Sunday, November 08, 2015

Three-minute Second-tri Abortion Caused One of the Fifteen Known Deaths at FPA

Eighteen-year-old Christine Mora 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 (dried sticks of seaweed which absorb moisture and expand) 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. Christine left an 18-month old child motherless.

The autopsy showed acute septicemia and hemorrhage 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.

Bald, bespectacled middle aged white man wearing a suit and tie.
Edward Allred
The attorneys for Grubbs, FPA owner Edward Campbell 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 fluid 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:

Allred's facilities remain members of the National Abortion Federation despite these deaths.

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