Pos­si­ble abor­tion link probed in death

The Washington Post Sunday - - THE REGION - BY DAN MORSE morsed@wash­post.com

The Mary­land Of­fice of the Chief Med­i­cal Ex­am­iner and the Mont­gomery County Po­lice De­part­ment are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the death of a woman who died at Shady Grove Ad­ven­tist Hospi­tal on Thurs­day — days af­ter she was be­lieved to have started an abor­tion pro­ce­dure at a con­tro­ver­sial clinic in Ger­man­town.

The fa­cil­ity has be­come a touch­stone for the abor­tion de­bate na­tion­wide. Those who op­pose abor­tion have launched reg­u­lar demon­stra­tions near the fa­cil­ity, say­ing its leader, Dr. LeRoy Carhart, reg­u­larly per­forms late-term and dan­ger­ous abor­tions. Abor­tion-rights ad­vo­cates say that Carhart coura­geously per­forms pro­ce­dures that other physi­cians have backed away from.

In this case, the 29-year-old woman, who has not been iden­ti­fied, died Thurs­day af­ter be­ing taken to Shady Grove Ad­ven­tist Hospi­tal, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal and state of­fi­cials.

The cir­cum­stances that led to her death are un­clear. Carhart and clinic of­fi­cials could not be reached. A woman who an­swered a phone num­ber con­nected with him said he wasn’t avail­able to com­ment.

“At this point, there is no in­di­ca­tion of any crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity in this case,” said Capt. Paul Starks, a spokesman for the Mont­gomery County Po­lice De­part­ment.

Anti-abor­tion ad­vo­cates have planned a Mon­day demon­stra­tion near the clinic, ac­cord­ing to or­ga­niz­ers, who al­lege that the woman ar­rived at the clinic Sun­day night to be­gin a mul­ti­ple-day pro­ce­dure. Pro­test­ers say she stayed at a ho­tel at night.

On Thurs­day morn­ing, they al­lege, she ex­pe­ri­enced short­ness of breath and in­tense pain and went to the Shady Grove emer­gency room, where she died a short time later.

Michael Martelli, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Mary­land Coali­tion for Life, called on the Mary­land De­part­ment of Health and Men­tal Hy­giene to close the clinic pend­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, as well as for the Mary­land Board of Physi­cians to sus­pend or re­voke Carhart’s med­i­cal li­cense.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.