Ali’s Saturday *Warning*

*I am providing a short forewarning about the next story for those who do not want to read further. It’s a tragic story involving abortion. Because I know my blog readers personally vary across both ends of the abortion spectrum and also because I was not witness to the events, I will only tell the story as it was told to me. I was not going to share it at first, because if done for only shock value then I’d be merely sensational. I think people from both sides of the abortion issue and in between can take something away from this for their perspective and yet see other dimensions about other perspectives with which they disagree. It stunned me when Ali told me.*


Ali asked about my weekend, and I told him about the fun things I did. He did not report the same. On Saturday, he was called into the hospital to help care for a woman who had an incompletely performed abortion. She had gone to a questionable doctor who performed the abortion but incompletely without telling her. She had signs of sepsis (basically a body-wide infection stemming from the unsanitary performance of her abortion) and vaginal bleeding when she was admitted. As part of the examination, Ali used the Doppler to examine the fetal heart tones which he found in the *normal* range. The abortion had not caused frank fetal death. However, the woman had evident crude mechanical rupture of membranes meaning she was not going to be able to continue the pregnancy, even if she wanted to. Additionally, fetal gestational age was at 20 weeks. So there is a woman 20 weeks pregnant with life-threatening septic infection, bleeding, an unsanitary, incomplete abortion, and fetal life that is non-viable given the scenario. Neo-natal hospital units in a resource-rich setting such as in the US could care/incubate a neonate baby with some chance of survival at 22 weeks at the earliest, but Ali said it is considered to be 28 weeks here. The woman was induced to deliver and then started on IV antibiotics to try to help stem the septic infection threatening her life. Her current status – physical, mental, emotional – I do not know.


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