by Steven Ertelt
October 22, 2007
Hyannis, MA (LifeNews.com) — The mainstream media has finally reported on the case of a Massachusetts woman who died from a legal abortion there. LifeNews.com first brought the case to light when pro-life groups told the news service about 22-year-old Laura Hope Smith, who died after visiting the Women Health Center, an abortion business.
Laura Smith was the Honduran-born daughter whom Eileen and Tom Smith adopted at the age of five.
Eileen Smith told the National Catholic Register last week that she is upset that no mainstream media outlet had covered her daughter’s death up to that point.
“I don’t want Laura’s death swept under the rug," she told the Register. “If Laura had died falling off a bike or in a car accident, it would have been in the paper the next day. [Abortion] is a political hot potato."
According to Smith, a reporter from the local Cape Cod Times approached her two days after her daughter died for an interview. However, the article never ran in the newspaper.
Finally, five weeks after her death, the Times ran a story Sunday on Smith’s death under the headline, "Parents search for clues in daughter’s unexplained death."
The Times interviewed Karen Trott, a local resident who was a friend of Smith and went with her to the abortion center.
Trott said Smith was initially worked up and told to come back later in the day for the actual abortion and said Smith was 13 weeks pregnant at the time.
She waited for the abortion procedure to be completed so she could drive her friend home. But that never happened as the botched abortion apparently caused Smith significant medical problems.
"And then all of a sudden (an assistant) comes out and says she’s not breathing," Trott said. "And I was like, what do you mean she’s not breathing?"
After paramedics rushed Smith to a Cape Cod Hospital, Trott called Eileen and Tom Smith to let them know about their daughter’s condition.
Meanwhile, Smith’s attorney filed a Complaint for Discovery on October 4, for information from the Medical Examiner’s office, the hospital, the abortion facility and abortion practitioner Rapin Osathanondh.
Osathanondh, who received his medical training in Thailand, did the abortion on September 13.
Next week, Smith is expected to file for administrative control over Laura’s estate so she can have access to her daughter’s medical records, the Times reported.
Also, District Attorney Michael D. O’Keefe met with Mrs. Smith on October 11 about the possibility of criminal charges against Osathanondh. However, she was informed that no case can go forward without Laura’s autopsy report, which is due to be released within the next several days.
Smith also told Operation Rescue, a pro-life group monitoring the case, that she filed her own complaint with the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine last week. She asks for an investigation and discipline of Osathanondh for his part in her daughter’s death.
Osathanondh made headlines in 2001 when he threatened to kill staff members because of misplaced paperwork.
Smith told the Times that her daughter was opposed to abortion and she is surprised Laura decided to have one.
"That’s the confusion we have," she said. "That is one of the answers I don’t have."
Nearly 600 people attended Smith’s funeral and the National Catholic Register reports that at least one woman canceled her appointment for an abortion after hearing of the tragic news.
Osathanondh reportedly met with Eileen Smith for an hour after her daughter died and he admitted the abortion killed her but wouldn’t take responsibility.
“My daughter walked into that office healthy and she left dead. I don’t want her death to be in vain," Smith has said.