TULSA, Okla. – The woman accusing Republican Senate candidate Tom Coburn (search) of sterilizing her without permission nearly 14 years ago has released documents she says bolster her contention that she never consented to the procedure.
Coburn, an obstetrician, performed the sterilization during an operation to remove an ectopic pregnancy, a dangerous condition in which an embryo was growing in the woman's fallopian tube. He surgically removed the tube and tied off her other fallopian tube, leaving her sterile.
The attorney for woman released a form Tuesday that she signed before the surgery and addresses the consent issue.
On the form, a box marked "Does not apply" is checked after a statement saying "I have been informed, both orally and in writing that as a result of the above procedure I will be permanently incapable of having children."
The woman, Angela Plummer (search), said this shows there was time to get written consent for sterilization, but it was never done.
Coburn said he did nothing wrong, that he had oral consent for the sterilization and that a nurse failed to get written consent as he had requested. He said his political opponents are pushing the issue to hurt his campaign even though the woman's 1991 lawsuit over the matter was dropped.
The accusations in Plummer's lawsuit also included deposition statements from Coburn that he intentionally did not mention the sterilization in a Medicaid reimbursement form.
The dispute has become a key issue in a bitter Senate race between Coburn and Democratic Rep. Brad Carson. The election could end up tipping the balance of power in the narrowly divided Senate. Recent polls have shown the pair in a tight race.
"This is just a smear campaign by Brad Carson and his liberal friends in an effort to embarrass Tom Coburn," Coburn spokesman John Hart said Wednesday. "All of these issues were dealt with thoroughly in a courtroom and dismissed."
Carson's campaign has denied any role in the allegations, which first surfaced last week.
"This case continues to have unanswered questions that only Tom Coburn himself can answer," Carson campaign spokesman Kristofer Eisenla said.
Tim Reese, an attorney working for Plummer, posted the consent form, the nurses' notes and the deposition on a Web site Tuesday. He said Plummer gave him the records from her own personal medical file.
Reese said he is not connected to Carson's campaign. He once operated a Web site critical of former GOP congressman and gubernatorial candidate Steve Largent.