Health Officials Tag Planned Parenthood for Slowly Reporting Abortion Death

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 3, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Health Officials Tag Planned Parenthood for Slowly Reporting Abortion Death

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 3
, 2007

Riverside, CA ( — California health officials have reprimanded a Riverside Planned Parenthood abortion business saying it drug its feet in reporting how a woman there died in February after a legal abortion. The state said Planned Parenthood should have reported the woman’s death within 24 hours.

The state Department of Health Services is probing the death of Edrica Goode a 21 year-old who died in February after toxic shock syndrome caused by the abortion she had.

Her mother, Aletheia Meloncon, has filed a lawsuit against Planned Parenthood saying it was responsible for not preventing her death.

According to a Los Angeles Times report, the health department issued a "deficiency" finding June 29 saying that "based on medical record reviews and staff interviews, the facility failed to report an unusual death occurrence involving a patient’s death within 24 hours to the department."

As a result, the Planned Parenthood in Riverside must submit a plan to correct its reporting of abortion deaths to the state within the next 10 days.

Planned Parenthood spokesman Vince Hall told the Times that the abortion business plans to respond on time and claimed, "The health and safety of our patients is our highest priority."

The state health department found no problems with regard to the care and treatment Planned Parenthood provided Goode but her mother contends that Planned Parenthood officials gave 21 year-old Edrica Goode poor medical care prior to the abortion that claimed her life.

Goode went to the Planned Parenthood abortion center on January 31 pregnant and with a vaginal infection.

Despite the infection, the lawsuit says staff at the abortion center inserted cervical dilators to prepare her for a second-trimester abortion.

The lawsuit says the dilators, which consist mostly of seaweed, caused the spread of the infection throughout her body, leading to her death.

The abortion eventually claimed Goode’s life on February 14 after she was treated at a local hospital, which is also named in the lawsuit.

Meloncon filed the lawsuit in Riverside County Superior Court last month.

"My daughter made a choice, but she didn’t choose to die," Meloncon said. "A lost dog gets more attention than my daughter did. This has really torn at my family."

Jack Schuler, Meloncon’s attorney, agreed and said, "If it wasn’t for the negligent medical care that Edrica Goode received, she would be alive today."

After the abortion, Goode never removed the dilators and Planned Parenthood claims to have sent two letters to her, but Meloncon told the Times they never came. She said the abortion facility should have done more to contact her daughter.

Goode wound up going to Riverside County Regional Medical Center where she eventually had a miscarriage and died the next day.

Meloncon was unaware of the abortion and described her daughter as having become "mentally unstable" after it was done. She said that had she known about the abortion before the laminaria problems developed she would have gotten medical attention for Goode sooner.

Hall, of Planned Parenthood, refused to comment on the lawsuit to the Times and claimed that the "health and safety of our patients is our highest priority."

However, Goode is the third woman to die at Planned Parenthood abortion centers in the last four years.

The first was Holly Patterson, an 18 year-old from Livermore who died after she received a lethal bacterial infection after using the abortion drug she obtained at Planned Parenthood Golden Gate. Diana Lopez, a 25-year-old Huntington Park woman, bled to death after an abortion she had punctured her cervix.