Vibrant and just 24 years old, single mother Cree Erwin died from complications of a botched abortion performed at an embattled Planned Parenthood facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Her family is now attempting to channel the tragic loss of their loved one for good, sounding the alarm on the practices and history of Planned Parenthood to save others from Erwin's fate.
Erwin went in for an abortion on June 30, falling violently ill shortly after the procedure. The 24-year-old made her way to her mother's house, where she, in uncontrollable tears, told her mom of the abortion, explaining both the agonizing physical pain and the emotional burden of sorrow and regret she felt. The pain, too much to bear, landed Erwin in an emergency room in Michigan on July 2, where an ultrasound showed clotting, and that parts of the killed baby still remained in her uterus, which was now perforated. Erwin was given a prescription for pain medication, morphine, and sent home, essentially told to tough it out until she could see her doctor after the holiday weekend. Erwin went back to her mother's house, went to sleep and never woke up. Her lifeless body was found dead on July 4.
The young mother died of "complications of intrauterine pregnancy, including (with lay translations in parentheses) pulmonary emboli (blood clots in the lungs) related to uterine vein thrombosis (blood clot in the uterus) and uterine perforation status post early vacuum aspiration (abortion) and intrauterine contraceptive device placement (placement of an IUD)," says the heavily-redacted death certificate.
Following the incident, Erwin's family tried tirelessly to find a sliver of accountability for their loved one's death. They were unsuccessful.
Erwin's 30-year-old brother, Tyler Sheppard, told The Daily Wire that there have been no answers or accountability from Planned Parenthood concerning his sister's death thus far; the facility refuses to release any records to his mother, expose which doctor performed the abortion, or even release a public statement on the incident, despite multiple requests.
But at this point, the lack of answers and accountability from the abortion mill is unsurprising, even expected, to Sheppard.
Planned Parenthood "is in survival mode right now," he told The Daily Wire. "That would be admitting some kind of fault; them admitting guilt and fault would force them to maybe have to close," he said. "I would be surprised if they did" take accountability.
Asked if he thought the abortion mill cared about women, Sheppard said they might in "some way ... but they like their money more."
The family's mission has since transformed, acknowledging that they will likely not get Planned Parenthood to own up; such a task would be a fool's errand. "I just want it to let it be known what they did," said Sheppard, "so everyone else will be aware."
"If I could help at least one person avoid the fate of my sister, it will all be worth it," he added.
To Sheppard, Planned Parenthood is getting away with hundreds of thousands of abortions annually, killing unborn children and harming women both emotionally and physically because the deceptive veneer of "women's rights" purposefully cloaks the facility and the procedure.
"Women’s rights," he said, "people hear that and let it go. They think, 'well, I'm about women's rights, too; I'm with it,' not knowing the background of Planned Parenthood."
Sheppard is speaking of Planned Parenthood's founding by eugenics enthusiast Margaret Sanger.
"It's just genocide," he stated flatly. "You look at the numbers and you see that this is in poor, black and Hispanic communities and not in affluent neighborhoods."
Although blacks only comprise about 12 percent of the population, they make up roughly 30 percent of all Planned Parenthood abortions, a statistic that would make Sanger proud. Additionally, as noted by Life Issues, "Protecting Black Life, an outreach of Life Issues Institute, documented in its 2012 research that Planned Parenthood targets women of color for abortion by placing 79 percent of its surgical abortion facilities within walking distance of minority neighborhoods."
"Everything that Margaret stands for, it goes against the values of the black community," said Sheppard, explaining such values include "family" and "unity."
The 30-year-old, recalling the circumstances which led to the death of his sister, explained that "even so-called 'successful abortions' can leave a woman to feel both physical and emotional pain."
"The whole thing, going through with it; I know it was tough for her. Cree was crying uncontrollably. It wasn’t because she was in agonizing pain; it was because she didn’t do the right thing," he said.
"It’s not a safe procedure," Sheppard heeded. People need to understand "that your baby is alive. Know that you will not come out of this thing fully unscathed: there is emotional as well as physical harm. It will do damage to you in both respects."
"Educate yourself about abortion and the person who set it all up," said Sheppard, speaking again of Sanger. Sheppard added that he himself used to be uneducated about the horrors and founding of the abortion mill.
"If you don’t agree with Sanger's views and her standing, get the word out," he added, encouraging others to speak.
"Unfortunately my sister isn’t here, but her death, I believe, will cause a lot of awareness about Planned Parenthood, and not just for the black community," Sheppard said hopefully. "I think those who are seeking an abortion, they might turn away because of what happened to my sister. I want to prevent this from happening to anybody else."
There still remain many questions from pro-life advocates surrounding Erwin's death, leaving many suspicious of a cover-up. Erwin's heavily-redacted death certificate and autopsy report partially blame "methadone use" for the 24-year-old's death, though a coroner had told Erwin's mother that the minimal amount of pain medication found in Erwin's body in no way contributed to her death.
Jim Dyer, the Calhoun County Attorney and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) coordinator for the county, said he was the one who chose what to redact.
"I was the one that made the decisions on this," said Dyer, "and my interest was solely to protect the family of Cree Erwin-Sheppard. I could care less about Planned Parenthood and what their interests are."
Sheppard told The Daily Wire he spoke to Dyer personally after the attorney made his remarks. "I have no reason not to believe him," said Sheppard, noting that Dyer seemed sincere.