On Sept. 22, an abortion doctor was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and another was charged with criminal practice.
Rapin Osathanondh was convicted in Massachusetts of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to prison for the 2007 death of Laura Hope Smith following an abortion procedure (originally covered in this Associated Content article).
Smith died of complications from anesthetics. She was left unsupervised in a room, her vital signs unmonitored. She experienced cardiac arrest. It was determined that Osathanondh had no one on staff who was experienced in such monitoring, and no proper resuscitation equipment in his facility.
Osathanondh’s Massachusetts medical license, suspended in 2008, is now permanently revoked. He’ll serve six months of what was to be a 30-month sentence, followed by three years’ probation, including nine months under house arrest.
Abortion doctor unlicensed to practice late-term abortion is charged, suspended:
The same day, charges were filed in New Jersey against a doctor not licensed to do late-term abortions. Dr. Stephen Brigham has been starting abortions on women and then taking or sending them to Maryland for the rest of the procedure.
In connection, Brigham has charges pending against him for partially performing an abortion on a 33-week pregnant woman (that is three weeks short of a normal nine-month, 36-week birth), and then instructing the woman to drive to Maryland herself for its completion. Although the baby was found to have Down Syndrome, this was still illegal for him.
Brigham’s license is currently suspended while charges are pending. An investigation of Brigham’s four-state abortion service is being conducted. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Brigham injured another woman during an abortion and transported her elsewhere for further treatment.
Isn’t there a late-term abortion ban in effect?
During the Bush Administration, a ban was passed on the particularly gruesome “partial birth” abortion method. This ban was appealed to the United States Supreme Court where it was upheld, with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent insisting it chips away at all abortion rights and doesn’t consider the “health of the mother.”
However, many doctors have attested before the U.S. Congress and various state legislatures that partial birth abortion is never called for to protect the life of the mother. There’s still a battle over this in some states, and the ban does not cover all forms of late-term abortion which require more than a simple suction to remove larger babies.
Does “Mainstream Media” black out stories about abortion doctors in trouble?
With the exception of several major news sources cited here, an Internet search for sources on these stories will reveal that criminal news about abortion doctors is almost exclusively reported by religious pro-life and conservative news entities or blogs.
In contrast, the story of anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder, who was sentenced for killing abortionist George Tiller, went viral in mainstream news sources to all corners of the world.
Although the Boston Globe issued the news about Osathanondh and Associated Press/Yahoo News carried Brigham’s case, it is hard to find in major syndication. Curiously, the only other major source was a CBS News story already “removed” from this location at the CBS website.
“Ex-doctor sentenced to prison in death of abortion patient,” Brian R. Ballou, boston.com (Boston Globe online), 9/15/10.
“Abortion doctor sent to prison,” Baptist Press Staff, 9/23/10.
“N.J. abortion doctor accused of mistreating 2 more patients in Md.,”Ben Nuckols, AP, found at Yahoo News, 9/22/10.
“Doctor’s four-state abortion business under investigation,” Marie McCullough, Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/3/10.
“High Court Upholds Curb on Abortion,” Robert Barnes, Washington Post, 4/19/07.
“Partial Birth Abortion is Bad Medicine,” Drs. Romer, Smith, Cook and DeCook, New York, NY: Wall Street Journal (print edition) Sept. 19, 1996. Portions of this article are found in the Official Record, U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee, March 7, 2003.