Germantown, Maryland, February 27, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The pro-life group Operation Rescue says it has sent a formal letter to Maryland Attorney General’s office and Montgomery County State Attorney’s office requesting that second degree murder charges be brought against late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart for his alleged role in the death of a patient on February 7, 2013.

Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, asked in his February 24 letter that the charges be brought under the state’s “depraved heart murder” doctrine that allows for second degree murder charges when a person engages in conduct that shows a reckless disregard for human life, even if resulting harm is unintentional.

The pro-life group argued that legal precedence for such a charge is abundant.

According to one Maryland Court of Appeals case, Robinson v. State, “depraved heart murder” is “the deliberate perpetration of a knowingly dangerous act with reckless and wanton unconcern and indifference as to whether anyone is harmed or not.”

Carhart, a Nebraska resident, performed a four-day abortion on Jennifer Morbelli at 33-weeks gestation. Witnesses said Morbelli appeared progressively “weak and pale” each day. Despite her obvious distress, after the abortion was complete, Carhart reportedly caught a flight out of Maryland – and out of contact.

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Just hours later, Morbelli’s condition worsened. Attempts by the family to contact Carhart, as instructed in the event of an emergency, were futile. Morbelli was finally taken to a local hospital where attempts by staff to reach Carhart and the Germantown clinic where he works also failed.

According to Operation Rescue, Carhart’s inaccessibility resulted in a break in the continuity of patient care and led to a delay in appropriate treatment as hospital physicians struggled to understand Morbelli’s condition. Morbelli died from abortion complications.

“During the time that Carhart was missing, Mrs. Morbelli suffered severe bleeding and eventual death as a result of fatal complications sustained during the abortion procedure. Dr. Carhart is responsible, not only for shoddy care that ignored warning signs of life-threatening complications, but also for causing Ms. Morbelli’s death by a wanton disregard for the consequences of his actions and an extreme indifference to human life,” stated Newman.

Last week, Operation Rescue filed a formal complaint against Carhart with the Maryland Board of Physicians seeking immediate suspension and permanent revocation of his medical license and is gathering signatures on a letter that will be hand-delivered to the Board.

“A woman is dead because of Carhart’s reckless indifference to her life. The least we can expect is for Maryland authorities to do their duty to protect the public,” said Newman. “We are working through every legal channel available to make sure Carhart is brought to justice before he kills again.”