A 20-year-old woman spent four weeks in a coma, suffered a collapsed lung and had her uterus removed after suffering complications from an abortion at a large facility in Newark late in January.
Rasheedah Dinkins, who effectively died once during the ordeal and had to be revived by ambulance personnel, told the Associated Press she regretted having the abortion. "I think it's horrible what I had to go through," she said, and in retrospect "probably wouldn't have made this choice."
Dinkins has filed suit against the Metropolitan Medical Associates, one of the busiest abortion centers in the state — more than 10,000 abortions were performed there last year. The clinic performs late-term abortions of up to 24 weeks gestation. Dinkins's abortion was second-trimester, performed at more than 15 weeks gestation, according to a Kaiser Network report.
State health officials shut down the facility on Tuesday, until "immediate and serious" health risks are addressed. Problems identified in the report were, "including, but not limited to, infection control, instruments, equipment used for sterilization of patient care use items and the processing of equipment."
While shutdowns for health and safety concerns are very rare, according to New Jersey Media, the abortion clinic was temporarily closed once before in 1993 for health violations involving infection control problems.
Severe complications following abortions are not unusual, although many cases are often not well publicized and abortionists are often suspected of paying off complainants. Infection, uterine scarring or perforation, and compromised cervix leading to future premature births are all relatively common complications resulting from abortion. In one case similar to Dinkins's, a 15-year-old Detroit girl suffered severe infection following a second-trimester abortion in 2004, which resulted in her death — the case was not covered by any but local media.
As well, recent studies have revealed the psychological damage many women experience in the months and years following abortion. New Zealand researcher Dr. David Fergusson, himself an abortion advocate, published a study last year showing dramatically higher rates of depression, substance abuse and suicide among women who had abortions.
Marie Tasy, executive director of New Jersey Right to Life, is encouraging other women who suffered complications after abortions at the center to come forward.
"Abortion has never been a safe procedure for mother or baby," she said. "It is our hope that more women who have been injured at Metropolitan Medical Associates will have the courage to come forward and reveal their experiences once they realize that they are not alone."