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Mom, 22, Sues Over Failed Abortion After Giving Birth to a "Miracle" Baby Daughter

Update Date: Apr 02, 2013 02:39 PM EDT
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An Ohio woman is suing an abortion clinic after it failed to terminate her pregnancy.

The 22-year-old mother-of-two said that she had made the painful decision to end her pregnancy because her life was in danger.  Doctors had originally warned Ariel Knights and her fiancé that a medical condition Knights suffers meant her life was at serious risk if she kept her baby. 

She had undergone the abortion procedure 2012 at a northeast Ohio clinic, only to discover that she was still pregnant after the procedure.  In a court filing, Knights claims that the doctors at the Akron Women's Medical Group were negligent and failed to successfully terminate her pregnancy, which eventually lead to the birth of her healthy baby daughter.

Knights said she had agonized over the decision, but because she had a preschool aged son and a fiancé to think about, she did what she felt like she needed to do and called the Akron Women's Medical Group to set an appointment for the abortion in March 2012.

"It was a decision I made because my life was in danger," she told the Beacon Journal. "I was put in jeopardy."

Knights said on the morning of her March 3, 2012 appointment, she and the other women at the clinic were being herded into the clinic's waiting room like cattle.

"Every seat was full. People were standing," Knights said. "It was pretty much like a slaughterhouse; it was like OK, next, next."

She said that when her name was called she walked into a cramped room, hopped onto a table as the doctor instructed and positioned her lower body over a trash bad.  Later, when the doctor was finished, Knights, still faint from the sedation, was handed her belongings and shown out the door.

"(The doctor) said, 'All right, everything's good and clear, everything went well,'" she said.

It wasn't until days later when she was rushed to the ER because she was in severe pain, did she find out that she was still pregnant.

"The look on (the doctor's) face when he found out, he was like, 'Oh my goodness, honey, you're still pregnant,'" she told the Beacon Journal. "My fiancé and I, we both were kind of in shock."

Afterwards, she called the Akron abortion clinic.  She was told that she could visit their Cleveland-area office but she declined.  According to the lawsuit, she then called another clinic, but staff their said they would not treat her for "somebody else's mistake".

Knights and her fiancé then decided to go ahead with the pregnancy.  Because she suffered uterine didelphys, a genetic condition which results in a double uterus with individual cervices, she said she spend the rest of her pregnancy in a state of constant fear. She had learned of her condition was she was carrying her son, but because he was carried in her left uterus, which doctors said was healthy enough to hold a baby to near full-term, she had gone ahead with his delivery. However, when she was pregnant with her second child, doctors said the fetus was located in her weaker right uterus.  She said the fear that her right uterus would fail never left her during her second pregnancy.

"I can't explain how I felt. It was just a sense of being overwhelmed, wondering what happened to the baby, wondering what's happening to me and what did (the clinic) think they did," she said. "It was just constant stress."

She says she considers her daughter her "miracle baby" and that she does not like to think of what would have happened had doctors successfully terminated her pregnancy.

"That's a sore subject to think about," she told the Journal. "I mean, it's just hard, thinking she's here and thinking, if they would have done their job... It's just something I don't like to think about."

She is now seeking unspecified damages of at least $25,000 for pain, suffering and emotional distress she claims the failed abortion has caused her.

The Akron Women's Medical Group is, however, denying any negligence and is seeking to have the case dismissed.

"I believe my client absolutely met the standard of care and that this case has no basis to be in litigation," D. Cheryl Atwell, an attorney who represents the medical group and the doctors, said Monday, according to Fox News.

Lawyers on both sides are still exchanging medical records and Atwell has declined to comment further.

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