Mom Gets Abortion She Never Wanted in Inexcusable Hospital 'Mistake'

Say What!? 106

right to chooseI've always held to the thought that pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion, no matter what the anti-choice crowd will tell you. It means giving women the power to make their own choices -- be it abortion or continuing on with a pregnancy. And never has a case so well illustrated that point than that of the woman who went into the operating room expecting to have a hysterectomy and ended up with an abortion she never wanted.

That Suzanne Doherty was already the mother of three girls doesn't change anything. She was never told that she doctors had discovered she was 14 weeks pregnant, at least not until it was too late. Doctors had already performed an abortion, along with the hysterectomy she'd requested.

This is the very crux of the abortion debate: the woman's right to choose. She should be able to choose abortion if that's what is right for her. She should be able to choose carrying to term if that's what is right to her.

But the power should always be in her hands.

In Doherty's case, had she known she was pregnant, the choice would have been to keep the baby, to add a fourth child to her family. Instead, her doctors wrested that choice away from her. They found a male fetus in her womb, and instead of backing out, waking Doherty up and asking her opinion on how to proceed, they made the "choice" for their patient. They terminated the pregnancy and proceeded with the hysterectomy as if it was just another day on the job.

As a woman, as a human being, I find that unacceptable. I've been given choices by doctors on matters as simple as whether I want an ointment for a rash or a cream. Heck, in a grocery store, we are often asked "paper or plastic." We are given the ability to make choices on the most banal of topics.

Why not something this important, something life-changing? Why should abortion -- either pro or con -- be in the hands of anyone other than the woman it affects most?

What would you have done in Suzanne Doherty's place?


Image via ProgressOhio/Flickr



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Pinkmani Pinkmani

Uh oh! I smell a lawsuit!

That's upsetting to hear. I sure hope the woman is okay with the decision that was made without her knowledge.

Sierr... SierraLynn

I'd flip the fuck out. And I'd sue the life out of them.

Doomy234 Doomy234

That is truly awful. I would have been enraged to say the least! So they just assumed that because she was going to have her uterus removed that she wouldnt have accepted another child had she known? How cruel. I'd be suing the ever loving piss out of that doctor.

nonmember avatar NoWay

Wow! I don't normally agree with this sue happy nation, but in this case, I would sue the pants off of the doctors and hospital that performed this procedure! I feel terrible for that woman.

rhps2000 rhps2000

This is horrible. How could they just do that?

nonmember avatar Cass

Although I'm not intimately familiar with the procedure for a hysterectomy, I can safely say that, by the time the pregnancy was discovered, there was probably nothing that could have been done to save the uterus or the fetus. While I do think hospitals should have mandatory pregnancy tests before putting the patient under, I don't think the surgeons did anything wrong. If this turns out not to be the case, then I'll reevaluate my stance.

Annie... AnnieM120

That's so horrible.  Unfortunately, the surgeons might not have had a choice.  If they didn't discover the fetus until the hysterectomy was underway, the uterus might have already been so damaged by the surgery that they couldn't just sew it back up again.  Sounds like she should have had a pregnancy test done before they cut her open.

douxm... douxmusique

I was thinking along the same lines as anniem

linzemae linzemae

Why didn't they have her take a pregnancy test before the surgery? Same thing happened to someone I know but they had her take a test to see if she was pregnant, she was so her surgery was postponded

Roxygurl Roxygurl

I have had 4 surgeries and for each one they draw blood and check to see if I am pregnant before allowing me to have surgery, I thought all hospitals do that. My surgeries were all at different hospitals and they all followed the same protocol.

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