In 2014, Catherine and Andrew found out they were expecting their second baby together. They were thrilled because they wanted their son, Thomas, to have another sibling. However, when they went in for their routine ultrasound at Salford Royal Hospital, the technician couldn’t detect a heartbeat and they were advised to have an abortion.
Catherine said, “She couldn’t detect any heartbeat and in fact said she believed the pregnancy had already started to disintegrate. I was told I had three options. I could let a miscarriage occur naturally, which could take weeks, I could have a dilatation and curettage – an operation under a general anesthetic to empty my uterus – or I could take a pill to induce labor. I chose the pill because it meant that I could stay at home and wouldn’t have to leave Thomas.”
Unfortunately, Catherine took the first dose of the deadly RU 486 abortion regimen, which contains mifepristone and blocks the hormone progesterone. At home, Catherine started experiencing heavy bleeding and two days later, reluctantly went to the hospital for the last dose of the abortion pill. But prior to taking misoprostol, the hospital did another scan to see if the mifepristone worked and detected her baby’s heartbeat.
Catherine said, “As she did the scan the woman looked concerned. She left and returned with a colleague. After pointing out something on the screen, the colleague nodded and left. The woman then turned to me and said she’d found a heartbeat and estimated I was around seven weeks pregnant. I was amazed and overjoyed. But seconds later I was overcome with shock because I began to worry about how the drug might have harmed my baby.”
“A consultant came in and said it was our decision, but due to the possible harm our baby may have suffered from the pill, it was still an option to continue with the abortion. However, there was no way, having seen my baby’s heart beating on a scan, I could carry on,” Catherine added.
Additionally, to make matters worse doctors told the couple that the heavy bleeding Catherine suffered could have been a miscarriage of a possible twin who was killed by the abortion. Catherine said, “Because I had such a large bleed, I’ve since found out it might be I was pregnant with twins and did in fact miscarry one. That was very upsetting. Nobody knows for sure but it is heartbreaking to think I might have lost a baby over this. And I have been terrified since that I will lose my baby I am carrying now.”
She concluded, “To say this has ruined my pregnancy would be an understatement. Our little girl is a much-wanted baby and we are extremely worried she won’t now be born healthy. We are incredibly angry and upset. We can’t understand how doctors could have made such a big error. In hindsight we believe a scan should have been carried out before I took the pill to double-check the diagnosis that the baby had died. We wanted a little brother or sister for Thomas and as I’d had a completely normal pregnancy with him, we had no reason to believe this one would be any different.”
According to the Daily Mail, the National Health Service is launching an investigation into the incident. The executive director at Salford Royal Hospital said, “We again apologize unreservedly to Mrs Urhegyi for the error and the distress this has undoubtedly caused. We immediately launched an investigation to understand how the incident happened and how we could prevent it occurring again. This has now concluded and a member of our senior nursing team has arranged to meet with Mrs Urhegyi in person to share those findings.”