California Woman Settles Lawsuit Over Disposal of Baby After Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
July 16, 2008
Los Angeles, CA (LifeNews.com) — A woman has settled her lawsuit with Los Angeles County after officials said the body of her baby after an abortion had been disposed of along with medical waste. Yolanda Garnett filed the suit saying she was prevented from receiving her baby’s body afterwards for a more proper burial.
Garnett, who is 36, had an abortion in February 2006 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center at 19 weeks into the pregnancy.
Because the baby was killed in an abortion and not by other causes, Los Angeles County could not issue a death certificate nor could it give Garnett a burial or cremation permit.
Upset that she couldn’t bury her baby, Garnett filed a negligence lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court last September. Officials said her baby girl’s body was deemed bio-medical waste and thrown out.
"Under those circumstances the remains could not be released to the next of kin, so the fetal remains were disposed of as a specimen per Department of Coroner policy," the county’s court papers say, according to KTLA.
The station indicated Garnett settled the lawsuit but that the terms of the settlement were not disclosed. She sought $25,000 in damages according to the suit against the coroner and the county mortuary.
KTLA tried to reach Garnett’s lawyer, J. Barry Moses, but neither he nor Linda D. Carlson, an attorney for the county, could be reached for comment.
There has been no indication why Garnett decided to have the abortion or why she had it late in pregnancy.
Under state law, death certificates are issued only for unborn children or newborn or stillborn infants who weigh 400 grams or have gestated for 20 weeks or more.
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