DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Pro-lifers are protesting at Planned Parenthood (PP) in Detroit to bring attention to the death of Michigan mother who was the victim of a botched abortion.
"It was devastating, and we all felt like it could have been avoided," said Tyler Sheppard to Church Militant, brother of the victim.
Detroit-area pro-lifers will be gathering at PP's office at 4229 Cass Ave in Detroit on April 28 from 9:30–11:30 a.m. with the intention of highlighting the tragic and unnecessary death of 24-year-old Cree Erwin-Sheppard early on the morning of July 4, 2016.
A disturbing 911 phone call captures the victim's mother desperately crying for help as she holds her daughter's lifeless body.
On June 30, 2016, Cree underwent an abortion and had an intrauterine device (IUD) inserted. Two days later she went to the emergency room complaining of severe abdominal pain, and was discharged the following day. Not wanting to go home, she stayed at her mother's house, where her mother discovered her body "ice cold" and unresponsive at 12:40 a.m. on July 4.
Sheppard, the victim's brother, told Church Militant his was a close-knit family, and family members would've been willing to help his sister with her second pregnancy. "If she felt overwhelmed and needed somebody to take the baby, more than a few of us would have volunteered," he said. "She made the wrong decision, and we lost a loved one because of it."
On April 13, he and other family members attended a press conference in front of the Calhoun County Medical Examiner's office in Kalamazoo. He conveyed that he was there to bring awareness to what happened to his sister and to obtain her autopsy report.
Since news of Cree's death, Michigan-based pro-life advocates had been trying to obtain the report showing her death was actually the result of a botched abortion procedure. A freedom of information act (FOIA) request was sent but the administrator delayed releasing it, calling the pro-life advocates "curiosity seekers."
Once the report was finally released, key parts had been redacted — including portions mentioning the abortion. The cause of death was explained as "Complications of intrauterine pregnancy, including pulmonary emboli related to uterine vein thrombosis." The next part, however, was censored, which mentions the cause of death being "uterine perforation status post early vacuum aspiration and intrauterine contraceptive device placement."
Sheppard noted he was surprised at how easily he was able to obtain an unredacted copy of the report after media reports publicized the fact that the medical examiner's office had been delaying. When he showed up in person and was handed the unredacted version, he told Church Militant, "I felt like it was mission accomplished at that point."
He holds PP partially to blame for what happened to his sister. "I want to take [abortion] off the table; I don't want it to be an option for women," he remarked. "If abortion isn't an option, more men and women will be responsible with how they approach sex."
Sheppard tells women considering an abortion, "It's not just your life; your baby has a life, too. That's a life inside of you."
He said his whole family feels victimized by PP's actions and that the abortion mill has not co-operated with requests for his sister's medical record. He believes that as a business that pushes abortion, PP won't admit to "murdering, not only children but women as well."
Ultimately, he wants his sister's story to serve as a warning to others.
Although pro-lifers are gathering at the Detroit PP facility on Friday morning, there will be gatherings at PP facilities throughout the country Friday and Saturday for the second National Day of Prayer and Protest, with the intention of shutting down the abortion giant and ending all federal funding.
The first gathering on February 15 had a large turnout of pro-abortion counter-protesters who showed up to disrupt and drown out the pro-life message. It's not known if any counter-protesters will show up for Friday's gatherings.