Clinic: Death not caused by abortion

March 13, 2013 at 5:08 PM
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BALTIMORE, March 13 (UPI) -- A Baltimore clinic where surgical abortions have been suspended says a woman died after a procedure because of underlying health problems.

Maryland earlier this year adopted regulations giving it greater authority to close abortion clinics. Associates in Ob/Gyn Care LLC is one of the first where the state has taken action, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Melissa Shachnovitz, the clinic administrator, provided the newspaper with a letter she sent to health authorities last week. It gives the clinic's version of the death of the unidentified woman.

Shachnovitz said the woman was an immigrant who apparently had not seen a doctor for years and probably did not know she suffered from cardiomyopathy, a potentially fatal heart condition. Shachnovitz said the woman's abortion went well but she began having breathing problems during recovery.

Health officials told the Legislature last week the clinic was temporarily banned from surgical abortions because investigators discovered the doctor who treated the woman was not certified in CPR and the clinic's defibrillator was not working. Shachnovitz said the doctor, who had allowed her certification to lapse, was qualified to perform CPR and did so successfully, allowing the patient to be transported to a hospital, where she died several days later.

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