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Breaking: N.M. Medical Board Clears Abortion Doctor of Negligence Claim

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The New Mexico Medical Board has exonerated Dr. Shelly Sella of allegations of gross negligence in her handling of a late term abortion in 2011.

The board voted unanimously this morning to exonerate her of the complaint after more than 45 minutes of deliberation. The board gave no explanation for its decision.

Sella, 55, was accused by the medical board prosecutor of gross negligence in treating a 26-year-old woman who had a uterine rupture during a late term abortion in 2011 at an Albuquerque clinic, one of only four in the country that perform third trimester abortions.

Sella allegedly administered excessive uterine stimulants to the patient, who traveled to New Mexico from her home in Brooklyn, NY, for the procedure at Southwestern Women’s Options clinic.

The patient was carrying a 35-week old fetus that tests showed had an enlarged head and severe brain abnormalities.

The board investigation was spurred not by a complaint from the patient, but from local and national abortion opponents, including Operation Rescue.

The anti-abortion advocates had no first hand information about the case, but submitted a 911 emergency recording to the board as evidence along with recordings of other nearly a dozen 911 calls involving abortions at Albuquerque clinics. The recordings that dated back to 2008 were obtained from the city of Albuquerque through the state Inspection of Public Records Act.

The recording involving the New York patient came from the clinic staff calling for an ambulance to take her to University Hospital after the uterine rupture.

Sella previously worked for Dr. George Tiller, a Kansas doctor killed by an anti-abortion fanatic in 2009. After Tiller’s murder, she moved West, joining the practice of one of only four abortion clinics in the country that perform late-term abortions today — in Albuquerque.

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