Incomplete Abortion on British Woman Leaves Baby’s Head Inside Her

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 17, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Incomplete Abortion on British Woman Leaves Baby’s Head Inside Her Email this article
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by Paul Nowak Staff Writer
August 17, 2004

London, England ( — A British woman who had an abortion later discovered that the unborn child’s head had been left inside her, a mistake that could have taken her life.

Davina Chambers, a mother of three children, was undergoing treatment for Autoimmune Hepatitis, a disease that was causing her body to reject and attack her own liver. Routine tests conducted during her regular visits to Kings College Hospital found that Chambers was 12 weeks pregnant.

"I just couldn’t believe it," Chambers told the Voice newspaper in England. "At the time I was taking eight tablets a day and had all this radiation from the scans, so I couldn’t believe that I could be pregnant."

Concerned with the health risks of undergoing treatment while carrying the child, Chambers decided to have an abortion.

"I started thinking about it. Here I am very ill, already with three children, and I was very depressed because of the medication I was on," Chambers explained.

Following the abortion, Chambers was told that she had been ultrascanned three times and everything was fine.

Later that night, Chambers was shocked by an unexpected complication.

"At midnight, my ex partner knocked on the door to check if I was alright. I went to the bathroom and as I was sitting there, I just felt something slip out of me as if I had just given birth. I looked in the toilet and saw this lump that seemed to have a bone in it. So I showed it to my former partner," said Chambers.

The "lump" turned out to be the child’s head, four centimeters across, with distinguishable eyes, nose, mouth, and even ears.

"We just broke down and cried at what we were seeing. We couldn’t believe it," said Chambers, sobbing.

Chambers called an ambulance, which took her to the hospital to ensure that no other parts were left inside of her. She was informed that if she had not delivered the head of her baby, she could have died.

While at the hospital, Chambers met with the doctor who performed the abortion.

"He leaned over my bedside and said, ‘I am so sorry. In all the procedures I’ve done, I’ve never come across this,’" said Chambers. "He even tried to take the head away, but I said I wanted to keep it because we wanted to have a proper burial."

"I feel as if I’m going insane now; I can’t just let this happen to me," she said.

"We are aware of this patient and we did receive a complaint," a spokeswoman for King’s College Hospital told The Voice. "We are now investigating but we cannot release any information until our investigation is complete."

Chambers said she is now seeking legal advice on the matter.

In Mississippi, a local abortionist, Malacy Malvin deHenre, lost his license to practice medicine in Alabama, where he often traveled to perform abortions.

Among a history of complaints was that of a woman who arrived at the local hospital after an abortion, with the unborn child’s head still insider her. The Jackson, Mississippi clinic at which the deHenre also performs abortions is expected to close later this week.

It is believed that the Alabama medical officials were prompted to revoke deHenre’s license following the death of one of his abortion patients in November of 2003.