SUMMARY: Jennifer McKenna-Morbelli, Age 29, died February 7, 2010 from an abortion performed by Leroy Carhart at Germantown Reproductive Health Services, Germantown, MDJennifer McKenna-Morbelli
Jennifer McKenna-Morbelli, age 29, and her husband, Timothy James “TJ” Morbelli, had eagerly anticipated the birth of their baby, named Madison Leigh. That joy ended at 31 weeks into the pregnancy when prenatal testing showed that Madison had a seizure disorder.
Only Jennifer’s family know if she was given the option of perinatal hospice, which provides supportive services to enable parents to make the most of every moment of the baby’s life after a tragic prenatal diagnosis. Sadly, this option is rarely presented to the shocked and bewildered parents, who are usually pushed toward a hasty abortion.
Two weeks after receiving the diagnosis, Jennifer, accompanied by her parents, husband, and sister traveled from New Rochelle, New York to a late-term abortion facility in Germantown, Maryland on Sunday, February 3, 2013. Madison was 33 weeks gestational age.
Germantown Reproductive Health Services is a National Abortion Federation member facility, which means that it supposedly provides only the best and safest care. However, it is operated by Dr. Leroy Carhart, who had already had a less than savory history and whose late term abortion clinic in Belleview, Nebraska, looks like a muffler shop and had employees coming forward reporting illegal and dangerous practices.
The prolifers who gather outside when Carhart is perpetrating abortions report seeing the woman arriving for her appointments on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, appearing “pale and weak.” Jennifer spent over nine hours at the facility on Wednesday. After she was discharged, Carhart and his wife left the state to work at another abortion facility.
According to Operation Rescue’s anonymous source, Jennifer started suffering chest pain early on Thursday morning. She was unsuccessful in her attempts to reach Carhart. Finally, at about 5:00 a.m. her family took her from the hotel to the emergency room. Hospital staff were unable to get in touch with Carhart either, though he eventually did return their calls.Tragic couple’s engagement photoJennifer was suffering from massive internal bleeding and coded six times as staff struggled to stabilize her. She finally died at around 9:30 a.m.
The medical examiner noted two injection marks on her abdomen, most likely from two attempts to inject digoxin or potassium chloride into the fetal heart to ensure that there would not be a live birth. The autopsy indicated that Jennifer died from disseminated intravascular coagulopathy caused by an amniotic fluid embolism — in other words, amniotic fluid and /or fetal tissue got into her blood stream and caused a cascading series of catastrophic problems including the inability of her blood to clot.
AFE is rare and difficult to predict, and what is known of Jennifer’s situation would make her case even more rare, since AFE typically strikes during or immediately after labor and delivery. Delayed onset of AFE is rare even in a rare subset of deaths.
Jennifer had graduated from New Rochelle High School and got her degree in elementary education at the University of Delaware and became a kindergarten teacher at Church Street Elementary School in White Plains, New York.
This is the second third-trimester abortion patient to die under Carhart’s care. The first was Christin Gilbert, who was being treated by Carhart at George Tiller’s Wichita abortion facility in 2004.
- autopsy report
- “Jennifer McKenna-Morbelli Death: Pro-Life Group Demands Justice After Abortion-Related Passing,” Huffington Post, Feb. 12, 2013
- “Authorities: Woman died from abortion complications,” USA Today, Feb. 21, 2013
- “Doctor won’t face charges,” White Plains Journal-News, May 14, 2013
- death certificate