A young woman's entire life was taken away from her by his sloth, greed, and carelessness. What does he get? Three months in the slammer and an early retirement, essentially.
News report with video here.
It was 7pm, we had just finished dinner and settled down to watch the evening news. My husband's cell phone rang with Laura's name on the ID. We always loved hearing from her. Laura was so full of life, your spirits were lifted just by talking to her. Except this time it wasn't her voice. There was guttural screaming and sobbing on the other end by a voice I did not immediately recognize. I heard the words "Laura", "Hospital" and the worst one, "Not Breathing," and then "abortion". My brain tilted, my heart sank, and life as I knew it ceased. It was Laura's friend Karen on the phone. She told me what happened, that Laura was having an abortion and something went terribly wrong. Karen was at the ER and the Doctor needed to talk to me. What Karen didn't know was that Laura had arrived at the ER already deceased. The EMT's found her this way at the abortion mill. The hospital was looking for next of kin to give the news to first, and Karen wasn't kin. "Laura's gone" the doctor told me. I wanted to hear "50-50 chance"...I would even accept "90-10 chance." But the word "chance" was not in the doctor's statement. All hope was gone, along with my daughter.
That call came on September 13, 2007 to Eileen and Tom Smith. Laura had died on a Hyannis, Massachusetts abortion table.
The bewildered couple hadn't even known that their daughter was pregnant.
Karen and Laura (pictured) had arrived at Women Health Center in the morning for preparatory steps to abort Laura's 13-week baby. The two young women were to return in the afternoon for the actual procedure. Laura wasn't supposed to drive, so Karen drove and the two ran errands. Because Laura wasn't supposed to eat, Karen fasted with her friend.
They returned to the facility at about 4 in the afternoon and waited. Laura was called in at about 5, back to where Dr. Rapin Osathanondh (O-SATH-an-on) and his instruments waited for her. Karen stepped out briefly, expecting her friend to be out of surgery in about fifteen minutes. But Laura didn't emerge from the bowels of the clinic. A worried Karen grew increasingly distressed.
"And then all of a sudden [an assistant] comes out and says she's not breathing. And I was like, what do you mean she's not breathing," Karen told the Cape Cod Times.
Fire department rescuers were dispatched to the clinic at 5:49 p.m., and found an unresponsive patient. They initiated CPR and took her to the hospital. Karen followed, but was not permitted to see her friend. She asked about Laura's condition. "It doesn't look good," she was told. Because next of kin hadn't been notified yet, the doctor couldn't tell Karen the truth: Laura was already dead on arrival. It was 6:22 p.m.
Charges were filed against Osathanondh. After Laura's death, a Sheriff's Deputy from another county to provided Osathanondh and his staff with CPR training, then backdate the session to a date prior to Laura's death. Osathanondh and his staff had been not been certified in CPR at the time of Laura's fatal abortion.
I met with the doctor who aborted my grandchild, and who saw my daughter take her last breath. He would only meet me in a public place, without my husband. We talked for an hour and a half. Based on that meeting I believe I know what happened to Laura. He denies doing anything that caused her death. When we were done talking about Laura, I prayed, and asked God if there was anything He would have me say to the doctor. This is what I said next.... "The blood of my daughter is on your hands; the blood of my grandchild is on your hands; the blood of every life you have ever taken is on your hands," and I went on from there. He was silent with his head hung low. When I was ready to leave, I asked him if he would think about my daughter, and consider not doing any more abortionsâ€”he said he would think about it. When I left there I was praying, and said to God, "Can You stop this man from doing abortions? Is this what You have in mind, that he might even stop doing them?" I was thinking too small. I thought if one girl changed her mind [about having an abortion], I could find some comfort. I then realized that the Lord had much bigger plans. I have never experienced in my life, such tragedy, nor such grace.
OR also reports that Eileen Smith said she was "appalled and sickened" by her daughter's death, but can not give more details due to a pending lawsuit against the abortionist.
"My daughter was 22, healthy, and alive when she walked into that clinic," OR quotes Eileen Smith. "She didn't even have a cold. There is no reason for her to be dead."
OR says, "Laura was born into abject poverty in Hondurus on May 25, 1985, and was abandoned at an orphanage. An American couple that adopted Laura abused her terribly and gave her up. Laura was then adopted by Tom and Eileen Smith, a Christian family that lovingly raised Laura in the Cape Cod community of Sandwich." She graduated from Upper Cape Tech in 2004, trained as a cosmetologist, but she left that field to work in retail management.
It's particularly sad to me that Laura resorted to abortion despite being a Christian active in her local church. Her mother also reported that Laura was strongly opposed to abortion. Which goes to show that anybody can panic, and our churches need to be teaching young women how to get past the panic that too often leads to the abortion table.
OR reports that over 600 people attended Laura's funeral, and at least one young woman decided to reject abortion after learning of Laura's needless death. National Catholic Register reports that the young woman was being pressured by her parents to abort, and was about to capitulate when she learned of Laura's fate.
I know that God is going to bring good out of my daughter's death. What a horrible thing; for my daughter to be associated with abortion. But, if God's going to use it for good and for His glory, then so be it. We're going very public with a very shameful, private thing because I believe God wants to use it to save lives. I believe the truth will come out, and the light of God will shine on this. Laura's death has had tremendous impact around the country, and even into Canada, without the local news mentioning it. It just came out in the secular media this weekâ€”5 weeks after Laura's death. I now believe it is my calling to keep telling Laura's story to the Church, and the world. I naively believed that abortion was not a choice for a Christian girl. A Pastor had even apologized to me and the Lord, for not speaking about this from his pulpit. We both had false assumptions. This is a problem in the Church, and one that needs to be spoken about from the pulpits. We have to take the "A" word out of the closet, put it out in the open, and discuss it. And maybe, possibly, hopefully, we'll even become active against it. Please keep our family in your prayers, and please tell someone Laura's story.
Osathanondh (pictured) was to go on trial today for Laura's death. You can follow updates on Eileen Smith's FaceBook page. He has already surrendered his medical license in order to halt the medical board's investigation into Laura's death. Among the preliminary findings were that he had his receptionist assisting with anesthesia. (Having untrained staff assist with anesthesia is hardly unheard-of among abortionists. After the death of Gloria Aponte, invesgigators learned that her abortionist, National Abortion Federation member Hanan Rotem, had, like Osathanondh, allowed his receptionist to administer general anesthesia.) Eileen believes that Osathanondh is planning a plea-bargain to avoid a trial.
FINAL UPDATE: It's official.