Monday, February 05, 2007

Safe and Legal: Carolina Gutierrez

The tragedy endured by Carolina Gutierrez and her family hung like a pall over Life Dynamics that holiday season of 1995-6. Her family had contacted an attorney while she was hospitalized, and that attorney sought advice from us. Thus we were kept informed, and prayed fervently, though this young mother's fight for her life. No doubt the events of that holiday season continue to hang over the hearts of those who knew and loved her.

Carolina, who had come to the United States as a refugee from Nicaragua at age 13, was 20 years old when she went to Maber Medical Center in Miami for an abortion on December 19, 1995.

Carolina's husband did not want her to have the abortion, so Carolina got a friend to drive her back and forth to the clinic.

The evening after her abortion, Carolina had pain in her chest and abdomen. She called the clinic for help, but whoever answered the phone hung up on her. Over the next two days, Carolina left messages on the clinic answering machine, but nobody returned her calls.

On December 21st, she could hardly breathe, so her family called 911. She arrived at the emergency room already in septic shock. Carolina underwent an emergency hysterectomy at the hospital to try to halt the spread of infection from her perforated uterus.

Carolina was put into the intensive care unit, where she battled for her life against the raging sepsis. She was on a respirator, with her fingers and feet going black with gangrene.

Relatives cared for her children, a five-year-old girl and a two-year-old boy, while Carolina's husband spent as much time as he could by her side. "I can't sleep. I try to take my mind off it, but it's impossible," he told the Miami Herald.

Carolina's 21st birthday came and went as she lay in the ICU. Doctors fought to help the young woman to gain enough strength to undergo amputation of her gangrenous limbs. But despite the hysterectomy, the amputations, and all their other efforts, Carolina died on February 5, 1996.

While investigating the clinic, officials noted that although Carolina could not read English, her only consent form was in English -- and the line for her signature was blank. She had paid $225 in cash for the abortion that took her legs and her life.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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Christina Dunigan said...

Tlaloc, the clinic was (allegedly, purportedly, supposedly) a medical facility, which meant that, holiday or not, they should have been fielding calls for patients with complications. "Gosh, it's the week before Christmas" is hardly justification for abandoning your patients. Unless, of course, you're an abortionist, in which case you could pull out a gun and shoot the patient dead after raping her and putting out cigarettes in her eyeballs and there'd be prochoicers coming out of the woodwork claiming that this was perfectly understandable and medically indicated.

Christina Dunigan said...

Tlaloc, how much am I "exaggerating"? You're saying that the fetus is sucked out, the clinic's responsibility for the patient is over and that they can abandon her to die and that's perfectly okay. Which should come as no surprise.

Christina Dunigan said...

Tlaloc, I've gone beyond my frustration level with you. Done. Finis.

Anonymous said...

This woman still died as the result of complications of a supposidly "safe and legal" abortion. And the injury, a perforated uterus, was a preventable injury, due probably to carelessness and rushing through the procedure. Still yet, this has left two children motherless.