It all started when Christine underwent a safe, legal abortion at Doctors' Surgical Center in Cypress, California -- an FPA (Family Planning Associates Medical Group) facility. She was about 17 weeks pregnant and a high school senior. The date was November 2, 1994.
A nurse practitioner inserted laminaria to dilate Christine's cervix. Christine went home, and returned the following day for the abortion. Dr. Thomas Grubbs performed the D&E and sent Christine to recovery.
Preparing to leave the clinic, Christine fell while unattended. Grubbs was called to check her, and noticed slurred speech and inappropriate responses. Somebody called an ambulance, and Christine was taken to La Palma Hospital, where she spent several hours in the emergency room, attended by her friend Robert. When Christine's father was finally located, Robert had to tell him about the abortion as well as about the hospitalization.
Christine was admitted to the intensive care unit, where her condition deteriorated until she was finally taken off life support at noon on November 8, and pronounced dead. The autopsy showed acute septicemia and hemorrage in the brain, along with some small cervical lacerations. It also revealed that Christine had a congenital heart defect called "foramen ovale," in which a connection between the two sides of her heart had not closed at birth as it was supposed to do. Her family filed a wrongful death suit.
The attorneys for Grubbs, Allred, and FPA claimed that Christine's heart defect, not the abortion, caused her death. But an expert reviewing the case for Christine's family said that the care provided to Christine at the FPA facility "fell below applicable standard" and that the "breach of standard care was the direct cause of Miss Mora's death." In particular, he faulted FPB because:
- Grubbs had never examined Christine prior to the surgery. In fact, he'd had no contact with her at all prior to beginning her abortion.
- "The anesthesia record says that Dr. Grubbs did the entire extraction procedure in three minutes (emphasis in original)," and that this haste caused the cervical lacerations.
The expert concluded that the amniotic fluid entered Christine's bloodstream through the cervical lacerations, causing her death. Oddly, Dr. David Grimes, the expert defending FPA, agreed that Christine's death was due to an amniotic fluid embolism and not to her heart defect. Grimes, however, claimed that the amniotic flued had entered Christine's bloodstream when the placenta had detached, and not through the cervical lacerations. Grimes considered three minutes to be adequate time for a 17-week abortion. (Grimes had also spoken on behalf of notorious California abortionist Leo Keneally.)
The lawsuit had gone to trial, with Allred himself taking the stand, when prolifers discovered that Allred was being sued and complained that the medical board and news media were ignoring the death. As soon as the prolifers began agitating, FPA quickly settled with the family, stipulating confidentiality as part of the settlement.
Christine wasn't the only young woman to die from abortion at a facility owned by FPA head honcho Edward Campbell Allred. Others include:
- Denise Holmes, age 24, 1970
- Patricia Chacon, age 16, 1984
- Mary Pena, age 43, 1984
- Josefina Garcia, age 37, 1985
- Laniece Dorsey, age 17, 1986
- Joyce Ortenzio, age 32, 1988
- Tami Suematsu, age 19, 1988
- Susan Levy, age 30, 1992
- Deanna Bell, age 13, 1992
- Kimberly Neil, 2000
- Chanelle Bryant, age 22, 2004
Allred's facilities remain members of the National Abortion Federation despite these deaths.
For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:
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