NEW YORK — An abortionist from the Queens area has been arrested and charged with second degree manslaughter after a woman died following a botched abortion.
Robert Rho, 52, Liberty Women’s Health Care of Queens was arraigned on Tuesday over the alleged incident, which occurred this past July.
According to reports, Jamie Lee Morales, 30, sought an abortion at Rho’s facility, arriving for the procedure with her sister on July 9. She was in her second trimester.
But during the surgical abortion, Rho accidentally perforated Morales’ uterus and cut an artery. She began bleeding profusely in the recovery room, warranting a second operation.
Morales was discharged although she had fainted and appeared woozy. She fell unconscious while being transported home by her sister, who then took her to the hospital.
The woman later died although given six units of blood.
Rho has plead not guilty to the charge, telling investigators that he performed the abortion “without complication,” but that she started bleeding at some point and he instructed her sister to take her to the hospital if the bleeding persisted.
“There is no question it was a tragic occurrence here, but it wasn’t criminal,” Rho’s attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, told reporters.
He is now free on $400,000 bond, and faces up to 15 years behind bars if convicted.
As previously reported, in 2012, a 24-year-old woman lost her life following an abortion procedure at Planned Parenthood in Chicago.
Reports state that Tonya Reaves was obtaining a second trimester abortion when she began to bleed heavily. She was undergoing a dilation and evacuation procedure, where the woman’s cervix is dilated and then the baby is dismembered piece by piece and reassembled on a tray to make sure that all of the body parts have been removed.
Autopsy reports indicated that Reaves died largely because of hemorrhaging, although officials ruled her death an “accident.”
In 2013, 29-year-old Jennifer McKenna Morbelli died after obtaining an abortion at LeRoy Carhart’s Germantown Reproductive Health Center in Maryland. Morbelli was 33 weeks pregnant with a baby girl that had been named Madison Leigh.
The day after the procedure, Morbelli began complaining of chest pains and other discomfort. Family members attempted to contact Carhart, but were unsuccessful in reaching him. They drove Morbelli to the hospital, where it was found that she was suffering from massive internal bleeding.
While at the hospital, Morbelli went code blue six times, and was pronounced dead.