Fairmount Center

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The Fairmont Center abortion business was founded by Curtis Boyd in 1973. In November 2009, the abortion business relocated to new facility and changed its name to Southwestern Women's Surgery Center. The staff and abortionists also transferred to the new location.


Death of Vanessa Preston

Dallas Morning News article (click to enlarge)

On January 22, 1980, Vanessa Preston, the 22-year-old wife of a local minister, went with her husband and small son to Fairmount Clinic in Dallas. Curtis Boyd performed a dilation and extraction abortion on her. During the abortion, Vanessa went into a grand mal seizure and then into cardiac arrest. Emergency procedures were immediately instituted. An ambulance was summoned, and Boyd and a nurse performed CPR and got Vanessa's heart to beat again. Before the ambulance arrived, Vanessa again went into cardiac arrest. Again, staff at Fairmount performed CPR. Paramedics and staff stabilized Vanessa for transport to the hospital.

About 40 minutes into exploratory surgery, trying to address a retained placenta and multiple vaginal punctures, Vanessa again went into cardiac arrest. She was given a total of 24 units of blood to try to keep her circulation entact despite her massive, unstoppable blood loss. For an hour and a half, hospital staff tried in vain to resuscitate Vanessa before finally pronouncing her dead.

An autopsy revealed that she had developed amniotic fluid embolism (AFE - amniotic fluid in the mother's bloodstream) and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC - a blood clotting disorder) during the abortion. This is what caused her cardiac arrest. When Boyd's staff resuscitated Vanessa, they caused a small laceration of her liver. This is typical in even properly performed CPR, and is not usually life-threatening. However, because of the DIC, Vanessa's blood couldn't clot, and she bled to death from the liver laceration. Since second-trimester evacuation abortions were still experimental at the time, Boyd and his staff didn't realize that there was a risk of DIC.

Boyd reported Vanessa's death to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He also wrote a medical journal article about her death, warning other abortionists that DIC could occur during second-trimester evacuation abortions.[14][15][16][17][18]

Of the death Boyd stated,

"This is the first death to one of our patients. It is tragic for her and for her family, and it is sad for us. We do know that abortion deaths have occured in the past, and they will occur in the future. In this medical procedure, as well as in other medical areas, that potential exists. We regret it when it occurs, and while the risk is small, we're doing all we can to make it even smaller."


  1. Galveston Daily News, June 27, 1983, Page 16: Opponents havent given up: Abortion gains acceptance in state
  2. Shannon Rauh's LinkedIn profile (accessed on March 6, 2012)
  3. Joanna Gregg's LinkedIn profile (accessed on March 6, 2012)
  4. Margaret Turner's LinkedIn profile (accessed on March 6, 2012)
  5. Hillary Trevino's LinkedIn profile (accessed on March 6, 2012)
  6. Jenni Beaver's LinkedIn profile (accessed on March 7, 2012)
  7. Dallas Morning News: Abortion pill is rarely used by U.S. women, report says, Jan. 21, 2003 (accessed on March 9, 2012)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Fairmount Center website: Positions (accessed as at April 21, 2003 via WayBack Machine)
  9. ChildPredators.com: Transcript of undercover call, 2011 (accessed on March 11, 2012)
  10. Cherlyn Haynes' LinkedIn profile (accessed on July 24, 2012)
  11. Cara Johnston's LinkedIn profile (accessed on July 24, 2012)
  12. Local Doctor's Guide website: Fairmount Center - Mary E Smith MD - Business Details (accessed on Aug. 12, 2012)
  13. Dallas Observer: Charlotte's Web, May 18, 1995 (accessed on March 26, 2013)
  14. Dallas Morning News 1/24/80
  15. Dallas Morning News, 1/25/80
  16. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 10/1/81
  17. Texas Autopsy Report No. 0190-80-0095
  18. Texas Death Certificate 07018