Law & the Courts

Couple Sues Planned Parenthood for Cost of Raising Child after Botched Abortion

(File photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

An Idaho couple filed suit last week against a New Mexico Planned Parenthood affiliate for costs associated with raising their two-year-old son, who was born “jaundiced and ill” after they unsuccessfully attempted to abort him.

In order to avoid the mandatory waiting period in their home state, Biana Coons and her boyfriend Cristobal Ruiz travelled 700 miles to a New Mexico Planned Parenthood in February 2016 to abort their third child.

After receiving an unsuccessful drug-induced abortion, Coons was told that she could receive a second procedure free of charge in Idaho, according to the suit. But, upon returning to Idaho, Coons, then nine weeks pregnant, realized that she could not receive a free procedure because each Planned Parenthood affiliate is legally obligated to operate as an independent business. She gave birth to a son in August 2016, one month shy of his due date.

The suit alleges that Coons was “deceived into thinking that they could come to New Mexico and initiate the [medication abortion] and then return to Idaho without losing access to ‘Planned Parenthood Services.’” The couple is seeking $765,000 for the cost of providing for “an additional unplanned child,” as well as damages for emotional stress, criminal negligence, and breach of contract, among other charges.

The abortion-inducing drug Coons took has its intended effect in 94 to 98 percent in women who are eight weeks pregnant or less, according to the Planned Parenthood website.

“Medication abortion — also called the abortion pill — is a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy,” the website reads. “This medicine causes cramping and bleeding to empty your uterus. It’s kind of like having a really heavy, crampy period, and the process is very similar to an early miscarriage.”

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