Mother of two sues Ohio abortion clinic following “failed” abortion

By Dave Andrusko

Ariel Knights, who did not want to be photographed, and and her Attorney James J. Gutbrod talk about the malpractice lawsuit they have against the Akron Women'ss Medical Group.  (Mike Cardew/Akron Beacon Journal

Ariel Knights, who did not want to be photographed, and and her Attorney James J. Gutbrod talk about the malpractice lawsuit they have against the Akron Women’ss Medical Group.
(Mike Cardew/Akron Beacon Journal

Ariel Knights, the mother of two, has filed a malpractice lawsuit against an Akron, Ohio, abortion clinic seeking unspecified damages for pain and suffering and emotional distress, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.

Knights, already the mother of a son, gave birth September 20 to her second child, a daughter. Knights had undergone an abortion last March at the Akron Women’s Medical Group only to find out a week later in a visit to the ER that she was still pregnant. The case was filed March 4 and reported on in the Beacon Journal yesterday.

Knights told reporter Phil Trexler  that she doesn’t know what happened during the abortion. “She’s hoping for an answer as her malpractice lawsuit against the clinic makes its way through Summit County Common Pleas Court,” Trexler writes. (The abortion clinic declined to comment.)

Knights told Trexler she aborted because “my life was in jeopardy. End of story. Point blank, that’s it.”

Trexler explained that when Knights was carrying her first child, she learned she had a condition known as uterine didelphys. “The genetic condition results in a double uterus with individual cervices,” he wrote.

“She said her son was carried in the left uterus, which was healthy enough to carry the fetus to a near full-term pregnancy without complications and a C-section birth.

“In her second pregnancy, an exam in early February 2012 showed the fetus was located in the right uterus, which her doctor told her was unstable and put her pregnancy and her life at risk. She had little choice, she said, but to opt for an abortion.”

Once she discovered she was still pregnant, Knights contacted the Akron abortion clinic which told her she could to their Cleveland-area office.  “Instead, she contacted another abortion clinic, which told her, according to the lawsuit, it would not treat her for ‘somebody else’s mistake,’” Trexler wrote.

The last third of the story details 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, she 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 then writes 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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