(Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)
Pro-life activists are demanding legal action after the death of a 33-week pregnant woman who underwent pregnancy termination at an infamous abortion facility in Germantown, Md.
"It is so tragic that this family had to lose not only their nearly full-term child, but also their wife, daughter, and sister," said Michael Martelli, executive director of the Maryland Coalition for Life, at a memorial service on Monday. "What is most appalling is that the state of Maryland refused to hear the pleas of the community, and has allowed [Carhart] to butcher women and children."
Martelli, who has also spoken to The Christian Post about LeRoy Carhart's dangerous abortion practices in the past, was referring to the case of 29-year-old Jennifer McKenna-Morbelli, a teacher from New Rochelle, N.Y., who died on Feb. 7 after suffering massive internal bleeding into her abdominal cavity.
The Huffington Post revealed that four days before the incident, McKenna-Morbelli underwent a late-term abortion to terminate her 33-week pregnancy at Carhart's abortion clinic in Germantown, which Martelli has been campaigning for a number of years to shut down.
The case is currently being investigated both by the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the Montgomery County Police Department. But Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation, said that his organization is going ahead with legal action against Carhart.
"We will press for criminal charges in this case, in addition to Board discipline," Newman said. "We are dedicated to working through the legal system to ensure that no more women will suffer Jennifer's fate."
Pro-life activists are calling for the national spotlight to be placed on Carhart, who has been accused of causing a number of abortion-related deaths in the past.
Martelli called upon the Maryland State Legislature to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which can lead to a ban on late-term abortion unless the mother's life is at risk.
"We will not rest until this clinic is shut down and the license of LeRoy Carhart is revoked. God let it be so," added the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, during Monday's demonstration.
Maryland currently allows abortion in instances where the unborn baby develops a fetal abnormality. But if McKenna-Morbelli had attempted to carry out her abortion in New York, where she is from, she would not have been given permission to do so, since her life was not deemed to be in danger at the time.
Pro-choice activists, such as NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, expressed their condolences to the family of McKenna-Morbelli, but insisted that women should have the choice to act in accordance with their own individual circumstances.
"We are keeping a close eye on the details of this situation as they come to light, and, as always, our concern is first and foremost for the safety and health of women," Amber Banks, outreach and communications coordinator for NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, shared with the Post.
"The people who are pushing for laws to ban abortion after a certain point cannot possibly know the circumstances of every woman and her doctor who are making medical decisions about her pregnancy," Banks continued. "Every pregnancy is different, and we believe that every woman has the right to make her own medical decisions based on the unique circumstances in her life."
Robert Stacy McCain, a veteran journalist and conservative commentator, details a more specific account of the day McKenna-Morbelli lost her life on his website, noting that the woman is being laid to rest on Ash Wednesday. McCain notes that Carhart has been called "likely the most prominent abortionist in America."