Trial Begins Next Month for Practitioner Who Killed Woman in Failed Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
August 16, 2010
Hyannis, MA (LifeNews.com) — The trial begins next month in the case of abortion practitioner Rapin Osathanondh, who has been charged with manslaughter after killing one of his patients in a botched legal abortion. Osathanondh did the abortion on 22-year-old Laura Smith, who died in September 2007 at his Women’s Health Center abortion business.
Now, almost three years to the date after Smith’s abortion death, Osathanondh will finally go on trial for manslaughter.
"This is a landmark case in Massachusetts – the first trial of an abortionist in the death of a mother," Anne Fox, the president of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, told LifeNews.com today. "People need to know about this."
The trial will start on September 7 with jury selection and it will continue for two to three weeks at the Barnstable County Court House.
"We can expect that the media will downplay this important trial as much as possible," Fox said, urging pro-life advocates to "make very effort to write letters to the editor, call radio shows, and do whatever else you can to generate public awareness."
"Not only is it almost exactly three years since Laura died, but the trial will be going on at the time of the primary elections here in Massachusetts. Let us hope it will remind people of the scourge of abortion when they vote," she added.
Osathanondh was indicted in July 2008 by a grand jury after an investigation by local police, state police and the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine.
Laura, who was adopted at the age of four from Honduras by her parents, was 13 weeks into the pregnancy when she had the abortion. Osathanondh reportedly sedated her and did not have another other staff members on site who had appropriate medical training to monitor Smith’s vital signs during the abortion.
Smith died shortly after the abortion, on September 13, 2007. Officials say Laura died from "cardiac pulmonary arrest during anesthesia during a voluntary termination of pregnancy" — known as an abortion.
The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine revoked Osathanondh’s license after investigating the abortion death and Osathanondh gave up his medical license permanently following the decision.
Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe released information about the charges in 2008 and called Smith’s death a terrible tragedy.
I’ve been in constant communication with Lauras mother and other family members and I know how this has affected them and its a terrible thing," he said.
He said that Osathanondh’s medical negligence and deficient actions led to her death.
"The evidence made out a case of willful, wanton and reckless conduct with respect to how this medical procedure was carried out, OKeefe said at the time.
Laura’s mother, Eileen Smith, has pursued legal action against Osathanondh in a civil lawsuit.
"Our family wants justice," Eileen Smith wrote in an affidavit accompanying the lawsuit. "They want to see the man who took her life pay for what he has done to Laura and our family."
"Today I am picking out her tombstone when I should be picking out my mother of the bride dress," Eileen Smith added. "Rapin Osathanondh has caused great harm and there is no end in sight."
Operation Rescue previously said Eileen had been dealing with some local officials who won’t acknowledge that the abortion caused her daughter’s death.
Smith said a Sheriff’s Deputy in another county provided Osathanondh and his abortion center staff with CPR training, then backdated the session to a date prior to Laura’s death. The official apparently did so with the full knowledge that someone had recently died at the abortion center.
Osathanondh and his staff had been uncertified in CPR until that time, Smith said.
"I’m appalled that an officer of the law would be involved in that," Eileen Smith said. "Thank God this has been exposed."
The pro-life group indicated Smith has filed a complaint in Bristol County against the deputy.
Related web sites:
Massachusetts Citizens for Life – https://www.masscitizensforlife.org
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