From lohud.com yesterday:

A New Rochelle woman died of complications from a late-term abortion at a Maryland clinic, authorities confirmed Wednesday.

Jennifer Morbelli, 29, a schoolteacher in White Plains, bled to death after amniotic fluid in her womb spilled into her bloodstream, said Bruce Goldfarb, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Medical Examiner’s Office.

She was “left with the inability to clot blood to stop bleeding,” Goldfarb said.

More details from Newsday:2013-02-21_1157

The chief medical examiner’s office in Baltimore lists “amniotic fluid embolism following termination of pregnancy” as one of two causes of death for Jennifer McKenna Morbelli….

The second is “disseminated intravascular coagulation,” a condition that occurs when small blood clots form in the blood vessels, according to Morbelli’s death certificate. Eventually, the proteins needed for clotting can become depleted, which can lead to extensive bleeding throughout the body.

In short, what an amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) is, from Wiki, with my notes in brackets:

It is mostly agreed that this condition results from amniotic fluid entering the uterine veins and in order for this to occur there are three prerequisites:

  • Ruptured membranes [i.e., ruptured amniotic fluid or broken bag of waters]
  • Ruptured uterine or cervical veins [latter can be due to cervical laceration]
  • A pressure gradient from uterus to vein [direction of blood flow outward to mother’s body]

DIC, which was Morbelli’s secondary diagnosis, frequently accompanies amniotic fluid embolism, and it is a terrible thing – very difficult to treat. I’ve seen it. From Merriam-Webster:

Uncontrolled systemic coagulation resulting in thrombosis [clots] which in acute cases typically leads to generalized bleeding [hemorrhage] due to depletion of clotting factors and increased fibrinolysis.

… uncontrolled blood clotting leading to uncontrolled bleeding.

Yesterday the Washington Post tried to minimize abortion’s part in Morbelli’s death, basically saying it could happen to any pregnant mother:

The complication, which occurred when amniotic fluid was pushed into the woman’s bloodstream, can occur during or after abortions, natural deliveries or Caesarean sections.

This isn’t true. According to Medscape, WebMD’s resource for physicians, in a “Medicolegal Pitfalls” piece:

Failure to consider the diagnosis during legal abortion is a pitfall. A review of the literature indicates that most case reports of AFE have occurred during late second-trimester abortions.

article-0-1713F219000005DC-406_634x422-e1360545369691Warren Hern, one of four late-term abortionists, along with Morbelli’s abortionist LeRoy Carhart, featured in the pro-abortion documentary After Tiller (pictured together right) agrees:

… amniotic fluid embolism is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in late abortion….

Hern wrote that in an article published in Gynecology and Obstetrics.

Back to Medscape:

Failure to respond emergently is a pitfall. AFE is a clinical diagnosis. Steps must be taken to stabilize the patient as soon as symptoms manifest.

At 33 weeks’ gestation Morbelli was only three to four weeks from being considered full-term. Had she delivered her baby in a hospital, she would still have been in the hospital 16 hours later. Signs and symptoms of trouble would have been picked up much before the situation erupted into an emergency.

Furthermore, there was no physician on hand to provide contiguous care to Morbelli. Carhart sent Morbelli back to her hotel room and left the state right after the abortion. And he left no doctor on call who knew Morbelli’s history. Precious hours elapsed due to Carhart’s negligence.

[Top photo via lohud.com]

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