State Appeals Court Allows Suit Over Failed Abortion

A state appeals court has ruled that a woman can sue a Birmingham abortion provider for damages over injuries suffered by her child during a failed abortion attempt.

A lower court ruling had refused the woman’s lawsuit, with Circuit Judge Robert Vance Jr. saying the mother could not sue on her own behalf. The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals agreed, but reversed the ruling saying the woman, known by her initials as L.K.D.H, could sue Planned Parenthood of Alabama on behalf of her child, reported the Associated Press today.

The woman underwent an abortion procedure at Planned Parenthood’s Birmingham clinic. Her child survived the procedure and was later born with injuries that included a hole in her heart and a reversed tube carrying oxygen from her lungs to her heart, “causing her body not to be able to receive enough oxygen.” The woman blamed the clinic for causing the injuries.

Judge Glenn Murdock, one of the five judges to reverse the lower court ruling, wrote in his statement, “Neither the United States Supreme Court nor the Supreme Court of Alabama has ever ruled that a medical provider, or for that matter a mother, can engage, with some blanket of constitutional protection, in negligent or reckless conduct that deforms or injures a child so long as the deformity or injury is inflicted on the child before it leaves the womb.”

Such a position would allow abortion clinics to operate “as carelessly or recklessly as they wish without bearing any responsibility… It would be hard to imagine a more troubling development in our law,” he wrote.

A Birmingham attorney, Eric Johnston, who has assisted in writing anti-abortion bills considered by the Legislature, said the decision is significant because it holds a health care worker responsible for injuries caused to a child before birth.

“The fact it was during an abortion doesn’t change that,” Johnston said.

The state director of Planned Parenthood, Larry Rodick, declined comment to the AP.

Just last month an abortion clinic in Birmingham had its license suspended after unqualified staff gave a woman in the later stages of pregnancy the early-term abortion drug RU-486.

Six days later the woman was taken to hospital “with the head of a baby protruding. While at the hospital, [she] delivered a stillborn, macerated, six pound, four ounce baby,” according to a report by the Alabama Department of Public Health.

The report said the Summit Abortion Clinic had falsified their records to indicate a physician had attended the woman at the clinic.

(This article courtesy of

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