mental health if she were to carry the baby to term?
Carr: That would just be speculation of, of parenting at a young age, uh, with, um, as a single mom and financially not stable; depression, anxiety… that would be speculation as to any forward effects on her mental health, it’s possible.
Attorney: So in your interview and your assessment of Keisha Atkins, is it fair to say that you do not have a specific incidence of irreversible harm that you believe that she would have incurred to her mental health had she carried the baby to term?
Carr: I think that it’s a possibility that it could’ve, sure.
Attorney: It’s a possibility but certainly not something that was definitely going to happen.
Attorney: Now as far as assessing her mental health, uh, is it fair to say you did not make a formal assessment of Keisha Atkins’s mental health?
Carr: Correct. I’m not a psychiatrist, so, no.
Attorney: And you didn’t employ the DSM or any other, uh, criteria for the purpose of assessing her mental health.
Attorney: And you also indicated here that being forced to continue the pregnancy would cause substantial and irreversible harm to her family’s health. What were you referring to there?
Carr: Meaning that having, um, an unwanted pregnancy and baby, it affects the whole family? It could be that her mother, Tina, would have to assume care for this child. I didn’t know specifically the relationship with the boyfriend. So it could be a chaotic and disruptive situation for the family, to have a child at this point.
Attorney: Did you take the opportunity to interview either Christina or her boyfriend to determine if indeed there was a risk of irreversible harm to Keisha Atkins’s family health?
Attorney: So your statement here is just based — sheerly (sic) on speculation.
Carr: Um… you could say that.
Attorney: You also indicated here that being forced to continue the pregnancy would result in substantial and irreversible harm to Keisha Atkins’s safety. What are you referring to there?
Carr: Again, knowing — or not knowing, her, the, the support, she said that she had support at the time? Um… a young single mom, not really making it financially, um, she’s at risk for domestic partner violence, poor social outcomes in general, not continuing education.
Attorney: Did you make an assessment to determine if her boyfriend was physically violent toward her?
Attorney: So then you were just merely speculating about substantial and irreversible harm to Keisha’s safety?
Carr: Yeah, speculation, and, and her expressing wishes that she didn’t want to be pregnant.
Attorney: You also indicated that if Keisha were forced to continue the pregnancy, it would cause substantial and irreversible harm to her well-being. What were you referring to?
Carr: To her overall prospects in life if she again wanted to get more education, not just work at Applebee’s for the rest of her life. You know, I can’t know what she’s wanting to do with her life but certainly having a child changes the calculus of what a young Latina woman is able to do in this country.
Attorney: And also having a child could actually enhance her well-being.