"In the fall of 1989, [Dolores C.] encountered health problems and bleeding which she associated with pregnancy. On the suggestion of her boyfriend, she went to 'Women's Health Care Services' ... to seek medical care and advice."
On behalf of his client, who I call "Dolores C." to protect her privacy, attorney Ted Amshoff filed suit against Tiller and his business. What follows is her story, told in her attorney's words as much as possible.
"When [Dolores C.] first suspected she was pregnant, she did not consider abortion, and she so informed Defendants. [Dolores C.] wanted to keep her baby and she informed Defendants that she did not believe in abortion unless it was the only alternative."
Dolores had a pregnancy test at Women's Health Care Services, which confirmed the pregnancy.
"Defendants then told [Dolores C.] that her health was at risk because the pregnancy was ectopic, or tubal, and that the pregnancy was in the fallopian tube on her right side, close to the uterus. Defendants told [Dolores C.] that the risks of death from a ruptured tubal pregnancy was very great, and that 'surgery' should be performed to remove the tubal pregnancy."
Although an occasional undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus) will survive to viability and be delivered without killing the mother, these cases are so rare that they're considered freakish accidents. Although there have been rumors about doctors successfully transplanting ectopic pregnancies into the uterus, these have not been verified. The only known treatment for ectopic pregnancy is to remove it, either by surgery or by using drugs to kill the embryo and allow it to be expelled or absorbed by the woman's body.
"In reliance upon the training, expertise, advice, and counsel of Defendants, and under the impression that she was undergoing a procedure to surgically remove a tubal pregnancy, [Dolores C.] consented to such a procedure and submitted to a medical procedure performed by Defendants on November 4, 1989."
"In actuality, Defendants performed an abortion, terminating a healthy, wanted child or children. [Dolores C.] subsequently learned that her pregnancy had not been ectopic and that the procedure performed had been an abortion."
Dolores filed suit against Tiller and Women's Health Care Services in November of 1991.
"[Dolores C.] reasonably relied upon Defendants' expertise and their representation to submit to the 'surgery' as the only method available to save her life."
The suit also alleges that Tiller and his corporation continued to make attempts to "conceal the true nature of the state of affairs" surrounding the abortion.
"Defendants' actions in performing an unnecessary and nonconsensual abortion upon Plaintiff was extreme and outrageous conduct, going beyond all possible bounds of decency, and was atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community."
I would say so. Tiller's supporters might think otherwise.
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