So Sad! Family Seeks Answers After 24-Year-Old Tonya Reaves Dies Following Abortion

July 23, 2012  |  


The Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion group, says less than 0.3 percent of abortion patients experience complications that require hospitalization. So, when 24-year-old Tonya Reaves opted to abort her baby during the 12th week of pregnancy, she likely didn’t realize she was making a fatal decision.

NewsOne reports:

Tonya Reaves died Friday night, after having a second trimester abortion at a Planned Parenthood facility in Chicago, according to CBS Chicago. Now her twin sister and other family members want answers as to what happened during the abortion procedure that went awry.

An autopsy revealed that the 24-year-old woman died from a hemorrhage after a dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedure, which is typically done for women in their second trimester (second 12 weeks) of pregnancy. A D&E ends a pregnancy and involves the dilation of the cervix and surgical removal of the fetal tissue from inside the uterus.

“Abortion deaths like this are completely avoidable. When a woman bleeds to death after an abortion, it is usually an indication of error on the part of the abortionist coupled with a delay in calling for emergency assistance,” Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation, told Life News in a statement Sunday. “Our heartfelt prayers go out to the victim’s family at this time of tragic loss.”

Tonya leaves behind a one-year-old son and fiance. Planned Parenthood commented on Reaves’ untimely death in a written statement:

We were shocked and saddened upon learning of a tragic development at a nearby hospital. Our hearts go out to the loved ones of this patient. While legal abortion services in the United States have a very high safety record, a tragedy such as this is devastating to loved ones and we offer our deepest sympathies. Planned Parenthood of Illinois cares deeply about the health and safety of each and every patient. We do not publicly discuss private patient matters and we follow HIPAA laws that forbid the disclosure of patient information, said Planned Parenthood of Illinois CEO Carole Brite.

Some are calling this death a freak accident during a routine procedure, while others are saying it’s just another example of the danger of abortion and evidence why it should be outlawed in this country.

Planned Parenthood offers many services for women but is an extremely popular abortion provider. Abortion remains a hot topic for the past several decades and, as a result, the company has both strong supporters and strong opposers in this country.

For Tonya’s family, it’s not about pro-choice or pro-life. Tonya’s twin, Toni Reaves, told CBS-Chicago that the family is trying to get through this.

“It happened so fast. She was just fine one day and then the next day she was gone. We’re just trying to figure out what happened… what happened,” she said.

She says she will not rest until she finds out what happened to her best friend. “We were born the same day. She was my other half.”

What do you think of this story?

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  • IKeptMine

    Your defensive stance regarding abortions tells me you’ve paid to have the lives ended of your unborn children. I ain’t judging you. It’s your money. It’s your uterus. It’s your conscience. Just thought you’d like to know that the founder of Planned Parenthood (Mar gar et San ger) is quoted for her said intentions to ‘discourage colored women from breeding’. Congratulations on keeping her dream alive (which is more than what one can say for your unborn child/ren).

  • Lancer

    Maybe they should just say that if you have a baby and within the first
    trimester of their life you can drown them if it is an inconvenience. Or
    maybe they can drown them only if they endanger the mothers life. Say
    for instance, the mother has to work and she is severely depressed. Then
    she can take her little baby and drown it. While on the subject we need
    to think of a new name. We can’t call it a baby before 3 months just in
    case she might want to terminate the baby. See, we need a new name for
    this first trimester of ‘outside of the womb’ life.

  • Pro-choice Diva

    She should have just had her baby and given it up for adoption.

  • William Josaphat

    I am pro life save lives

  • William Josaphat

    I am a saddened by this news the girl is a young girl, 24 is old. 6ou know what the Pro-life people have the right message out there.

  • laila

    It was her choice…maybe she had her reasons for waiting so long…things happen but outlawing abortion isnt the answer. How many ppl died when they did illegal ones?

  • cher

    Very sad story.

  • cher

    If people did their research about planned parenthood, they’d find some awful things regarding their original mission. smh

    • jay

      I agree with you Susan B.Anthony the founder of planned parenthood mission was doing a bunch of shady s**t. When black women walked into her clinic doctors were allowed to stop them from having kids forever because she wanted the birth of uneducated,poor and future criminals out of society.she gave woman the comfort of knowing that they could control when they were ready to bear child but excluded that fact that she was picking and choose who were allowed to bear children ever.I wish people would stop giving her such praises.

  • Miss D

    I was surprised that the family agreed to go public with this story.

    One thing’s for sure, pro-life groups are going to use this as ammo to try and have abortion outlawed. Abortion is an extremely common and relatively safe procedure. It does have its risks, just like any other medical procedure. A heart transplant is a life saving procedure but there is a risk of death….they gonna outlaw heart transplants? What if she had an illness that made the pregnancy unsafe? Who knows. May this woman rest in peace and may her family find comfort at this time.

  • Catherine Howard

    There should be a law that if you do not abort before the third week of your pregnancy then you have to have the baby. Point blank. This is sad. Praying for the family.

    • Catherine Howard

      I don’t like abortions but.

    • Anon

      Most women don’t even know they’re pregnant by week 3 which means this would outlaw abortion for the majority of women. That’s a silly statement to make.

  • My condolences to the family BUT God is in control of everything. Too bad she went and threw away an inocent soul. God don’t like ugly

    • sheane

      So what does that say about all you people throwing around ugly about this woman or in life in general? Or do you only use that saying when you see something that YOU consider ugly? Like “God don’t mind me being snide and condescending and judgmental about this poor girl who lost her life BUT God HATES HER UGLY cause she had an abortion!” Does that sound about right to you?

      • Della

        U hit the nail on the head. There is nothing life-giving andor God honorin in looking down on someone who is lost,broken , going through, or makes decisions u don’t agree with. God is not like man and contrary to broken theology and tradition Jesus would be in fellowiship with those who are considered the least. and worst of society-they’d never be required to “get right then come see me.”Stop using your bible as a badge(inanimate object of no intrinsic value used to give the wearer authority and onlookers caution/comfort.

  • This should not be news for a multiple of reasons. The patient deserve anonymity even in death and the family deserves the freedom to grieve. Push she knew the risk of having an elective surgery. I call it elective because I couldn’t image her having a medical need to have said abortion and the author being so frivolous as to exclude that from the article.

    • LA2DC777

      It is likely that she or her family has not shared the reasons for the abortion/termination… I thinking automatically ruling out a medical reason for the abortion/termination based on the author’s omission is faulty logic. This article is poorly written and the author’s objectivity is lacking throughout the whole piece- the whole story has not been told.

  • My baby died, and now I cant have any more. If she didn’t want the baby she could have given it to me or someone like me. She died killing her baby,right? THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED RIGHT? And you all feel sorry for her. SMH

    • beck0974

      Or you could adopt some of those kids in foster care. There are plenty of children that need homes.

      Further, how can you question people feeling sorry for someone that died? Where’s your compassion? You don’t know this woman’s situation, but you’re VERY quick to pass judgement. I wonder how you’d feel if someone judge you for your situation?

  • purhoney

    Ever wonder what the family of the deceased feels about having their child’s death made into topic for public debate? It must be horrible to have complete strangers spew their personal judgements and make hateful comments on the life of the person they (the family) KNOW and loved while they are still in shock and grieving from their loss. Ahhhh humanity!

    • beauty85

      Yep humanity at its finest killing off a fetus and then surprised when the mother dies as well!

      • purhoney

        While you sit on your high horse please shout to the world about how many of those unwanted children you have raised. You don’t know why she made this decision (not that it should matter) yet you judge her. I just don’t get people who choose to spread anger, judgement and hate when people are suffering. I guess my mind is just not that small. ~Blessings!

        • beauty85

          I don’t own a horse!

        • beauty85

          It does matter why she made that decision, would u say that if the baby was a 3 month old, think about it!

  • Squeezablechic

    I never understood why all abortions are not performed in hospitals. Like all operations, the patient can experience complications like shock, cardiac arrest, severe blood loss, blood clots to the lung, difficulty breathing, etc. emergency staff and equipment must be available to respond. It’s not like having a tooth pulled. So sad this happened.

    • Melice

      Even extractions can be complicated as well as any other dental surgery… my condolences to her family.

    • Guest

      They’re not performed in hospitals because of all the political controversy surrounding abortions. The anti-abortion folks have done a heck of a job isolating this procedure to plan parenthood facilities. Hospitals do not want that negative attention. You are right; an abortion is a serious medical procedure which can lead to complications and should be performed in a hospital with trained medical staff.
      My condolences to the family.

    • KD

      Probably because Dr’s take an oath so SAVE lives. Not trying to be argumentative but I would imagine most Dr’s at the hospital won’t perform them.

  • mommyof4

    I am pro choice.. but I could never personally choose to have an abortion.. whatever her reasons for terminating her pregnancy were her own and it was her right to choose what she wanted to do..I feel so much sadness for her 1 year oldbecause now he is without his mo mm

  • Trisha_B

    They should do an autopsy to see the real cause of death. There could have been other health issues that came into place. Idk, it’s sad. A baby boy lost his mother…condoms/birth control is so much more cheaper than an abortion

    • noneya

      Maybe their birth control failed, just cause you got pregnant doesnt mean you were not taking birth control…any woman ovulating can get pregnant!

      • Yulisa

        Her birth control might have but if they used condoms she would still be alive

        • beck0974

          Come on now. How many married couples use condoms? Besides, considering what type of birth control she’s using, it could have interacted with other meds she may have been on. You do realize that antibiotics cause birth control to fail, right?

          • Renee

            I am married and we use condoms AND birth control pills. I don’t always take my pill correctly (totally my fault) so when I have missed pills we use condoms for backup because we are not ready to start a family yet. It is sad what happened to this young woman but we should not speculate the circumstances of her abortion. I personally wouldn’t have an abortion but I don’t think it should be outlawed because I feel if a woman is raped, she should be able to have an abortion. Now there are some girls/women that use abortion as a birth control method and that is just WRONG. It’s our bodies so we can do what we want with them, but people need to be mindful that abortions can cause long-term damage to your body. I know a woman that is 31 now that had an abortion when she was 20 and now she is married and wants kids but can’t have any.

        • cerra

          That’s not true. My husband and I were in bc and condoms faithfully and yet we have two children out of five that were conceived despite the contraceptives. Whatever the case, what’s the point in blaming mom or the abortionist, what happened happened and a little baby boy is without his mother. He will grow up going through life without her. Never really knowing who she was. The fiance who planned to marry her and the twin and family who are mourning. Blessings to the family should be all we have to say but hey we’re entitled to opinions. So aside from what I said, God bless the family

  • DandelionChild

    I’m sorry, but this article seems rather poorly written and somewhat pro-life leaning. The Guttmacher Institute is pro-choice, not “pro-abortion.” Tonya Reaves chose to terminate her pregnancy, not “opt to abort her baby.” And implying that “it’s just another example of the danger of abortion,” belies the fact that it is a relatively safe and common procedure. This is a delicate subject, and it’s not okay to write about it so casually.

    • OhWell

      This “pro-abortion” reference was actually surprising…but only because the bias is almost ENTIRELY in the opposite direction.

      The two sides of the abortion debate, as self-identified, are “pro-choice” and “pro-life” but you would actually be very hard-pressed to find any of the “objective” media outlets using them. They almost always indicate that they have taken sides by using the terms “pro-choice” and “anti-abortion”.

    • OhWell

      The use of the term “pro-abortion” is surprising…only because the bias is almost always in the other direction. And we know that all articles must have a pro-choice leaning.

      The two sides of the abortion debate self-identify as “pro-choice” and “pro-life” but you would be hard-pressed to find the “objective” media outlets using these terms in their reports. Instead, the reports expose their bias by taking sides and using the terms “pro-choice” and “anti-abortion”.

      • dee

        The fact is when u sign the papers terminate it does mention death too so she signed over her rights of death as well as killing a child at almost 3 months!!! So who is really to blame when they put on the paperwork that you may die???? She should’ve got a plan b pill instead of waiting all that time the longer you wait the more complications follow

      • Pro-Life

        The media outlets have also similarly used the statement “pro-choice” to defend women who choose to abort their unborn babies. They hide the fact that they use saline, which is like acid, burning the baby alive. They want you to think its a fetus or an embryo, but a baby is developing. Google 12 weeks pregnant, and see what a baby looks like inside the womb.

        I am sorry for the young woman who lost her life. We may never learn why she chose to abort.

        • beck0974

          Saline is not “like acid”, it’s salt water (same as what you get in your IV if you’re dehydrated at the hospital or use in your eye drops. It IS a fetus until it’s born, but I guess that’s the misinformation you receive from those “pro-life” – until the child is born – groups.

          • Pro-Life

            Salt water burns! Ever got salt water in your eyes? It is burning the baby inside of you. It has been compared to acid by many doctors who perform abortions. Would you call, have you called, or anyone you know that called an unborn child a fetus? Hey, this is my fetus, feel my fetus kicking? We are going to name the fetus John. Are you coming to by fetus shower? Really?!

            • beck0974

              Having salt water in your eyes in not the same thing as having it on your skin. Ever got “burned” while swimming in the ocean??? It is NOT like acid and you’d be hard pressed to have a real doctor say as such. Who are these abortion doctors you speak of?

              That’s the problem in this whole thing: MISINFORMATION. People like you scare women into having unwanted pregnancies by limiting access to birth control, pre-natal care, proper nutrition, CHOICE etc. How many women die everyday in childbirth? What about the hundreds of thousands of unwanted children in foster care? What about THOSE kids?

              • Pro-Life

                I don’t scare anyone. Just because you haven’t heard it, doesn’t mean it does not exist. There are many journal articles by by medical doctors to explain this. The Guttmacher Institute, a government supported agency, who is neutral in their stance has published several articles. Again, I say, Google it. There are over eight types of abortion. Suction (Vacuum) Aspiration, Dilation and Curettage (D&C), Intracardiac Injection Abortion, Dilation and Evacuation (D&E), Dilation and Extraction (D&X or Partial-birth Abortion), Instillation (Saline) Abortion, Prostaglandin Abortion, Chemical (Medical) Abortion. These are FACTS, not MISINFORMATION. Sometimes I feel the Pro-Choice advocates don’t talk about the actual abortion and SCARE women by making statements similar to the ones that you just listed. You can’t take care of it, it’ll ruin your life. With God all things are possible.

                • beck0974

                  No one “hides” information and women are informed of the procedure and the risk. You make it seem as if women just nonchalantly make this choice. Either way, SHE is the responsible for the child when it’s born, not you, me, the state… only her. You do realize that even in this country, women die in childbirth EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. That’s a FACT. Women are denied access to birth control. That’s a FACT. Some women do not have access to pre-natal care. That’s a FACT. The REALITY is this: a woman is the one responsible for her child when it’s born. She’s the one that will have to take care of and provide for it. Not to mention the financial toll it takes, especially if the woman is unmarried or a teenager.

                  The point is to prevent the abortion in the first place. Providing women with access to birth control and proper education on how to prevent pregnancy. It’s also about not shaming other women for making a very personal choice. If you don’t like abortions, don’t have one. But, don’t take away my right to decide what I want to do with my body.

                  • beauty85

                    Rid you know that childbirth is different from abortion, the baby is still alive! The mother chose to kill her fetus, for whatever reason, I can’t say I feel sorry for her.

                • sheane

                  @dcef4d58daa3b2ec7072c6245f6b10b7:disqus You may not think that what you’re saying is scary but to a woman making the hard choice to have an abortion you just may be scaring her. All you pro-lifers go on and on about using condoms, and the plan b pill, and all other sorts of birth control but you people are ASSUMING that the women in question have access to those things. Here’s the honest truth, the ONLY safe bets for unwanted pregnancy, STD’s and STI’s are abstinence, celibacy, and masturbation. EVERYTHING else is a crap shot. Oh and another thing they tried to abolish abortions before and it didn’t stop women from getting them, if they felt desperate enough to go to some back alley abortion clinic, and some of them ended up dead, with infections, or couldn’t have any kids because of something that happened during the surgery. ALSO, would you rather have a woman go “I can’t handle a child mentally, emotionally, or financially so I CHOOSE to have an abortion and have better standards for who I choose (if I choose to at all) have unprotected sex with” OR have a child and abuse it in ANY and EVERY way possible? You may not agree with abortions, so don’t have one. But you have NO RIGHT to say, stop, or condemn someone for exercising their RIGHT to choose.

                  • sheane

                    A correction on my part. They did abolish abortions That was the purpose of the Roe v. Wade hearing. Maybe you pro lifers should look it up and educate yourselves on the other side of the “moral debate”.

            • Lancer

              I guess the saline surrounds the little baby fetus and makes it comfy and warm until the angels come and take the little baby fetus to Heaven. Oh no, actually, after the comfy little rest in saline the doctor jams instruments into the womb and rips the limbs from the baby fetus. But everybody knows that doesn’t hurt.

        • Trisha_B

          “They hide the fact that they use saline, which is like acid, burning the baby alive…”

          My stomach literally started to burn reading that 🙁

    • lalatarea

      THANK YOU! i wanted to cyber slap the author once i read “pro abortion”! To be pro abortion that means you believe EVERY pregnancy should end in abortion WTF? And yea clearly this author is biased as heck!

    • Alissa

      I’m sorry, but this comment makes me believe you didn’t read the story. “Choosing to terminate her pregnancy” and “opting to abort her baby” are the same thing using different words. I didn’t *imply* that “it’s just another example of the danger of abortion. I *said*: “Some are calling this death a freak accident during a routine procedure, while others are saying it’s just another example of the danger of abortion and evidence why it should be outlawed in this country.” Where is the implication there? You pick your own side. And as far as it “leaning pro-life”, would it still be poorly written if it were “leaning pro-choice”? The story is about the fact that someone DIED yet your comment is about something else entirely.

  • Daphne

    People die in childbirth, are they gonna outlaw childbirth? My condolenses to the family though.

    • Kenedy

      R.I.P. i agree, isn’t death a possible risk from abortion, like any other medical procedure like somebody else mentioned….this shouldn’t be a surprise at all

    • Childbirth is natural…Abortion isn’t. There’s quite a difference here.

      • Ashley

        I agree! Childbirth is natural.

      • Guest

        Have you ever heard of a miscarriage which is also your body’s natural abortion?

        • Ashley

          Keyword is natural. You can’t schedule a miscarriage at the doctor’s office (body’s natural abortion), but you can schedule an appointment to terminate your pregnancy. Natural vs. Un-natural

          • noneya

            HELLOOOOOO….a D & C is the same procedure as a abortion just a different name! YES, it an be schedule just ask any Gynecologist! A
            miscarriage is a natural process of the body expelling/aborting a fetus!!

            • Ashley

              You missing my point, but…. OK

      • purhoney

        What’s your point?

        • Ashley

          I think her point was that you can’t compare the two because they are not the same.

  • Anon

    Pro-Choice all day. This is very sad that this happened, but there is always a risk when undergoing any kind of medical procedure. God Bless her and her family.

  • Rhonda Chambers

    Wow. Im wary of anything having to do with planned parenthood. It may not have been accidental. I don’t trust doctors. But I can’t imagine why she felt the need to get an abortion if she was getting married.


      Maybe they couldn’t afford to have another baby.

      • tj

        Then they should have used some type of birth control

        • Tired of Judgmental ppl

          She could have had a medical issue that came up because of having the baby. Maybe she wanted this child but couldn’t have it.

        • Melice

          You don’t know that she didn’t use some type of birth control… this is unfortunate.


          True. However, wouldn’t it be a perfect world if everyone used birth control before they had sex.

  • Ki

    I feel bad for her family. Especially her husband and son. I am pro life as well. If you have sex which is intended for procreation be ready for it. Or tie your tubes. Sex has been watered down and made so casual these days.

    • noneya

      You dont know if she was on birth control that fail or if she had other medical issues which required an abortion!

      • TJ


        • Pro-Life

          According to abortion statistics, over 3,000 abortions are performed daily in the US. Blacks account for 37%, Whites 34%, Hispanics 22%, and Other 7%. A black woman is three times as likely as a white woman to have an abortion during her lifetime.

          • sheane

            So what exactly is the point you’re trying to make with these statistics? Cause the conclusion that I’m drawing is there is a lack of birth control, knowledge or BOTH in the black community.

          • beauty85

            I’m pro life but statistics aren’ t that great to go by considering the fact that they spoke with over a 100 or a 1000 women to come up with these so called facts, Ron’t believe the hype, unless they have spoken to every woman in america that is not a true statistics!

        • beck0974

          How many is “many”? Are you saying that all black “girls” are having abortions left and right, or just people you personally know? Further, what is your community doing to provide these girls with birth control or sex education? Since it’s common knowledge, what is your city/county/state doing to prevent further unwanted pregnancies in girls?

        • sheane

          THEY ARE NOT PAR FOR THE COURSE! THEY ARE BROKEN LITTLE GIRLS WHO HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HAVING MULTIPLE ABORTIONS ARE DOING TO THEIR MINDS, BODIES, OR SPIRITS! Just like you wouldn’t want someone to judge you by the stupid things that some like you may do, DON’T JUDGE OTHERS!

    • I agree

  • Hello_Kitty81

    I’m a pro-life person, but so sad what happened to her.