OTTAWA, August ( – Prominent Canadian abortionist Henry Morgentaler is in the spotlight again with his Ottawa abortion centre being sued for $185,000 plus costs, for an alleged “botched” abortion occurring on August 8, 2003.  Documents filed with the Ontario Superior Court last week name one doctor and five nurses and claim that the abortion was performed without anaesthetic due to an inability to insert an IV.  The woman claims she only discovered she was pregnant in July 2003.

Court documents note that immediately after the abortion she experienced cramping and bleeding which continued for weeks.  A nurse at the abortuary contacted a week after the operation said such symptoms were normal, says the report.  However, on August 23 the woman was admitted to an Ottawa hospital to have a placenta and remains of the baby removed.

The document says the woman’s periods remained irregular for seven months and she continues to experience bleeding.  The woman and her husband are suing for the “negligent” abortion and its resulting strain on their marriage, its interference with her fertility and the trauma it caused.  The news comes as no surprise to the pro-life movement.  Gillian Long of Campaign Life Coalition told “This is not a surprising development, unfortunately. I hope this actually goes to trial. It would shed some light on how dangerous abortions are for women. Unfortunately, Morgentaler has a history of ensuring legal and financial settlements include clauses preventing victims from discussing their ordeals in public.”  The rare times when such stories hit the press, the public is shocked.  In 1985 the Toronto Star carried one such article.  On January 12, 1985 a story concerning Morgentarler’s Toronto abortuary led: “A woman who says she was mistreated at Dr. Henry Morgentaler’s Harbord St. abortion clinic has told a Toronto reporter a sanitary napkin was forced into her mouth to stop her screaming in pain.”  ( see the story )  In 1993 the Edmonton Sun reported on a woman who said she almost died at the Morgentaler abortuary in that city due to internal bleeding after the procedure.  (see the story )  Another incident, this time at the Halifax Morgentaler abortion centre in 1998, saw an abortionist successfully sued for over half a million dollars for allowing a woman to drive home right after her abortion.  She was badly injured in a car accident.  ( see the story )  The Canadian Press reports that those accused in the current case have not yet filed a defence.  jhw