After a botched abortion procedure, a West Virginia woman is suing her doctor for malpractice and wants to make other women aware of the dangers within the health clinic.
According to 26-year-old Itai Gravely, she had been going to the Women’s Health Center of West Virginia in Charleston for some time for birth control medication. When she became unexpectedly pregnant, Gravely said she was persuaded to have an abortion.
During the procedure, however, Gravely told her doctor, Rodney Stephens, to stop because of severe abdominal pains. Instead, Stephens instructed other employees to physically restrain her while he completed the procedure.
"When a patient tells the doctor 'stop' and the doctor continues, that's egregious," said Jeremy Dys, president of Family Policy Council of West Virginia, which is the group representing Gravely. "She has revoked her informed consent. They did not regain her informed consent, and they proceeded with the procedure anyway with her physically restrained on the table. That's unacceptable."
After the procedure, the lawsuit alleges that Stephens never checked up on Gravely, but rather had her escorted out of the building through a back door by her father and cousin. The next day, Gravely’s pain still had not subsided. She called the clinic, but because she was unable to drive herself there, an ambulance took her to a Charleston hospital.
At the hospital, Gravely received the haunting news that the fetus’ head was left inside her uterus, according to Dys. The fetus was nearing the end of the first trimester, and so was between 2 and 3 inches long.
"Tia's greatest concern is for other women who, like she was, are completely unaware of what goes on inside of Women's Health Center of West Virginia," Dys said. "Her motivation is that other women aren't harmed."