CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A lawsuit filed against a Charleston abortion clinic alleging a botched procedure shares key similarities with one filed earlier this year against a Colorado clinic.
Attorneys representing both women are associated with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian group that opposes abortion.
In June, Itai Gravely, a 26-year-old represented by Jeremiah Dys of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia, filed a malpractice lawsuit against Dr. Rodney Stephens of Women's Health Center, an abortion clinic in Charleston.
In February, Ayanna Byer, represented by attorney Doug Romero of the Denver-based Colorado Christian Defense Counsel, filed suit against Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.
Both lawsuits allege that the respective women were given no or inadequate anesthesia and, although they then decided not to have abortions, they were forced to undergo the procedures against their will.
Both lawsuits also allege that the physicians who performed the abortions did not examine the women after the procedures, and that the women had severe pain and other symptoms at their homes and were taken back to respective hospitals.
Once at the hospitals, medical staff that allegedly examined each of the women concluded that the abortion doctors had left parts of the fetus in their wombs, causing infections, according to the respective lawsuits.
In news conferences announcing the lawsuits, statements from attorneys representing the case also were similar.
"A woman's life is more important than Planned Parenthood's bottom line," Romero, Byer's attorney, said in a news release. "What Planned Parenthood did to Ayanna is beyond the pale. They clearly put her through extraordinary cruelty and jeopardized her life. Their actions were intolerable."
In a news conference in June announcing Gravely's case, Dys made similar statements.
"A woman's life is more important than an abortionist's bottom line," Dys said. "What Stephens and Women's Health Center did to Itai is beyond the pale. She has been exposed to extraordinary cruelty, and her life was put in jeopardy."
Dys told the Gazette-Mail that his client called him about the lawsuit after the alleged botched abortion. He said this week that it's common for attorneys to review similar cases in preparation for filing their own.
"The reason they seem so similar is that women are harmed when they have an abortion, and this is not a irregular activity," Dys said.