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Rare Abortion-Related Homicide Case in New York Court

November 24th, 2016


Doctors performing an abortion on a woman.

Abortion-related homicide cases are exceedingly rare.

A rare case concerning an abortion-related homicide is currently being heard in a New York court. The case, which is being heard by the Queens Supreme Court, concerns a New York doctor who is facing manslaughter charges after a patient died following an abortion during the patient’s second trimester of pregnancy. The death resulted when the doctor hit the 30-year-old woman’s cervix, damaged her vaginal wall and opened an artery that passed through the woman’s uterus. The physician did not provide ample medical assistance to keep the woman from bleeding to death. Instead, the physician performed another procedure to stanch the patient’s profuse bleeding even though the patient had collapsed by then. A hospital proceeded to give the woman six pints of blood but unfortunately could not save her life. The doctor’s attorney has responded to the case by citing evidence that demonstrates the man has performed 40,000 abortions without any previous problems and that while the event was unfortunate, the physician’s behavior does not constitute homicide. After pleading not guilty to the charge, the doctor is free on a $400,000 bond. Interestingly, the same medical provider faced sexual harassment charges five years ago, but responded to this case by denying these allegations.

The Importance of This Event

This charge is particularly important because there are very few homicide-due-to-abortion charges. To illustrate how rare this type of event is, one need only consider that federal statistics report that one maternal death occurred among 149,000 abortions that were performed nationwide from 1998 to 2010. This statistic is even less than the nine pregnancy-related deaths that occurred per 100,000 live births. This charge is also significant as it comes during a time when the country is faced with heightened attention to the line between medical error and crime, which has gained momentum amidst a rising number of fatalities due to overdoses of prescription painkillers. While some medical groups and malpractice lawyers claim that misjudgment or misfortune of physicians is being criminalized, other groups are arguing that punishments should be even more severe in nature.This event also raises awareness among women that while abortion is a viable option in some situations, there are still some significant risks associated with the procedure.

Dangers Associated With Abortion

There are several ways that abortion can prove to be dangerous to women. In addition to having a perforated uterus like the woman in this case, women’s bladders and intestines can also become perforated during an abortion. Women can experience ectopic pregnancy ruptures which can cause internal bleeding after a pregnancy. Women can also experience hemorrhages or serious infections after an abortion. As a result, women who experience an abortion are at risk for a variety of potential dangers even though the potential for fatalities due to the procedure might be relatively low.

Updates About Abortion Related Law

Readers can trust that the Universal Life Church will continue to report on the most recent developments in abortion law throughout the United States.

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