Mom Assails Abortion Docs for Cutting Costs

     BALTIMORE (CN) – A woman who gave birth to a child with severe birth defects claims in Federal Court that the clinic she visit for an abortion botched the procedure.
     Though the mother identifies herself in the Aug. 14 complaint against two doctors, Courthouse News has redacted these names in light of the sensitive nature of the claims.
     The plaintiff, a resident of South Carolina, says she “made the difficult decision to terminate her pregnancy” after her primary care provider confirmed that she was just over eight-weeks pregnant in July 2012.
     Ten days after that appointment, the woman presented to American Woman’s Services in Frederick, Md., for an abortion consultation, according to the complaint.
     American Woman’s Services is not a party to the action, which names as defendants the two New Jersey doctors who owned the clinic and served as its medical director.
     These doctors allegedly had an unqualified “office manager” conduct the plaintiff’s ultrasound, resulting in an inaccurate estimate of her fetus’s gestational age.
     A doctor at the clinic relied on the ultrasound’s estimate that the fetus was 7 weeks and 4 days old in recommending that the plaintiff take certain medication to achieve a “spontaneous abortion.”
     The plaintiff says “this option is only viable for women who are 8 weeks pregnant or less.”
     Though the Food and Drug Administration has approved RU-486 (mifepristone) to induce abortions, just one mifepristone pill costs roughly $95, according to the complaint.
     The clinic doctors instead treated the plaintiff with misoprostol and methotrexate “to cut costs and maximize profits,” according to the complaint, noting that she was charged a flat fee of $310 for the procedure.
     Methotrexate is used for patients on cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and a dose of it can cost as little as $5, the plaintiff notes.
     The complaint says that the materials provided to the plaintiff “falsely state that mifepristone ‘is still not available in the United States,'” and that the doctors had her sign consent forms acknowledging that the drugs she was given “can cause severe birth defects.”
     When the plaintiff returned to the clinic for a follow-up appointment on Aug. 17, she was not given “urine or blood pregnancy tests to confirm that she was no longer pregnant because the sonogram was conclusive evidence that the medical abortion had been a success,” according to the complaint.
     The plaintiff says she in turn drank alcohol and took the medication she was prescribed for various conditions, including depression, migraines and asthma.
     When she went to her primary-care physician for her annual in October, however, “her doctor discovered that she was still in fact pregnant,” according to the complaint.
     The pregnancy was now at 18 weeks, and the plaintiff says she was suffering preeclampsia, a condition of high blood pressure in pregnant woman.
     Despite weekly doctor visits and adjusting her medication, the plaintiff gave birth at 28 weeks.
     Her son was born 10 weeks premature, just before Christmas, and spent nearly two months in a neonatal intensive care unit.
     To this day, the boy suffers many medical issues including “hearing loss, developmental delays, hearth defects and other problems,” according to the complaint.
     The plaintiff says some of these medical issues relate to “the dangerous and harmful drugs prescribed to [the plaintiff] by American Women’s Services.”
     In addition to negligence, the plaintiff accuses the clinic doctors of breaching their informed-consent duties in failing to provide her with adequate information regarding the legal options for abortions.
     Neither doctor has returned a request for comment, nor has the plaintiff’s attorey, Emily Malarkey, of Salsbury, Clements, Bekman, Marder & Adkins.

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