Women who have died: Marla

My daughter, Marla, was only 18 years-old when she reluctantly decided to have an abortion at a prestigious women's hospital. Originally, she had planned to put her baby up for adoption, but a medical-social worker at the hospital strongly urged Marla to have an abortion. The social worker argued that Marla had damaged her baby because of anti-depressant medication she had taken.

Although statistical evidence indicated a 92% chance that the baby was fine, Marla had a sonogram to determine the health of her baby. After having the sonogram, that same social worker continued pressuring Marla to have an abortion. Finally, Marla gave in and decided to have the abortion. On the day of Marla's abortion, fears began to overwhelm me. I was worried for Marla's safety even though this was a leading women's hospital. Surely she was in the safest place possible. But I had no peace. My grandchild was about to die.

At about 1:00 PM that afternoon, a nurse walked Marla to an exam room where they inserted lamineria into her cervix and did the "instillation of urea" to induce the abortion. At 11:00 PM, the abortion had still not been completed. I wanted to stay with Marla, but she insisted that I go home because it was getting so late. I kissed her goodnight, saying "I love you...see you in the morning." That was the last time I saw her alive. At 9:15 the next morning, I received a call from the intensive care unit (ICU).

The nurse said, "Something went wrong. It's very serious!" I raced to the hospital and rushed into the ICU. Twice, a doctor came out to ask me questions about Marla. Each time I asked to see her, but I was turned away. Then the room suddenly became filled with white coats. A doctor sat in front of me and held my hands. "My daughter is dead, isn't she?" I asked. He nodded his head, "Yes."

"No! No! This can't be!" My poor Marla. I couldn't believe this was happening. I lost my breath as I was overcome by terror and helpless disbelief. Like a dagger, the shocking news pierced my heart and my soul and almost sucked the life from my body. Finally, they allowed me to see Marla's body. When I entered the room, I could hardly believe what I saw.

There was my beautiful daughter so horribly disfigured that she was almost unrecognisable. A tube was still protruding from her mouth and I could see that her teeth and gums were covered with blood. Her eyes were half opened and the whites of her eyes were a dark yellow. Her face was swollen and discolored a deep purple. The left side of her face looked like she had suffered a stroke. All I wanted was to hold her. I managed to get an arm around her and kissed her good-bye.

How could this have happened to my Marla? The only way to find out the truth was through a lawsuit. I was determined not to allow Marla's death to become just another statistic. Ultimately, we discovered that Marla died from a botched abortion that caused her body to be invaded by a fast-acting blood infection called septicemia. It killed her within 24 hours.

We also learned that the hospital social worker never saw Marla's sonogram or discussed the results with her. Marla never saw the words on the sonogram report concerning her baby's condition which would have changed everything. They read: "No abnormalities detected." Had Marla been told this, she never would have had the abortion. I still look at Marla's senior portrait from high school and wonder, "Why?"

I look into her beautiful eyes and it just breaks my heart. It seems like only yesterday she was here smiling and laughing and full of life. Marla had such a kind and tender heart that she wanted to share with the world -- but that will be no more. Marla's life came to a screeching halt. It was so unexpected. We never, ever saw this coming. All of a sudden, she was gone, and she was only 18.

I've often wondered why "pro-choice" women's groups like the National Organization of Women (N.O.W.) and the A.C.L.U. have never expressed any sympathy or concern over Marla's death.Why aren't they demanding justice for this young dead "sister?" Why aren't they concerned that Marla was lied to about the condition of her baby and the fact that she was denied a true choice because she wasn't shown the sonogram results?

Why aren't they concerned that proper treatment was delayed an hour because Marla was misdiagnosed by a "resident" who was only two months out of medical school? Why are they so quiet? I believe it's because "pro-choice" groups like N.O.W., Planned Parenthood and the A.C.L.U. promote AND push for so-called "abortion rights" and it would hurt their cause if many women heard about Marla's tragic death.

They don't want women to read or hear about the many abortion injuries and deaths that victimise women across America each year. Bad publicity hurts their cause AND their friends in the abortion industry. That's why they prefer that Marla and her baby remain hidden statistics. Please help me make sure that my daughter and my grandchild are not forgotten.

Please help me make sure that Marla's story is told far and wide. Women need to be warned so that others won't die. With your help, we can save mothers and their babies You can make a difference. Abortion is a bad choice. Please help me spread the word. Thank you!

Sincerely, Deborah Cardamone (Marla's mother)