Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Legal but No Safer - Shoddy Abortion Practices Continue in the U.S.

This article will be addressing continuing unsafe abortion practices in the United States. Let me start out with an excerpt of an article:
"Although thousands of abortion procedures are performed every year without incident, the procedure does carry risks, and some complications of abortion can be extremely serious, even life-threatening. In certain cases, negligence on the part of a medical professional can cause or contribute to complications of abortion. Women who have procedures performed incorrectly or incompletely may suffer complications of abortion including perforation of the uterus, infection, and endotoxic shock. Some complications of abortion are long-term, such as the possibility of an increased risk for certain cancers and ectopic pregnancies. Patients should be warned of the risk of complications of abortion before deciding to go ahead with the procedure, but surgical mistakes and medical negligence are not considered acceptable risks." 

Despite legalization, women are continuing to experience and die from abortion complications; however, women are dying from foreseeable and preventable complications due to inexcusable poor clinic conditions and carelessness and neglect on the part of abortion providers, which is supported by the following statistics and actual cases.

According to the CDC Abortion Surveillance taken during the years 1972 to 2002, the total number of deaths due to legal induced abortion were highest before the 1980s (despite widespread legalization in 1973) and during the years 1972 to 2002 there were more deaths due to legal abortions than illegal abortions, with a steady trend of of  12.6 abortion deaths average  a year in the United States (see table 19), however the CDC admits that because these data are reported voluntarily, several limitations and under-reporting exist (see Limitations). Medscape's continuing medical education website, E-Medicine, features the following complication and mortality statistics for abortion:
Abortion Complications: complications of spontaneous and therapeutic abortions include (1) complications of anesthesia, (2) postabortion triad (ie, pain, bleeding, low-grade fever), (3) hematometra, (4) retained products of conception, (5) uterine perforation, (6) bowel and bladder injury, (7) failed abortion, (8) septic abortion, (9) cervical shock, (10) cervical laceration, and (11) disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Frequency of complications depends on gestational age at time of abortion and method of abortion. Reported complication rates according to gestational age at time of abortion are as follows: for 8 weeks and under - Less than 1% or less than 17,300 women will experience complications, for 8-12 weeks - 1.5 to 2% or 25,950 to 34,600 women, 12-13 weeks - 3 to 6% or 51,900 to 103,800 women, Second trimester - Up to 50% or 865,000 women, possibly higher.

Mortality and morbidity depend on gestational age (GA) at time of abortion. In the US, mortality rates per 100,000 abortions are as follows: (1) fewer than 8 weeks - 0.5; (2) 11-12 weeks -2.2; (3) 16-20 weeks - 14; and (4) more than 21 weeks- 18. Let me put this into perspective for you. Consider that in 2002, 1.3 million abortions were preformed and and 430,000 spontaneous abortions occured in the United States, (source: Unintended Pregnancy Statistics) for this purpose, a total of 1.73 million, correlating the number of total spontaneous and elective abortions to the above mortality rates for spontaneous and elective abortions,  this translates to the following statistic number of mortalities (or deaths) which occur for spontaneous and elective abortions (but keep in mind the actual numbers may be higher or lower), (1) fewer than 8 weeks, 8.7 deaths, (2)11-12 weeks, 38 deaths, (3) 16-20 weeks, 242 deaths, 4) more than 21 weeks, 311 deaths.

Cases of Legal Abortion Deaths from 2000-201

Abortion Reportedly Kills Woman in New York at A1 Medicine Abortion Center
The below news reporting agencies also confirm LifeSite's news report
Woman Dies While Undergoing Apparent Abortion - WPIX TV New York
New York Daily News: Queens clinic A1 Medicine probed after Alexandra Nunez is fatally injured

New York, NY -- A New York woman has apparently died as a result of a failed abortion done at the A-1 Women's Care abortion center located in the Jackson Heights section of Queens. Reports indicate emergency officials responded to an emergency call from the A1 Medicine facility at 95-45 Roosevelt on Monday afternoon.

WPIX-TV indicates a woman in her 30s was reportedly undergoing heavy bleeding and was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital Center where she was later pronounced dead.

The television station indicates an investigation into the failed abortion is ongoing and that one question officials are examining is whether the center was licensed to do abortions.

Another local media outlet, 1010 WINS, indicated the abortion practitioner severed an artery during the abortion procedure.

The A-1 Women's Care abortion business does abortions but advertises gynecology and plastic surgery on the sign located outside the building.

No one from the abortion business answered the phone when contacted it for information or a quote about this story.

The New York state department of health lists A1 Medicine as a facility for plastic surgery accredited by The Joint Commission on July 13, 2009.

Other media reports indicate the second-floor office specializes in plastic surgery, laser wrinkle surgery, skin depigmentation and liposuction but does abortions as well.

Local news agencies indicated the center was still taking appointments for abortions.

This failed abortion comes after a California medical board said an abortion practitioner who killed a woman last year in a botched abortion must stop doing them. However, to the chagrin of pro-life advocates, a judge did not revoke the medical license of Andrew Rutland, as happened years ago before reinstating it.

Rutland surrendered his license in October 2002 after a two-year state investigation that resulted in accusations of negligence, misconduct and incompetence in his treatment of 20 pregnant women, newborns and gynecological patients

Rutland faced a Thursday hearing in front of the California Medical Board at a hearing in San Diego after documents showed Rutland killed a woman during an abortion by administering anesthesia to her and not knowing the proper dosage.

A judge ordered Rutland to stop doing abortions until a more thorough hearing on the case could be held.
Also late-term abortion provider Pierre Renelique's FL medical license was revoked following his part in the alleged murder of neonate, Shaunice Williams. Renelique was the abortion provider on call when in 2006, Sycloria Williams delivered a live baby girl, who she named Shaunice, during a botched abortion. A Gyn Diagnostics clinc owner Belkis Gonzalez allegedly then killed the neonate and threw her body in a biohazard bag and onto her Hialeah, FL, clinic roof to hide the evidence from police. Pierre Renelique preformed a D&E on the client and then falsified the records to cover Renelique's mistake. On February 16, 2009, the State of FL revoked Renelique's medical license and a lawsuit against him is pending. Pierre Renelique then moved and began to practice medicine again, this time in NY. However his past caught up with him and NY officials put Renelique on a 2-year probation.
(sources: here, here, and here)

Also this follows Abortion practitioner Alberto Hodari, based in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, fined $10,000 in 2009, by a state board in connection with a woman's botched abortion death (source). Hodari is facing civil and possibly criminal charges after he allegedly had a staffer hold a teen down and performed an abortion on her against her will (source). Also Hodari was implicated in the death of Tamia Russell, a 15 years old girl who died in January of 2004, after an abortion at over 26 weeks gestation. The abortion was arrainged by her boyfriend's sister and paid for by her 24 yrs old boyfriend, who paid Hodari $2,000 in cash. Tamia died from complications of the abortion less than 24 hours after the procedure at Hodari's Womancare clinic of Southfield/Lathrup Village (source). Most recently, a lawsuit filed January 28, 2010, is accusing Hodari of assault and battery for committing a intrauterine abortion on a woman who was actually carrying an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. Hodari and the clinic failed to inform the woman of the ectopic pregnancy and to properly treat the ectopic pregnancy, instead preforming an unncessary intrauterine abortion (source). Hodari and/or his Womancare clinic have a number of lawsuits against them: All cases can be accessed by visiting the county’s circuit court office (from which the case was filed), just present the case number. Current Oakland County files may be sent to a personal e-mail address for a charge of $1 per a page at:

The following are other client cases as well as disciplinary action against doctors and clinics; evidence of the continuing medical malpractice and neglect occuring within the practice of abortion services.

Kimberly K. Neil : Date of Death: May 22, 2000. Place of Death: Family Planning Associates, Los Angeles, California. Abortionist: Kenneth L. Wright. "Fresno Abortion Practitioner Sued for Abortion Death, Botched Abortion." Fresno Bee, August 18, 2001; "Kenneth Wright Loses Abortion Patient.", August 22, 2001.

Nicey Washington, age 26, : Date of Death: June 6, 2000. Place of Death: Ambulatory Surgery Center, Brooklyn, New York. Abortionist: Unknown. "City, State Probe Patient Death at Abortion Clinic." New York Post, June 9, 2000.

L'Echelle Renee Head, 21,  died October 11, 2000. Place of Death: Dayton Women's Services, Dayton, Ohio. Abortionist:

Brenda A. Vise : Date of Death: September 12, 2001. Place of Death: Volunteer Women's Medical Clinic, Knoxville, Tennessee. Abortionist: RU-486 death. Christine Hall. "Lawsuit Alleges Medical Malpractice in RU-486-Related Death.", September 3, 2002. Jane Roe of Vancouver, BC : Date of Death: August 31, 2001. Place of Death: Vancouver, British Columbia. Abortionist: RU-486 death. Celeste McGovern. "Woman Dies in Canadian Abortion-Pill Testing." National Catholic Register, October 7-13, 2001.

Diana Lopez, age 25 : Date of Death: February 28, 2002. Place of Death: Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles, California. Abortionist: Mark Maltzer. Sandra Schmerz. Diana Lopez, a 25-year-old Huntington Park woman, bled to death after her cervix was punctured during the procedure.
Los Angeles County Coroner's Report #2002-01721

Cherry Hill Women's Center; Dr. Charles Benjamin

Cherry Hill, New Jersey - 2003
Failure to obtain parental consent and informed consent

Settled out of court
Holly Patterson : Date of Death: September 17, 2003. Place of Death: Planned Parenthood of Hayward, California. Abortionist: RU-486 abortion pill fatality. Kara Platoni. "The Making of a Martyr." East Bay Express, December 17, 2003; Julian Guthrie. "Pregnant Teen's Death Under Investigation." San Francisco Chronicle, September 19, 2003; "Parents of Abortion Drug Victim Sue Drug Company and Planned Parenthood." Culture & Cosmos [Culture of Life Foundation], December 28, 2004 [Volume 2, Number 22].

Leigh Ann Stephens Alford, age 34, died November 26, 2003 of complications of an abortion preformed by Malachy DeHenre and Andy Kanengiser at Summit Medical Center, Birmingham, Alabama, which resulted in the suspension of the license of one of the abortion providers.
"Abortion Death Cited in Action Against Doctor: Ala. Suspends License of Jackson Abortion Practitioner." The Clarion Ledger, August 14, 2004; Associated Press, August 19, 2004.

Oriane Shevin, age 34 : Date of Death: June 14, 2005. Place of Death: Eve Surgical Center, Los Angeles, California. Abortionist: Unknown. Maria L. La Ganga. "FDA Warns Patients." Los Angeles Times, August 15, 2005.
Christin Gilbert, a young woman with Down Syndrome, died January 2005 as results of complications of an abortion procedure preformed by George Tiller at Women's Health Care Services, Wichita, Kansas. "Woman's Death After Abortion Not a Crime, Jury Finds." The Wichita Eagle, August 1, 2006.

Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio Region

Ohio - 2005
Failure to obtain parental consent; failure to report statutory rape
Case status not known

Dr. Deborah Levich - Medical license suspended

Alabama - 2006 Use of early-term abortion pill on late-term patient
Erica Goode, died February 14, 2007 Planned Parenthood, Riverside, California.  Edrica Goode, 21, went to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Riverside for an abortion Jan. 31 and that a nurse inserted cervical dilators, used to gradually expand the cervix in preparation for second-trimester abortions, despite the fact that the nurse noted Goode had a vaginal infection. Goode then became feverish and disoriented and did not report back to the abortion clinic for the removal of the dilators. Goode's mother, Aletheia Meloncon, was unaware of the abortion. She described her daughter as having become "mentally unstable." She took her to a Moreno Valley hospital where, due to a lack of knowledge about the abortion, proper treatment was delayed and she eventually died.,0,885364.story?coll=la-home-local

Smith, Laura Hope : Date of Death: September 13, 2007. Place of Death: Women's Health Center, Hyannis, Massachusetts. Abortionist: Rapin Osathanondh. Gail Besse. "Abortion Business Death Raises Questions." National Catholic Register, October 21-27, 2007; Steven Ertelt. "Mainstream Media Finally Reports Massachusetts Woman's Abortion Death.", October 22, 2007.
Abortion Malpractice: Exploring the Safety of Legal Abortion

Metropolitan Medical Associates: Dr. Keith Gresham & Dr. Nicholas Kotopoulos
Englewood, New Jersey - 2007
Medical malpractice
Settled out of court

Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri
Overland Park, Kansas - 2007
Providing unlawful late-term abortions
Case Status: Ongoing,2933,302919,00.html

Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California - 2008 Medicaid fraud
Case status not known

Dr. Hamid Hussain Sheikh
Lexington, Kentucky
2008 Unsanitary abortion facility, Medicaid fraud
Case Status: Ongoing, medical license suspended

James Pendergraft
Orlando, Florida - 2008
Medical malpractice
Medical license suspended

Dr. Rapin Osathanondh
Massachusetts - 2008
Medical negligence resulting in maternal death
Case Status: Ongoing. Medical license revoked.

Planned Parenthood of Nebraska and Council Bluffs; Dr. Meryl Severson
Lincoln, Nebraska - 2007
Botched abortion: perforated uterus
Case status not known

South Dakota Planned Parenthood
Sioux Falls, South Dakota - 2009
Failure to comply with informed consent law

Planned Parenthood of San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas - 2009
Performing abortions without a license

Planned Parenthood of the Inland Northwest
Spokane, Washington - 2009
Medicaid fraud, drug distribution by unauthorized personnel

Gentilly Medical Clinic for Women
New Orleans, Louisiana
2010 Violation of state health standards
Medical license revoked

James Pendergraft, medical license suspended according to a order on the Florida board of medicine website
365 Women Who Have Been Killed by "Safe" and Legal Abortion

Abortion Deaths Prior To and After Legalization

Abortion Lawsuits Archive

It's time to put women's safety first. It's time for abortion-rights activist to also step up to the plate and demand better care for women.

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