Saturday, August 16, 2008

1989: Prestigious women's hospital lets teen die in botched abortion

Marla Anne Cardamone, age 18, became pregnant while on Tegretol and Elavil for depression. Marla lived with her parents, including her quadriplegic father who she helped to care for. She had a young son that lived with them as well.

Marla's mother, Deborah Cardamone, commented:

Originally, she had planned to put her baby up for adoption, since she already had a toddler to take care of, but a medical-social worker at the hospital strongly urged Marla to have an abortion.

The social worker argued that Marla had damaged her baby because of medication she had taken. Statistics gave a 92% chance that the baby was fine, but Marla had a sonogram to be sure. After the sonogram, that social worker kept pressuring Marla to have an abortion. Finally, Marla gave in.

Marla was admitted to Magee Women's Hospital for the abortion August 15, 1989.

Although the urea induction technique was contraindicated due to Marla's medical history, Michael W. Weinberger injected urea into Marla's uterus.

Either an error during this injection or some other mishap caused generalized necrosis of Marla's uterine wall. The laminaria were also inserted by Weinberger in a manner resulting in septicemia, and massive cortical necrosis of the kidneys.

Marla became ill during the night, with nausea, vomiting, urinary incontinence, and dried blood on her teeth. Her pulse and temperature were severely elevated.

At 6:30 AM the charge nurse contacted a the first of several doctors to treat Marla, but no were cultures taken.

By 7 AM Marla was "increasingly disoriented and speaking inappropriately."

By 7:15, her blood pressure had fallen to 80/40, her pulse had shot up to 144, and she was "unresponsive, grunting loudly, and having seizures."

At 10 AM, intravenous antibiotics were administered. Marla was dead from septicemia at 12:15 PM.

The suit filed by Marla's family noted failure to notify them of her deteriorating condition. Marla's parents adopted her child.

The suit faulted the doctor and hospital with performance of a psychiatrically contraindicated abortion, failure to evacuate the dead fetus, administering an overdose of Pitocin, and failure to consult qualified doctors.

Marla's mother adds bitterly:

I had to file a lawsuit to get any answers. Marla had died of septicemia--a massive infection from the abortion. I also learned that the social worker had never seen Marla's sonogram or discussed the results with her. Marla never saw the words on the sonogram report that would have changed everything: No abnormalities detected. My daughter was pressured to have an abortion, and there had been no reason for it, no reason at all.

I've often wondered why pro-choice women's groups have never expressed any sympathy or concern over Marla's death. Why aren't they demanding justice? Why aren't they concerned that Marla was lied to about the condition of her baby and wasn't shown the sonogram results? Why aren't they concerned that proper treatment was delayed because Marla was misdiagnosed by a resident who was only two months out of medical school? Why are they so quiet?

I believe it's because pro-choice groups don't want women to read or hear about abortion injuries and deaths. Bad publicity hurts their cause. That's why they prefer that Marla and her baby remain hidden statistics.

You can read Deborah's story in her own words here.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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Tess said...


We need more voices of reason and facts to permeate our mainstream society and not be labeled as hate speech and intolerance fueled by an overzealous preoccupation with religion which deserves to be bereft of constitutional rights in this country if it does not bow down to cultural relativism.

All opposed to the sanctity of human life are being blinded by Satan - their wits are dimmed and their understanding shrivels to nothingness.

These are the new minions of evil, yet they do not realize that they are not the master but the slave.

RIP Women and children killed by choice.

If the names of all 50,000,000 American children killed by abortion since 1973 were put on a wall comparable in size to the Vietnam Memorial wall in D.C., that wall would be 80 miles long.

Cecilia said...

If I were Marla's mother, I'd sue the social worker who brow beat my daughter into an abortion. I'd say to her, "without your meddling, my daughter would be alive now. We could deal with her new baby a lot easier than we can deal with her death."

If people who coerce women into unwanted abortions are made to pay for the results when they get their way, maybe fewer people will be willing to pressure people into an abortion.