Aisha Chithira died after a botched legal abortion in west London on January 21, 2012. This week, an inquest heard details of the events leading up to Chithira’s sudden death from extensive internal bleeding and cardiac arrest after the abortion of her 22-week-old preborn baby. Disturbingly, the inquest heard that Chithira vomited in a stairwell the first time nurses tried to help her to a taxi following the abortion. When Chithira did leave the abortion facility 30 minutes later, the taxi driver says she was swaying so badly “she looked like she was drunk.”
Previous investigation showed that Chithira fell on the floor, hyperventilated, and complained of feeling hot before nurses helped her into the taxi in which she died. The abortionist, Adedayo Adedeji, and two nurses involved in the botched procedure that took Chithira’s life, were charged with gross negligence manslaughter in 2016. However, all three were acquitted after the prosecution offered no evidence. The prosecutor gave no explanation to the court for dropping the charges.
Chithira, who was from Malawi, had settled in Ireland. She traveled to England for a late-term abortion at a Marie Stopes facility. Her husband Ryan stayed in Ireland with the couple’s daughter. In a statement read at the inquest, Ryan said, “Aisha told me she had finished having the procedure and was going to get a taxi back to Slough,” where she was going to spend the night with a cousin. Ryan said that on the phone, “She just said ‘I cannot speak, I’m feeling too weak to speak’ and then she ended the call.”
Hours later Ryan received a call from Chithira’s cousin with the news that his wife was dead.
Chithira’s tragic death shows the inherent dangers of abortion procedures. Uterine tears and other life-threatening complications can occur as the result of the violent second trimester abortion procedure known as a D&E (dilation and evacuation). In this video, Dr. Anthony Levatino describes a D&E abortion, the most common type of abortion in the second trimester:
The abortionist, Dr. Adedeji, said he saw the uterine tear during surgery but claims it was not bleeding, saying, “There was no bleeding, it wasn’t at the time that it was bleeding.” Adedeji said he has committed around 2,000 abortions, and that he performed Chithira’s abortion “blind,” meaning without the assistance of ultrasound but that he did use ultrasound to determine where the baby’s body was. It was then that he noticed “a small tear at the neck of the womb” which he says was “caused by foetal parts that were coming out.”
The inquest also highlights the chronic and systemic violations and abuses of the abortion industry. Marie Stopes faces increased scrutiny following many documented health and safety violations in recent years. As Society for the Protection of Unborn Children’s Antonia Tully stated in a press release, Chithira’s case “exposes the ugly reality of the abortion industry in our country.” Tully added, “Aisha Chithira, who died after a bungled abortion and appalling treatment at a Marie Stopes clinic in Ealing, represents only the tip of the iceberg of women who die, are injured or left with long term problems resulting from infection, extreme emotional distress or other factors.” Given the repeated and egregious violations by Marie Stopes facilities, Chithira’s death appears not only a singular and inexcusable incident but also part of a pattern of dangerous neglect.
Current Irish law recognizes the right to life of the preborn, and abortion is illegal. Chithira traveled to England for the late-term abortion of her baby. Next month, Irish citizens will vote on whether to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution that recognizes the right to life of the preborn. Pro-life campaigners have focused much of their public outreach on the fact that women’s lives are not endangered by pro-life laws.
Saving the life of the mother never requires intentionally and violently ending the life of a preborn child. On the other hand, abortion ends the life of the preborn child and endangers the life of the mother.