Analysis

Abortionist sued by patients whose abortions left them sterile

Abortionist LeRoy Carhart

Two women who suffered life-threatening injuries — so horrific that they traumatized emergency room staffers — are suing the notorious late-term abortionist responsible. Malpractice suits have been filed against LeRoy Carhart by two women, who were both left sterile.

Traumatized patient, traumatized staff

The first woman, Ashley Norris, underwent an abortion on May 12, 2020, at Carhart’s facility in Bethesda, Maryland. Though the abortionist responsible was not known at the timethe complaint named Elizabeth Swallow, who practices out of Virginia. Norris’s abortion procedure began on May 11, when Swallow inserted laminaria into Norris’s cervix to begin dilation, and afterwards, Norris spent the night in a motel. The next day, Norris returned to Carhart’s facility, where things began going badly.

Norris was given additional medication to cause further dilation, as it was noted that Norris “had not done much.” Even though dilation hadn’t been completed, the abortion was continued and Norris was placed under anesthesia. According to the complaint, Norris woke up in the middle of the procedure, screaming in pain, and was immediately placed back under sedation. It turned out her uterus had been perforated, as well as her colon, which caused severe bleeding and a dangerous drop in blood pressure. Swallow called Carhart in to assist, but by then, Norris’s condition was critical. She had to be transferred to the hospital.

As Operation Rescue previously reported:

She was bleeding heavily from a ruptured uterus and other internal injuries, in shock, and on the verge of unconsciousness, according to the whistleblower. She was also feverish – hot to the touch – and showing signs of sepsis.

Within minutes, the patient was rushed into the operating room for emergency surgery. Once her belly was opened, it was determined that her internal injuries were so severe that a call was made for a general surgeon.

At one point, Norris nearly died from the massive amount of blood she had lost, but was able to be revived.

The anonymous whistleblower told Operation Rescue it was “the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen.” Norris needed multiple blood transfusions, with parts of her preborn child’s body not only left inside her uterus, but shoved into her abdominal cavity through the hole in her uterus. Her abdominal cavity had filled with blood and stool, and part of her colon had to be removed. She had to be given a colostomy bag for several days, as the injuries to her colon were so severe. Her uterus had to be removed, leaving her sterile. She was intubated in the intensive care unit for two days, and spent nine days in the hospital overall before she was able to go home.

Reportedly, the staff were so traumatized by Norris’s injuries that the surgeon sent an e-mail to hospital staff acknowledging the horror of what they had seen.

READ: Despite a horrific history, notorious late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart is still in business

“Emotionally disturbing”

The second botched abortion took place on May 21, 2020, just nine days after Ashley Norris’s abortion. Haimanot Aragaw and her husband traveled to Maryland from Georgia for an abortion at 23 weeks gestation after learning that their baby had Down syndrome. Carhart was assisted by fellow abortionist Anh-Chi Dang Do.

Like Norris, Aragaw’s first appointment was a day earlier, on May 20, where she was given medication and had laminaria inserted into her cervix to begin dilation. According to Aragaw’s complaint, after being sent to a motel for the night, Aragaw began experiencing pelvic pain and discharge, which she was told the next morning by Carhart’s staff was “normal.” She was given more medication to further induce dilation, and staff continued to overlook her pain.

Oddly, Do did not commit a dilation and evacuation, or D&E, abortion, which is the typical procedure for someone as far along as Aragaw. Instead, she attempted an aspiration, or suction, abortion — typically reserved for the first trimester, when the preborn child is still small enough to fit through the suction catheter. This did not go well; Aragaw began bleeding so severely that the Do and the abortion staffers in the room became covered in blood.

Again, Carhart was called in to assist. But neither abortionist could control the blood loss, leading them to suspect a perforated uterus. Like Norris, Aragaw had to be transported by ambulance to the hospital, where she was rushed into emergency surgery. There, surgeons found a massive hole in her uterus, and parts of the baby’s body shoved into her abdominal cavity. There was also “traumatic injury” to her appendix, and Aragaw had to receive four units of blood to keep her alive.

Like Norris, Aragaw had to have her uterus completely removed, rendering her infertile. A whistleblower again told Operation Rescue that the incident was emotionally disturbing for the hospital staff who saved Aragaw’s life.

Though Carhart already had a checkered background, including killing two patients, he has been allowed to continue as an abortionist. And the number of injuries he has caused have been steadily increasing in recent years, with little to no action being taken to stop him.

“After all the harm that he has caused in his life, it would be justice to see Carhart’s medical licenses revoked and his two abortion facilities closed,” Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, said in a statement. “We tried to seek disciplinary action against Carhart after the death of another abortion patient in 2013, but to no avail. We hope this time that the Board will take the gross incompetence detailed in the malpractice suits into consideration and do their duty to protect the public from the kind of butchery Norris, Aragaw, and their babies were forced to endure.”

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