Chief medical examiner’s office in Baltimore confirms woman died from complications after abortion at 33 weeks

By Dave Andrusko

Jennifer Morbelli

Jennifer Morbelli

On the webpage today of Newsday, next to the headline “Jennifer Morbelli, New Rochelle teacher, died of complications after abortion, medical examiner says,” is a photo of pro-abortion New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the headline, “Cuomo proposes to expand legalization of late-term abortions.”

Morbelli was 33 weeks pregnant when she was aborted at LeRoy Carhart’s Germantown Reproductive Health Services clinic in Germantown, Maryland, and died Thursday, February 7 at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital.

Bruce Goldfarb, a spokesman for the Maryland medical examiner’s office, told reporters that initial findings listed two causes for the death of the 29-year-old Morbelli.

The New Rochelle, New York teacher died when amniotic fluid seeped into her bloodstream (“amniotic fluid embolism following termination of pregnancy”) and because of “disseminated intravascular coagulation,” according to Newsday’s Ken Schachter.

Schachter explained that as “a condition that occurs when small blood clots form in the blood vessels,” adding, “Eventually, the proteins needed for clotting can become depleted, which can lead to extensive bleeding throughout the body.” A headline for the White Plains Daily Voice read, “White Plains Teacher Bled To Death After Abortion.”

Until yesterday, the medical examiner had listed the manner and cause of Morbelli’s death as “pending.”  A spokeswoman for the Montgomery County, Maryland, Police Department, which is investigating Morbelli’s death, said investigators are awaiting the full autopsy report. This is typically issued anywhere from 30-90 days after a death.

In Maryland the manner of death is defined as “natural,” “undetermined,” “accidental,” “homicide” and “suicide.”  The medical examiner chose to designate the manner of death for Morbelli as “natural.”

Morbelli’s first visit to Carhart’s Germantown Reproductive Health Services came Sunday, February 3. (Abortions this late in pregnancy take place over several days.)

“In the days after Feb. 3, the woman returned to the clinic several times, an indication of a multi-day abortion procedure that involved inducing labor, abortion opponents have said,” the Washington Post’s Dan Morse and Lena Sun reported. “Complications arose, and on Feb. 7, she arrived at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, where state and local officials say she died that day.”

Morbelli’s death “has again cast a national spotlight on a small clinic that opened inside a nondescript office park in Germantown a little more than two years ago,” Morse and Sun wrote. “The clinic’s leader, LeRoy Carhart, is one the few doctors nationwide who publicly acknowledges performing late-term abortions. He has declined to comment.”

When news of Morbelli’s death first broke, it was a reminder that Carhart had performed late-term abortions in Nebraska until 2010 when the state passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. “One hopes that Maryland authorities will do a thorough investigation in this case and what ramifications it will have on Carhart continuing to do late-term abortions in Germantown,” said Nebraska Right to Life Executive Director Julie Schmit-Albin. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which is the law in seven states, bars abortions on babies capable of experiencing pain, established to be no later than 20 weeks.

Carhart still lives in Nebraska but flies into perform abortions at the Germantown, Maryland abortion clinic which is located about 30 miles north of Washington.

A few days after Morbelli’s death the Omaha World-Herald reported that an online obituary said Morbelli was married and taught in New Rochelle, N.Y. Robby Korth and Roseann Moring concluded their story, “It also listed her baby girl as having died Thursday.”

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