U.S. Pays $20,000 to Settle Forced IUD Removal Case

A New Mexico woman who alleged a physician’s assistant at a health clinic expressed anti-abortion views while removing her IUD without her permission won a $20,000 settlement from the federal government, On Point has learned.

Ashley Van Patten’s attorney provided On Point with the settlement agreement after the U.S. filed dismissal papers in court earlier this week. In advance of the settlement, she had dropped her unusual claim alleging physician’s assistant Sylvia Olona violated her due process right to choice of contraception.

The $20,000 payment compensates Van Patten only for a run-of-the-mill malpractice claim for negligent removal of her IUD.

The government’s potential liability was much higher since, if Van Patten’s allegations were true, Olona went far beyond the scope of both the state and federal “conscience clauses” for health care providers by imposing her beliefs on a patient.

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