Woman withdraws lawsuit against abortion clinic for “failed” abortion

 

By Dave Andrusko

Ariel Knights, who did not want to be photographed, and her Attorney James J. Gutbrod. (Mike Cardew/Akron Beacon Journal)

Ariel Knights, who did not want to be photographed, and her Attorney James J. Gutbrod. (Mike Cardew/Akron Beacon Journal)

It’s been well over a year since last we reported on Ariel Knights, the northeast Ohio woman who filed a malpractice lawsuit against an Akron abortion clinic seeking unspecified damages for pain and suffering and emotional distress because of a “failed” abortion.

Last week the Beacon Journal newspaper reported that Knight’s attorney had filed papers in Summit County Common Pleas Court last month dismissing the lawsuit.

“Attorney James Gutbrod said a confidentiality agreement reached between Knights and the Akron Women’s Medical Group prohibits him from commenting on whether a settlement was reached,” reported the Beacon Journal’s Phil Trexler.

As we reported in March 2013, Knights, already the mother of a son, had given birth September 20, 2012, to her second child, a daughter. Knights had undergone an abortion the previous February only to find out a week later in a visit to the ER that she was still pregnant. She delivered a healthy 6-pound girl seven months later.

In her lawsuit against the clinic and Dr. Raymond Robinson, Knight, 23, said she sought the abortion “because she has a genetic disorder in which she has a double uterus with individual cervices,” Trexler reported in his story filed September 10. “The condition [uterine didelphys] put her at risk of death if she delivered a child,” Knight said.

The attorney for the Akron Women’s Medical Group, in papers filed this summer, asserted that Knight was not injured, the doctor provided acceptable care and, eventually, Knights gave birth to a child “she wanted all along.”

Texler added, “The clinic doctor concluded that Knights probably was pregnant with twins, one in each uterus, and that only one fetus was removed.”

As we explained in March 2013, a third of Trexler’s in-depth story detailed what ensued after Knight and her fiancé decided to “forge ahead with the pregnancy”—“multiple trips to the ER, four hospital admissions that lasted three to five days, and biweekly visits with a doctor who specializes in high-risk pregnancies. The visits always included an ultrasound exam, she said.”

One fear never left her during the pregnancy, Knights told Trexler: That the weakened uterus would fail.

“I can’t explain how I felt. It was just a sense of being overwhelmed, wondering what happened to the baby, wondering what’s happening to me and what did [the clinic] think they did,” she said to Trexler. “It was just constant stress.” On September 20, Knights gave birth to a 6-pound, 20-inch girl who, after a stint in the neonatal intensive care unit, is healthy.

Trexler wrote that Knights “said her medical condition makes her pro-choice in the abortion debate,” and “hopes her lawsuit will prompt better treatment for other women seeking the procedure.”

But the “irony” of a “failed abortion” is not lost on Knights, Trexler writes:

“’That’s a sore subject to think about,” she said as she became visibly emotional. ‘I mean, it’s just hard, thinking she’s here and thinking, if they would have done their job. … It’s just something I don’t like to think about.’

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Ariel Knights, who did not want to be photographed, and her Attorney James J. Gutbrod. (Mike Cardew/Akron Beacon Journal)

Ariel Knights, who did not want to be photographed, and her Attorney James J. Gutbrod. (Mike Cardew/Akron Beacon Journal)

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