BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana woman will now not be able to bear any more children as she began bleeding heavily during an abortion and had to have a hysterectomy due to a condition called placenta accreta. The abortion facility was fined for not having IV fluids and drugs available to treat the woman until emergency medical services arrived.
According to reports, the incident happened on March 15 at Delta Clinic in Baton Rouge on a woman who was 15 weeks pregnant (nearly 4 months and in her second trimester).
The unidentified 28-year-old mother began bleeding profusely during a dilation and evacuation (dismemberment) abortion after the placenta was removed. Her blood pressure consequently dropped and her speech became incoherent.
The woman, who has also had five Cesarean sections, had experienced heavy bleeding before following a miscarriage, which the facility was reportedly aware of prior to the abortion. As staff could not stop the hemorrhaging, a call was made to 911 for an ambulance.
The situation resulted in the performance of a total abdominal hysterectomy — the removal of her uterus — and a bilateral salpingectomy — the removal of both fallopian tubes.
The Louisiana Department of Health (DOH) investigated the matter and found that Delta Clinic did not have any IV fluids on the crash cart in order to stabilize the woman, writing in a report that a representative stated that they “did not realize that they had ran out of IV fluids until [the woman] needed them.”
She also said that there was “no current process for restocking the fluids when they were used,” and the DOH noted in its report that a “copy of the facility’s policy for replacing emergency fluids was requested three times, but none was provided.”
The department further discovered that the facility “failed to order and maintain a supply of emergency drugs for stabilizing and/or treating medical and surgical complications,” as at least one of the drugs necessary was expired.
“Not adequately ensuring emergency medication and medical equipment was maintained could have caused potential harm to patients,” it wrote.
Delta Clinic was closed for a time until the cited deficiencies were corrected and was fined $2,400 over the matter just last week. While the incident occurred in March, it was recently discovered via an open records request from Louisiana Right to Life.
Hospital notes cited in the DOH report outline that a doctor suspected prior to the operation that there was an “incomplete abortion,” and that the woman would be taken to the operating room for “suction D&C for suspected retained POC,” which stands for “products of conception.”
Following the suction curettage, which indeed removed the remaining parts of the baby, the woman continued bleeding and it was decided that a total hysterectomy should be performed.
The reason for the persistent bleeding was suspected to be placenta accreta, a condition where the placenta attaches too deeply into the uterine wall, most likely due to the numerous Cesarean sections. The woman had begun bleeding heavily when the embedded placenta, which envelops the baby and provides oxygen and nutrients to the growing child, was removed during the abortion.
Read the report from the Louisiana Department of Health in full here.
While some pro-life groups believe that abortion facilities should be regulated to ensure the safety of mothers obtaining abortions, others believe that such operations should be shut down and outlawed altogether as murder should be criminalized and not simply subject to health regulations.