Pregnant woman

Justice for all – except victims of botched abortions and the unborn

Maybe it’s just “bad luck,” or maybe the truth is finally getting out a bit more, but it’s been a bad couple of weeks for Planned Parenthood. Or, more appropriately, a bad couple of weeks for several women seeking abortion services.

It started with the news that Jennifer Morbelli, a young woman seeking a late-term abortion for her 33-week-old daughter, Madison Leigh, had died at the hands of abortionist LeRoy Carhart, just a few days into the procedure. She is at least the second woman to die at the hands of Carhart; Christin Gilbert suffered the same fate as Jennifer a few years before.

Then, two days ago, pro-life advocates participating in 40 Days for Life witnessed an unnamed woman being loaded into an ambulance and taken to a nearby hospital following another botched abortion – the third such event witnessed at this particular clinic in the last two years.

Today, a new horrific case – a report of Planned Parenthood forcing an abortion, and then botching it, leaving the patient in serious condition – has come to light. Ayanna Byer, a 40-year-old woman, had gone to Planned Parenthood to follow through on her scheduled abortion. But when intravenous anesthesia became unavailable due to a problem starting the IV line, Ayanna told the doctor she did not want to continue. Apparently, for Planned Parenthood, the issue of “choice” isn’t always primary after all, since the abortionist informed Ayanna that it was too late to stop, turned on the suction machine, and began the procedure while she was fully awake, and without any anesthesia.

Ayanna was then sent home, where she proceeded to experience excruciating pain and heavy bleeding. The clinic, clearly with the best interests of women in mind, informed Ayanna that they do not provide follow-up care for their procedures, even in the case of complications, and referred her to the emergency room. Thankfully, unlike Jennifer, Ayanna made it there in time but arrived severely septic, with a high fever. Doctors at the hospital quickly discovered that the abortionist had botched Ayanna’s procedure and left parts of her baby’s body in utero. Ayanna required immediate, high-risk surgery and four days of hospitalization, receiving no help or input from the abortionist who caused the issue in the first place. When emergency-room doctors contacted the abortionist who performed the procedure to ask for her pathology report, they were told that the clinic doesn’t do such reports on abortion patients.

Unfortunately, abortion advocates seem determined to hide the damage abortion does to women, and the politically correct cover-up that generally results if a whisper of an abortion-related tragedy gets out is clearly beginning in Jennifer’s case. On the same day as Ayanna’s story became public, the medical examiner released his report on Jennifer’s death. It concluded that Jennifer did, in fact, die from complications of an abortion – specifically, an embolism caused by amniotic fluid, and a condition known as disseminated intravascular coagulation, a clotting disorder that leads to internal bleeding and organ failure. On Jennifer’s death certificate, however, the medical examiner could choose to list “homicide,” “suicide,” “accidental causes,” or “natural causes.” Not surprisingly, he chose to list “natural causes.” Apparently, death from a botched abortion is natural here in America.

Ayanna has a better chance of seeing justice – her case has been taken up by Alliance Defending Freedom, one of the most prominent conservative legal action groups in America. Fortunately, Ayanna had an emergency-room doctor who encouraged her to file suit and a group of lawyers willing to confront one of the biggest and most divisive issues in America. Whether mainstream media and pro-choice America will care about justice for Ayanna remains to be seen.

As pro-life advocates, we are grateful that Ayanna has a chance at justice, and we grieve that Jennifer’s family will likely never see justice served. Yet as we mourn a mother’s untimely death, seek justice for what was committed against these women, and express horror at what they went through, the reality remains that two little people in these tragic incidences had no choice in the matter at all. Two of the people who lost their lives and had procedures performed on them without anesthetic didn’t walk in asking for an abortion.

It is undeniably wrong that clinic workers performed an abortion on Ayanna after she withdrew her consent, but her little baby was never asked at all. And it is horrific that they performed the procedure without giving Ayanna the agreed-upon anesthetic. But the tiny little person being literally ripped apart inside Ayanna felt it all, too, and no one seemed worried about what she was going to feel.

It has indeed been a bad couple of weeks for Planned Parenthood and for women in their clinics – but for the innocent unborn, every week is a bad week, and they never make it out alive. Justice ought to be sought to the fullest extent of the law for both Ayanna and Jennifer, and the truth about the harm abortion does to women shouted from the rooftops. Yet we must never do anything in a way that excuses, minimizes, or detracts from the horror their unborn children suffered that day, or the double-standard society seems so content to live with when it comes to the unborn. Someday, maybe, there really will be “liberty and justice for all.”