Few mainstream media outlets have covered Jennifer Morbelli’s death from a botched legal abortion this month, and the ones that have covered it are much more concerned about her privacy than her abortion death.
But the Washington Post, in a column by writer Petula Dvorak titled “Woman loses her life and then her privacy after an abortion,” expresses more concern about the violation of Morbelli’s privacy by pro-life advocates who released her name and biography to the public to expose the abortion that claimed her life. Here is how she led off her column about Morbelli’s death.
Lots of people are opposed to the kind of late-term abortion that preceded the death of a woman in Maryland last week. I understand that.
Her name and photo have appeared on protest signs, in blogs and in newspapers.
The intimate details of her medical records — probably leaked by someone with access to that information at the Germantown clinic where she got the abortion or the Rockville hospital where she died — should never have seen the light of day, let alone be broadcast at a rally the day after her death.
That pesky HIPAA privacy law, the one that forces you to fill out a bazillion forms whenever you go to the doctor, did absolutely nothing to stop this.
The Post complains that pro-life advocates won’t reveal the source of the medical information about the abortion death, saying they “target” the abortion clinic that killed the young woman. The newspaper claims and complains they have “bombarded the neighborhood of the landlord who leases space to the clinic,” and “harassed his in-laws at their home and stood outside his brother-in-law’s dental office with gory abortion posters.”
“The protesters are exploiting this woman’s death and making other women think that their privacy is never truly protected when they seek an abortion,” the newspaper concludes.
The Post is clearly much more concerned about exposing this horrible botched abortion death than the death of Morbelli herself from what is clearly an unsafe medical “procedure.”
Following a new probe started by local officials, the Maryland Attorney General has opened an investigation into the late-term abortion practitioner who killed a Morbelli. The Maryland Attorney General’s office is not specifically looking into Morbelli’s death but it is looking at illegal dumping by the abortion clinic that could result in fines or other form of punishment.
Operation Rescue told LifeNews today that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has ties to Carhart. The group says the links raise concerns that she may attempt to interfere in ongoing investigations involving Carhart.
Operation Rescue also has documentation that indicates Sebelius interfered in a medical board investigation into the death of another of Carhart’s third-trimester abortion patients, Christin Gilbert, on January 13, 2005.
The Maryland Attorney General’s office notified the Maryland Coalition for Life and Operation Rescue that is has late-term abortion practitioner LeRoy Carhart and Germantown Reproductive Health Services under an active criminal investigation for illegal dumping, based on complaints made by both groups last year. This investigation is separate to ongoing investigations into Morbelli’s death, OR informed LifeNews today, that are currently underway by the State Medical Examiner, the Montgomery Police Department, and the state’s Office of Health Care Quality.
David Williams of the Maryland Attorney General’s Environmental Crimes Unit contacted Janet Kotowski, a pro-life sidewalk counselor in Germantown, to notify her that an investigation was underway. Kotowski wrote a letter last November asking the agency to look into illegal dumping of biohazardous waste and private patient information at Germantown Reproductive Health Center in follow up to a complaint filed by Operation Rescue in July, 2012.
Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue also spoke with Williams yesterday and has agreed to turn over unedited video-taped evidence of the illegal dumping documented last year to aid in his investigation.
“This is a very serious criminal investigation,” Williams told Sullenger.
In July, 2012, Operation Rescue filed a formal complaint with the Environmental Crimes Unit and released edited video and photographic evidence that showed GRHS and Carhart engaged in the illegal dumping on a routine basis. Evidence included:
1. Documents containing private patient information concerning birth control prescriptions and abortion procedures, as well as copies of patient driver’s licenses.
2. Bloody refuse blood clots and possible human fetal remains.
3. Drug control violations.
“For years we have documented Carhart’s abortion abuses. This time we pray authorities will quickly act before he has the opportunity to kill again,” said Sullenger.
Other incidents documented by Operation Rescue include the 2005 third-trimester abortion death of Christin Gilbert in Kansas, unsafe abortion practices reported by former Carhart employees in Nebraska, and the falsifying of information to gain licensure in Maryland.
Sullenger continued, “The tragic death of Mrs. Morbelli from a botched 33-week abortion may be the catalyst that will finally bring Carhart to justice. It’s too bad that a woman had to die before authorities would sit up and take notice.”
Morbelli died as the result of fatal complications suffered during an abortion at 33 weeks at the hand of late-term abortion practitioner LeRoy Carhart. The abortion took place at the Germantown Reproductive Health Center in Germantown, Maryland. Her 33-week-old preborn daughter, Madison Leigh, died in the failed legal abortion as well.
Morbelli arrived at Germantown Reproductive Health Center on February 3 to start the abortion process. Local pro-life advocates protesting outside saw her every day until yesterday, and described her as appearing “pale and weak.”
By the morning of February 7, she began suffering chest pain and other discomforts, the group informed LifeNews. Her attempts to reach Carhart were unsuccessful. The woman was taken by her family from her hotel to a nearby hospital emergency room at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital at approximately 5:00 a.m. Efforts by hospital staff to contact Carhart or get informational assistance from the abortion clinic were unsuccessful and he did not return a handful of calls.
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Morbelli, a full-time substitute teacher at the Church Street School in White Plains, New York, suffered massive internal bleeding into her abdominal cavity. She slipped into a Code Blue condition approximately six times before finally succumbing to her injuries at around 9:30 a.m.
Investigators in Maryland said that, while the probe into Jennifer Morbelli’s death is ongoing, there is currently no indication of criminal activity.
“I can confirm that, yes, there is a death investigation being coordinated by the Medical Examiner’s Office and the Montgomery Police Department has been notified,” said Lucille Baur, a spokeswoman for the police department.
Bruce Goldfarb, a spokesman for the medical examiner, said the office was “investigating the cause and manner of death” of Morbelli, but would not provide further details.
“This is a routine death investigation,” he said. “Anytime somebody dies during a medical procedure it’s referred to this office. So it’s a routine matter. There is no timetable. Things happen when they happen.”