Australian Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit Touches on How Abortion Hurts Women

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 10, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australian Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit Touches on How Abortion Hurts Women

by Maria Gallagher Staff Writer
April 10, 2004

Sydney, Australia ( — An Australian court case is spotlighting the devastating consequences that can arise from an abortion.

Justice Michael Grove has ruled that a Sydney girl, Kristy Bruce, was born with brain damage as a result of her mother’s uterine rupture — an apparent complication from a previous abortion. As a result, the girl’s family has lost their bid to sue the mother’s obstetrician for negligence.

"No one could fail to be moved by Kristy’s plight nor fail to acknowledge the dedication and devotion of her mother and family to her care," Grove said.

He added, "But Kristy’s plight was not a consequence of a breach of duty of care by the defendant," obstetrician Dr. Alan Kaye.

Kristy, who is now 15, was born with cerebral palsy. She is confined to a wheelchair and cannot speak.

Her family tried to sue her mother’s obstetrician for malpractice, claiming he miscalculated her expected due date.

As a result, the family claimed, Kristy was born between two-and-a-half and six weeks overdue, causing the placenta to deteriorate, a condition known as "placental insufficiency."

However, the justice rejected the claim, noting that the after-effect of the mother’s abortion was a more likely cause for Kristy’s injuries.

The family had sought more than $750,000 in damages in NSW Superior Court. Kristy’s mother, Sharon Chevelle, gave birth to the girl at the Royal Hospital for Women, in Sydney’s east, on March 21, 1989.

According to the Elliot Institute, an organization that studies complications from abortion, the procedure has been linked with cervical and uterine damage which can increase the risk of premature delivery, labor complications, and abnormal development of the placenta in subsequent pregnancies. Such complications are the leading causes of handicaps in newborns.

If the uterus is damaged during an abortion, a woman may also develop problems which require a hysterectomy, which can lead to additional health problems.

Placenta problems arising from abortion can also increase the risk of fetal malformation, perinatal death, and hemorrhaging during labor — complications that have been written about in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Studies have also shown that teenagers, who are just at the beginning of their reproductive years, are at much higher risk of suffering abortion-related complications. Those complications can pose an immediate health risk or cause long-term reproductive damage. Nearly one-third of all abortions are performed on teenagers.

Elliot Institute –