Teenage Girl Shot by Boyfriend Inside California Abortion Facility

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 30, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Teenage Girl Shot by Boyfriend Inside California Abortion Facility

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 30, 2004

Palm Desert, CA (LifeNews.com) — A teenage girl was shot inside a southern California abortion facility on Thursday morning. According to police and media reports, the young woman was shot by her boyfriend after she refused to leave the abortion business.

According to the Palm Springs Desert Sun newspaper, the teenage girl, whose name and age were not released, was allegedly shot an "unknown number of times" by Jeffrey Cameron FitzHenry, 17, at the Women’s Health Clinic abortion facility.

Officials say the girl was taken to Desert Regional Medical Center and remained in critical condition on Thursday night.

The Desert Sun paper says a nurse at the abortion business said FitzHenry came into the lobby around 11:30 AM and asked the teen to "get out." When she refused, FitzHenry left and returned moments later brandishing a small handgun hitting her in the neck at least once.

According to the Associated Press, a witness said FitzHenry shouted to the girl, "How can you deny it’s my baby?" before shooting her.

"It was hysteria. The people in the lobby were scared — they didn’t know where to go, where to hide," the nurse told the paper.

FitzHenry left the scene and fled to his parents’ home. Police later received permission from his parents to enter the home and apprehend FitzHenry.

FitzHenry has been a student at a school in the Desert Sands Unified School District, but had not attended since January.

Police confirmed to the Palm Springs paper that the young woman and FitzHenry "were in a relationship." Police say the girls family insisted that no information be released about her.

Joseph Durante, the owner of the abortion business was in a back room at the time of the shooting. He said the abortion facility had no security measures and no plans to install any.

Durante is the subject of a lawsuit filed by a woman who was injured in a botched abortion.

Durante is accused of not providing adequate follow-up care after a botched abortion that perforated the uterus of Ann Marie Santana in 1998 was done at his abortion facility. The abortion also caused other medical problems and Santana was forced to have an emergency surgery as a result.

Santana has reached a settlement with John Allen, who performed the abortion. Her attorney, Jack Schuler, said Santana was pleased with the terms of the settlement, but the lawsuit against Durante must move forward.

Santana alleges Durante was negligent in treating her following the abortion. She experienced complications afterwards and contacted Durante because Allen was unavailable.

Santana was forced to go to an emergency room because her condition did not improve. Doctors had to perform an emergency operation because the abortion perforated her uterus and bowel.

Durante has run afoul of the state medical board on several occasions. He was once placed on probation by the Medical Board of California.

After Santana’s botched abortion, Durante’s license was suspended for 10 days and his probation on another matter was continued.

However, Durante says he’s had problems only because of numerous complaints by pro-life groups.

Durante owns and operates three abortion facilities in suburbs east of Los Angeles. He has no medical malpractice coverage and may have to file bankruptcy if the settlement is approved or damages awarded in the case.