Doctor manipulates woman into abortion to avoid lawsuit

Pro-Life activist Mark Crutcher told one woman’s story:

“…we worked with a woman from Virginia who told us she had been trying to get pregnant for several years and her OB/GYN was fully aware of this. She said that when she finally became pregnant, she was stunned to find him aggressively pushing her to abort, saying her baby had problems that were “incompatible with life” and that giving birth might also kill her.

This went on for days but, despite the pressure this physician and his staff were exerting on her, she made it clear that she would never consider an abortion. At that point, the doctor began calling her at home and criticizing her for being insensitive to the pain her baby was going to needlessly suffer. He also began calling her husband at work telling him that his child was already doomed and that, unless an abortion was performed, he may also lose his wife. After many days of pressure from both a doctor and her husband, the woman reluctantly gave in and had the abortion.

An independent pathology report done after the abortion identified her child as a “completely normal fetus with no indications of health problems.” Upon learning this, the woman went into a deep depression and soon afterward she and her husband divorced. She eventually developed severe psychological problems, became suicidal, and had to be placed in a lockdown psychiatric hospital.

What her attorney discovered was that, two weeks prior to her pregnancy being diagnosed, she had come to the same doctor with flu–like symptoms. Her medical records showed that, not only was no pregnancy test performed, but she was never even asked if she might be pregnant. The chart also showed that the doctor gave her a prescription for a drug that its manufacturer says should never be given to pregnant women because it can cause severe birth defects. When she returned two weeks later and her pregnancy was diagnosed, a nurse recognized what had happened and warned the doctor this may have led to the patient’s baby being handicapped.

We were able to establish a timeline showing that this was the point at which the doctor and his staff began coercing the woman to have the abortion. As we reviewed this case further, three revealing things jumped out at us. First, no tests were conducted to determine whether the baby actually had any problems, and second, nothing in the file indicated that continuing the pregnancy posed a risk to the woman.

The third thing was that, even though the doctor was a board-certified OB/GYN and fully capable of doing the abortion himself, he insisted that the patient pick out an independent abortion clinic on her own and have it performed there. Obviously, this was done to ensure that if any legal action ensued as a result of the way the pregnancy was handled, the doctor would have a second defendant to the point that finger at. In legal terms, this is called “contributory negligence” and asserting it is a common tactic used by defense attorneys in medical malpractice cases where more than one entity is involved.

These issues, combined with other details about the way this woman was treated, made it undeniable that she was browbeaten into this abortion in order to eliminate the physician’s exposure to a lawsuit.”

Mark Crutcher Siege: Pro-Life Field Manual (Denton, Texas: Life Dynamics Inc., 2015) 25 – 26

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About Sarah

Sarah Terzo is a freelance writer and journalist who works for Live Action. She is a member of the board of The Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians and Consistent Life.
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