Court Holds Hearing on Scotland Woman’s Failed Abortion Lawsuit

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 20, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Court Holds Hearing on Scotland Woman’s Failed Abortion Lawsuit Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 20, 2006

Perth, Scotland ( — A court in the U.K. held hearings today on a Scotland woman’s lawsuit against a hospital that failed to successfully abort her twin babies. Representatives of the medial center told the court the hospital did not promise that the abortion would be successful.

Stacy Dow, who is 21, filed the lawsuit for about $500,000 in civil damages against Tayside University Hospitals NHS Trust for the "financial burden" of raising her daughter Jayde.

Dow gave birth to the girl after the abortion killed her twin sister. She was 16 at the time and it was too late in pregnancy to have another abortion when she realized she was still pregnant.

After the abortion, doctors gave Dow a contraception injection and told her there would be side effects from it. She blamed the injection for a weigh gain and the cessation of her periods, and only later realized she was still pregnant.

"I have got a child now that I wasn’t planning to have and I believe the hospital should take some responsibility for that," Dow told a London newspaper in April when she filed the lawsuit.

"I wouldn’t dream of giving her up for anything now," Dow has said, despite filing the lawsuit.

Tayside officials want the Perth Sheriff Court to throw out the damages and said Jayde was a normal, health child when she was born.

According to a BBC report, hospital attorney David Stephenson told the court the abortion practitioner checked to make sure the abortion was completed and found no evidence of Jayde’s existence.

Stephenson said no contract existed between Dow and the abortion practitioner at the time so she can’t sue for breach of contract.

"Nothing said to (Ms Dow) by the doctor could or did mention a warranty that her pregnancy would be terminated," he said, according to the BBC report. "NHS patients do not normally contract with their health trust or health boards for the provision of medical service."

Dow’s attorney told the court she suffered from "distress and anxiety" from what happened and experienced loss of earnings because she was a single mother at a young age.

Dow brought the lawsuit in part because her husband recently passed away.

She discussed with a newspaper how she would tell her daughter about the abortion she hoped to have.

"I still don’t know if, or what, I’m going to tell Jayde when the time comes. I just hope she understands what happened and why I did it," Dow said.

In 2001, Kim Nicholls of Staffordshire, who abortion practitioners told had a successful abortion of twin babies, was awarded $25,000 after one of the unborn children survived the abortion.