Thursday, January 27, 2011

Don't Mess with a Mom

As the public mood changes [from pro-abortion to pro-life], some existing laws are now being enforced, thanks to people with determination. Eileen Smith is one of them: After her 22-year-old daughter Laura died in 2007 on the operating table of Rapin Osathanondh, an abortionist who was a research associate at the Harvard School of Public Health, Smith's lawyer told her that calls to the district attorney and medical examiner were probably futile. But the mother—who was living at her sister's house and falling asleep at her computer each night in her quest for justice—persisted.

Prosecutors eventually charged Osathanondh with manslaughter, alleging that he failed to monitor her while she was under anesthesia, delayed calling emergency services when her heart stopped, and later lied to try to cover up his actions. The state Board of Registration found that Osathanondh did not have any means of monitoring the heart of Smith, who was 13 weeks pregnant, and did not have oxygen or a functioning blood pressure cuff in the room. The Board also alleged that he "failed to adhere to basic cardiac life support protocol" and did not call an ambulance in a timely manner.

Laura Smith's father, Tom Smith, described how he and his wife adopted Laura after she was left in an orphanage in her native Honduras and later abused by an American couple. He said she sang in a choral group and was in demand to sing the national anthem at school ball games.

On Sept. 13, 2010, just as his trial was about to begin, and facing a potential prison term of 20 years, Osathanondh pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He received a sentence of six months in prison and a ban on ever again working as a doctor or teaching medicine. The plea bargain required him to pay the Smiths $1 million out of his own pocket along with the $1 million the insurance company paid out.

Eileen Smith had an opportunity in court to give a victim's impact statement. She turned to Osathanondh and said that she prayed he would turn to God's mercy so that he didn't have to fall on God's justice. Smith has become a national speaker on pro-life issues: Mothers who turned against abortion after hearing Laura's story sometimes send her pictures of their babies, which leads Smith to conclude that Laura "didn't die in vain. God is using her death to save babies, and that's a comfort to me, that justice continues to be done."

-from "Red Zone Defense," an excellent report on the pro-life situation in our country (and it's not all bad) in the January 29, 2011 issue of World Magazine.

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