Woman sues over botched abortion

by Leigh Jones
Posted 6/11/13, 01:08 pm

A West Virginia woman who suffered complications after a botched abortion is suing the abortionist who left several of her baby’s body parts, including its skull, inside her womb.

The woman, Itai Gravely, 26, claims she changed her mind about the procedure as abortionist Rodney Lee Stephens was administering her anesthesia. But rather than heed her request for him to stop, the Charleston, W.Va., abortionist ordered his assistants to hold her down and went ahead with the procedure.

According to Gravely’s suit, the day after Stephens sent her home she began to have severe pain and heavy bleeding. She called Stephens’ Women’s Health Center and reported she was in too much pain to drive or take public transportation. When the abortionist declined to give her additional help, she called for an ambulance. At the hospital, doctors discovered Stephens had left several of the baby’s body parts in Gravely’s uterus.

“A woman’s life and health is more important than an abortionist’s bottom line,” said Alliance Defending Freedom-allied attorney Jeremiah Dys, president and general counsel of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia. “What Stephens and Women’s Health Center did to Itai is beyond the pale. She has been exposed to extraordinary cruelty, and her life was put in jeopardy.”

ADF attorneys are representing Gravely in court. In addition to pleading Gravely’s case, the Christian legal group is urging West Virginia lawmakers to adopt regulations for abortion centers, which the state does not currently license or inspect.

Gravely’s suit is part of a wave of legal challenges filed against abortionists in the wake of Kermit Gosnell’s successful prosecution in Philadelphia for negligence and murder. Pro-life advocates have said for years that abortionists are not following current regulations and are putting women’s lives at risk. While lawyers seek justice in the courts, state lawmakers have worked to pass stricter limits on abortions and better health and safety regulations for abortion facilities.

Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the news editor for The World and Everything in It and reports on education for WORLD Digital.

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