SANTA FE (KRQE) - An anti-abortion group's attempt to strip an Albuquerque doctor of her medical license failed Thursday on a unanimous vote of the New Mexico Medical Board.
Dr. Shelley Sella practices at one of only four clinics in the U.S. that regularly provide third trimester abortions.
She was accused of gross negligence in one of those procedures in May.
According to a Medical Board report, a woman from New York came to Albuquerque for an abortion at the Southwest Women's Options Clinic because her nearly full-term fetus had severe brain abnormalities.
During the procedure the woman suffered a ruptured uterus and was taken by ambulance to UNM Hospital.
The woman recovered and flew home
But the group Operation Rescue got the 911 call and filed a complaint with the Medical Board asking that Sella's license be revoked for gross negligence.
With security standing close by, board announced its decision that Sella acted properly in caring for her patient.
By a unanimous vote, the board dropped allegations against Sella stemming from a May 20-11 abortion.
"Shelley Sella did put her patient at risk whether the New Mexico Medical Board wants to believe that or not," Tara Shaver of Project Defending Life told KRQE News 13 after the hearing.
Sella's attorney applauded the decision.
"She provided excellent care for this patient," molly Schmidt, Sella's attorney, said. "There was a complication, but there are in the provision for medical services there are sometimes complications.
"This is a known possible risk."
Anti-abortion groups were also calling for the district attorney to file felony charges against Sella. However the state law they cited only deals with abortions that are not medically justified.
Before she came to New Mexico, Sella worked with Dr. George Tiller in Kansas. He was assassinated in 2009 by an anti-abortion activist.
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