Guest Column

Mother of five dies of infection after undergoing an abortion

abortion pill, mothers, abortion, hyperemesis gravidarum, assisted suicide

(Right to Life UK) 31-year-old mother-of-five, Sarah Louise Dunn, died at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on 11 April 2020 almost four weeks after having an abortion.

After falling ill following the procedure, she approached her GP at Elizabeth Street Surgery several times over the course of two weeks.

She visited her doctor on 9 April after her condition did not improve. The next day, she called 111 [a UK medical treatment number] and was taken by ambulance to Victoria Hospital’s A&E department later that day.

At around 2.15 am on 11 April, Dunn died of blood poisoning (sepsis) due to an infection.

During a pre-inquest review at Blackpool Town Hall on 13 August, coroner Louise Rae suggested that an independent expert would likely be called in following a request from Richard Baker, the barrister representing Ms Dunn’s family.

There is not yet any public information to indicate how far along in her pregnancy she was prior to the abortion, or what type of abortion procedure she underwent.

READ: What the media never tells you about abortion injuries

A Blackpool Victoria Hospital doctor carried out a review of Ms Dunn’s care, claiming that she could not have been saved.

However Mr Baker said an independent expert ought to be consulted, given the doctor responsible for this review was a colleague of those involved in Ms Dunn’s care, and this may have “consciously or unconsciously” shaped his findings.

He added that: “It would be unsatisfactory for Sarah’s family for this to degrade into a debate about whether someone is telling the truth or is biased”.

A full investigation into Ms Dunn’s death, with evidence from a pathologist, doctors, nurses, and her GP and pharmacist, has been arranged for the first week of November and is expected to take place over five days.

Ms Dunn’s mother Marie Dunn, who attended the pre-inquest hearing at Blackpool Town Hall in December 2020 with her sister and friend, said: “I feel there should be more evidence given from Elizabeth Street Surgery, because that’s who she went to two weeks before she died at the Vic, so I think much more evidence from them needs to be clarified. Help wasn’t given numerous times when she requested it and that’s where the problem stemmed, in my opinion”.

“There’s nothing natural about sepsis. The flags had been put up and action wasn’t taken”.

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said: “This is a completely heartbreaking story, especially given that Ms Dunn’s five young children have been left without their mother. Moreover, despite the hospital’s review, it seems likely that if Ms Dunn had received medical attention as soon as she reported her symptoms, she would have had a much higher chance of survival, given that sepsis is mostly treatable if it is identified and treated quickly”.

“Not only does this case indicate the risks of the abortion process – which many abortion advocates are keen to ignore – but also how the consequences can be fatal for the mother when doctors do not properly follow up on the health issues women may experience after the procedure”.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published at Right to Life UK and is reprinted here with permission.

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