Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Anniversary: Sophie McCoy dies after NAF abortion

On September 17, 1990, 17-year-old Sophie McCoy went to the office of National Abortion Federation member Abu Hayat. She was accompanied by her mother and by the husband of the operator of a facility identified as "the Willoughby Avenue Clinic." She had been referred to him, but medical board documents do not say by whom.

Sophe and her mother returned to Hayat's office the next day. Sophie was given intravenous medications which put her to sleep. She was kept about four hours and discharged with another prescription for antibiotics.

That evening, Sophie was bleeding, had abdominal pain, and was having trouble breathing. The next day she was taken to a hospital and found to have a perforated uterus and a case of sepsis. She was diagnosed there with a perforated uterus. An emergency hysterectomy was performed, but Sophie developed disseminated intravascular coagulopathy and septic shock.

Sophie died on September 26 from disseminated intravascular coagulopathy and septic shock. She left a one-year-old son motherless.

After Sophie's death, Hayat originally denied having treated her at all. But Sophie's mother identified Hayat by name and from a photograph. While continuing to deny having treated Sophie, Hayat told one of the physicians who had tried to save her life that she had expelled a fetus at home and come to him for treatment, whereupon he'd sent her to the hospital. But Margie, an employee of his, recognized Sophie from a photo and said that Hayat had indeed treated the girl on two occasions. Margie added that after the second visit, Sophie's mother had called, hysterical and crying. Margie further said that she had seen medical records for Sophie at the facility, and that Hayat had argued with the referring clinic about payments for Sophie's treatment.

The case was reported to the district attorney and the New York Health Department, but nobody took any action against Hayat until he pulled the arm off an infant during an abortion attempt in 1991.

And just a reminder, the National Abortion Federation promises patients:
In order to become a member, a clinic must complete a rigorous application process. Member clinics have agreed to comply with our standards for quality and care, updated annually in our Clinical Policy Guidelines, which set the evidence-based standards for abortion care in North America. NAF periodically conducts site visits to confirm that our clinics are in compliance with our guidelines.

Which leaves the question: Are NAF standards so low that Hayat actually met them, or is the promise that they require their members to actually meet the standards just hot air?

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