Medical Examiner's Office: Woman Died of Abortion-Related Complications

Jennifer McKenna Morbelli visited Germantown abortion clinic.

An elementary school teacher from New York state died from abortion-related complications, a spokesman for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Thursday.

Jennifer McKenna Morbelli, 29, of New Rochelle, NY, died Feb. 7 at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville, days after she had an abortion at Germantown Reproductive Health Services.

The manner of Morbelli’s death was “natural," Bruce Goldfarb, a spokesman for the chief medical examiner's office, told Patch.

“Disseminated intravascular coagulation” and  “amniotic fluid embolism” were listed as causes of death on the death certificate, Goldfarb said.

Amniotic fluid embolism is when amniotic fluid escapes into the blood stream.

“It’s very rare, very serious,” Goldfarb said.

Disseminated intravascular coagulation is a bleeding condition in which the mechanism that controls blood clotting becomes overactive, eventually exhausting the body’s blood-clotting ability, Goldfarb said.

“You’re basically left with blood that won’t clot,” he said.

Morbelli was buried with the baby she was carrying, named Madison, at a cemetery in Rye, NY, Newsday reported, citing an obituary.

Click here to read the Newsday article.

Anti-abortion protesters have blamed Dr. LeRoy Carhart for Morbelli's death. Opponents held protests outside the clinic.

Carhart is one of the few doctors in the country to openly perform late-term abortions. Abortion opponents and several news outlets have reported that Morbelli was 33-weeks pregnant.

Goldfarb was unable to confirm how long Morbelli had been carrying the baby.

“The autopsy report hasn’t been released yet,” Goldfarb said.

Montgomery County police are investigating the death, and were awaiting the full autopsy results, said Officer Rebecca Innocenti, a county police spokeswoman.


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Editor's Note: This story has been updated since it was orginally published on Thursday, Feb. 21. The headline to this story was corrected Friday, Feb. 22. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined the woman's death was due to abortion-related complications. 

Kay February 23, 2013 at 11:10 PM
I deleted my original post, because contrary to popular opinion, I do have a heart and I wouldnt want the family to be hurt any further! I just have a very sore spot when it comes to the word abortion in any form! I lost a son that I loved dearly and I would have given my life for him if it would have saved his. I wanted to give my son every chance possible to live. I understand I cant decide for everyone, but it was the right decision for me, the only decision for me. I am not cold, I am not heartless and I do have sympathy for the family. I dont wish to cause anyone else pain, since I know first hand how that feels. So everyone can pull back the lynch mob!
John Naughton February 24, 2013 at 05:41 PM
Joe, So "fly by" abortions are OK no matter the condition the woman is left in? Honorable physicians don't do "fly by" procedures. If they have to leave, they have a doctor cover for them. Are you sure you don't have an agenda that cares nothing about the woman being aborted? The vast majority of people want women to receive good care even in abortions but many of the pro abortion people don't even want women to know about the medical and psychological risks of abortion as they try to kill all legislative efforts to make sure women are informed of abortion risks.. Out of the back alley to safe and legal abortions. Isn't that the reason abortions throughout pregnancy for any reason were legalized. But the pro abortion people want to keep women in the dark back alley.
Kay February 24, 2013 at 06:19 PM
I just think if its going to be legal, then yes, it shouldn't be any more dangerous than any other high risk medical procedure! That's the reasoning of making it legal, so it would be safe! That doctor was negligent!!!
John Naughton February 24, 2013 at 09:06 PM
Kay, There are many abortionists who care nothing for women as patients, all they care about is the money they make from abortions. It is a dirty business. Google "Abortuary Digest" for a sampling. Killing doesn't attract the better people. When they realize what they are doing and how they are mistreating women people with a conscience leave the abortion business. .
Kay February 24, 2013 at 09:11 PM
John you are preaching to the choir here!!! I hate abortion.
patricia February 25, 2013 at 12:49 PM
When people who are pro-abortion can't come up with any other excuse. They used to say it was just a clump of cells, it wasn't a human being. But now that medical science with the help of sonograms and debunked that line of crap, now they say it's a woman's reproductive right to kill a child for any reason at any time. I always wondered what excuse is given in the case that the child is a female. Who protects her reproductive rights?
Deborah Coleman February 25, 2013 at 01:45 PM
Isn't 33 weeks almost full-term? Why would you choose to have an abortion at that late stage? Her doctor didn't know early in her pregnancy there would have been a problem if she carried to full-term?
Kay February 25, 2013 at 02:36 PM
40 weeks is full term. I knew at between 14 and 16 weeks (and I live in a small town). Not much of a doctor if he didn't know sooner than 33 weeks!
Dori February 25, 2013 at 07:24 PM
This article leaves out a lot of pertinent facts. First, this baby was wanted by the couple; they had set up a baby gift registry. You don't do that if you don't WANT the child, or are even THINKING of an abortion! A serious issue obviously arose-- maybe the child had a serious disability, or the pregnancy itself caused complications that were life-threatening. Kay, it's not always possible to know of a fetus' disability at an early stage in the pregnancy. Not all disabilities are genetic or chromosomal, which are really the only ones that can be detected during the first trimester. If the heart or brain is malformed, for example, that can only be detected when the fetus is large enough for a sonogram to find more than a couple of lines on a monitor. This, or a threat to the life or health of the mother, are the reason for almost EVERY late-term abortion. Second, the condition given as the cause of death, amniotic fluid embolism, while quite rare, is not unique to women who have abortions. It also happens in otherwise uneventful, full-term pregnancies. So yes, it WAS a natural cause of death. NOBODY is "pro-abortion." I am pro-CHOICE. It's nobody's right to make that decision for someone else. I'm 61 and remember the days of back-alley abortions. The only thing to do is to extend your sympathy to the family. This young couple had a sad decision to make about a child they had wanted, and the husband and family do NOT deserve to be harassed or condemned.
Kay February 25, 2013 at 07:38 PM
I'm not trying to harass. I'm sorry if it seems. I'm sure, just knowing my grief at losing my son, it's already unbearable! I'm not commenting on anything else said on here. Never my intentions to hurt anyone. Like I said in an earlier post, I don't assume I can make the decision for anyone but myself in these situations.
Dori February 25, 2013 at 09:41 PM
Kay, I'm genuinely sorry for your loss. It seems to me, however, that you're projecting your feelings onto the decision of others. You stated before my comment that the doctor was a poor obstetrician if he didn't know anything was wrong before 33 weeks-- I don't know what medical conditions prompted the abortion, but I do know that it's certainly possible that everything seemed fine until the fetus reached a certain size. Dr. Carhart has an EXCELLENT reputation. John Naughton's characterization of him is 100% WRONG. I have a young adult daughter who is mentally challenged. As a loving, caring mother of someone who will always be a mental 6- or 7-year old, I can tell you that I would never wish the experience on ANYBODY. If I knew someone who found out late in pregnancy that their child would be disabled, I would offer my full emotional and moral support to the woman regardless of her decision to abort or not. But personally, privately, I would hope that the woman would opt for a late-term abortion, because I KNOW what that family and the child will live with. I suspect that this is the decision that this couple had to make, and abortion was likely the more merciful choice. Nobody could have foreseen the mother's death, and the condition that killed her had no bearing on whether the pregnancy was terminated or not. The doctor was NOT negligent. Again, I'm deeply sorry for your loss. However, I think it's led you to be rather judgemental about the decisions of others.
John Naughton February 25, 2013 at 11:40 PM
Dori, Thank you for your comments. Everyone involved needs prayers, especially abortionist Carhart. You say Carhart has an "EXCELLENT" reputation ... Abortionist Carhart does not have an "excellent" reputation, he has a terrible reputation. In Nebraska he was reprimanded by the health department and he is under criminal investigation. In Kansas in 18 months ten women were rushed to the hospital from his abortuary and one woman died.. In Maryland he lied on his application for his medical license and he is under criminal investigation for illegal dumping. You say you would urge killing of a preborn baby who is mentally disabled ... But you or no one has the right to kill another human being. Did you say you would have killed your own daughter? How cruel! You say Abortionist Carhart was not negligent ... I say he was for leaving Maryland before he knew Jennifer was OK. He should have stayed here until he made sure Jennifer was at least being treated for her condition brought on by her abortion. That is a requirement of a doctor but he is an abortionist
John Naughton February 25, 2013 at 11:49 PM
Dori, You say maybe the pregnancy was causing a life threatening situation ... If that were the case, why in the world would a woman leave NY to come to Maryland to be aborted by Carhart. A person in their right mind would stay in NY for medical treatment to birth the baby. This ridiculous statement is based on pro abortion logic which never makes any sense.
John Naughton February 26, 2013 at 12:04 AM
Dori, You say, "If the heart or brain is malformed, for example, that can only be detected when the fetus is large enough for a sonogram to find more than a couple of lines on a monitor. This, or a threat to the life or health of the mother, are the reason for almost EVERY late-term abortion." Actually, a sonogram is routinely performed around sixteen weeks gestation. At this times abnormalities are detected, particularly heart and brain abnormalities.The baby is small at this time. Fetal surgery has progressed in many areas since the 1970's. For example, fetal surgery between 19 and 26 weeks gestation is the standard-of-care for spina bifida over postnatal surgery. Pediatric surgeons are working on diagnosing fetal heart abnormalities as early as 12 weeks gestation. This not the reason for late term abortions, certainly not at 33-weks gestation. Some 80 women and their babies have been saved from Abortionist Carhart by counselors offering them help. They have delivered normal healthy babies, showing that many normal babies have been killed by Carhart.
John Naughton February 26, 2013 at 12:21 AM
Dori, You say: NOBODY is "pro-abortion." I am pro-CHOICE. It's nobody's right to make that decision for someone else. I'm 61 and remember the days of back-alley abortions. There is no difference between pro-choice and pro-abortion: the result is a dead baby and it feels the same to the baby being aborted. Yes, it is everyone's duty to protect human life - all human life in whatever condition. If God's command is not observed humanity descends into barbarism. Abortions are still "back alley" because the people who do them are hired killers, who care nothing for the women they abort, only the money they make from the killing. Google "Abortuary Digest" and read some of the issues to get a feel for the low life doing abortions.
Zurie House February 26, 2013 at 03:55 AM
NY does not allow late term abortions for fetal abnormalities, John. Maybe you should do some research before saying something so ignorant.
Nic P February 26, 2013 at 07:22 PM
John, Let's be honest, your use of the word 'counselor' is generous. They are far more likened to bullies who are willing to use any tactic to scare women. Hardly Christ-like. I'll be honest, every time I pass by Dr. Carhart's office and see you guys out there with your signs and posters, I think to myself that you are all doing a much better job at showcasing where his office is than Google Maps.
John Naughton February 26, 2013 at 07:26 PM
Zurie, Nice to hear from you. I answered Dori's assertion that Jennifer came to Maryland to abort because the baby was causing a "life threatening" situation. Here is the comment: Dori, You say maybe the pregnancy was causing a life threatening situation ... If that were the case, why in the world would a woman leave NY to come to Maryland to be aborted by Carhart. A person in their right mind would stay in NY for medical treatment to birth the baby. This ridiculous statement is based on pro abortion logic which never makes any sense. Note: I did NOT say Jennifer should stay in NY to abort Madison. Have a good day.
John Naughton February 26, 2013 at 07:51 PM
Nic P, Nice to hear from you. Let's be honest,how many times have you encountered "bullies" offering help and information about where women going for abortions,who feel so alone and hopeless, can get help ? Let's be honest, how many times have you seen those "bullies" shoving crying women into abortuaries. Happy to hear the people outside Carhart killing chamber are better than Google maps but let's be honest, the women already going there know where the killing takes place. Let's be honest, those people with the signs are not there trying to hide Carhart's killing chamber: let's be honest, those people are out there to remind people like you of the terrible atrocities that take place in Carhart's abortuaries. Let's be honest, those "bullies" have saved over 75 women and their babies from, Carhart, the abortionist. Let's be honest, those women were having normal pregnancies with, let's be honest, perfect babies and let's be honest, those women are delighted they didn't kill their babies and avoided all the abortion risks: breast cancer, suicide, early death, depression, preterm birth in subsequent pregnancies, etc, etc.,etc. Nic P, thank you for being honest with me.
Nic P February 27, 2013 at 12:25 PM
Hi John, What qualifications do these counselors have? Honestly. They give information to vulnerable women as if its a medical certainty. Information based on opinion, not fact. Abortions causing breast cancer is simply a hypothesis and has no medical merit. In fact, the studies that found a correlation conducted by conservative groups were found to be a response bias. However, your 'counselors' provide this false information. Hardly honest. Listen John, if you disagree with abortion - then don't get one. Honestly, Nic
John Naughton February 27, 2013 at 11:40 PM
Nic, I hope sometime soon you will get your head out of the NARAL and Planned Parenthood propaganda and get some correct info about abortion risks. Here is a link to a NARAL video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tpya05pQGAQ They make it sound like having an abortion has the same risks as brushing your teeth. Here are the stories of three women who died from abortions: Alexandra Nunez RIP 01/25/10 prior to the NARAL video is at: http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/3502013122.html Tonya Reeves RIP 07/20/12 is at: http://www.operationrescue.org/archives/autopsy-reveals-planned-parenthoods-negligence-resonsible-for-reaves-death/ Jennifer Morbelli RIP 02/07/13 is at: http://www.lohud.com/article/20130226/NEWS02/302260060/Operation-Rescue-Prosecute-abortion-doctor-after-Jennifer-Morbelli-s-death These are not opinions they buried now. Abortion risks include: 1. Medical, 2. Psychological, 3. Relationship 4. Progeny 5. Incompetent Abortionists, 6. Uncaring Abortionists I’ll expand on each of these in subsequent comments and include professional citations. Meantime you might want to put away the sophomoric comments (e.g. “don’t have an abortion”), if you want the truth about abortion risks.
Nic P February 28, 2013 at 12:53 AM
Hi John, I'd simply settle for the truth about your counselors... I have no desire to go through <i>your</i> right-wing, conservative, anti-choice propaganda. ChristianNewsWire and OperationRescue, really? And there's no bias there, huh? Kindly, Nic
John Naughton February 28, 2013 at 01:48 AM
Aw c'mom Nic, learn a little. Honestly,I still have hope for you even if you think the bodies of aborted women are propaganda, The counselors go through some training on how to approach women but basically they are just good people offering help to women in difficult situations.
Kay February 28, 2013 at 02:03 AM
I hate abortion with a passion, and given a better forum I would join the argument but I have decided this isnt the place to do it. Posting on this particular article can only add salt to the wound of already broken hearts, should they read this. I dont want to say anything that could appear to be directed to this particular woman, and taken out of context... There is a place and time to do it and earlier I posted things that were taken as hurtful to this woman and family and I dont want that. I pray for the family that lost this dear teacher and this little baby. I pray for their peace.
John Naughton March 01, 2013 at 12:39 AM
Nicole, Canadian medical researcher Brent Rooney, who specializes in preterm birth risks, tells us there are now 161 statistically significant medical studies dating back to the 1960’s from over 25 different countries finding that prior induced abortions increase the risk of preterm births and/or low-birth-weight newborns. He also advises that prior induced abortions raise the risk of extremely preterm newborns (less than 28 weeks gestation). Giving yet more credibility to these studies are reviews published in the medical literature of the studies themselves showing that the risk of abortions on subsequent pregnancies is very real. These findings by all these medical researchers contradicts the false claim by NARAL that abortions are completely safe and without medical risk. The preterm birth risk of induced abortion is acknowledged by these prestigious institutions: Institute of Medicine, Bloomberg School of Medicine at Johns Hopkins, and the Mayo Clinic. The risk is dose response, i.e. the more induced abortions the greater the risk. The repeat abortion rate in MD is very high, at least 70%. There is also evidence the later the abortion the higher the risk. To be con't
John Naughton March 01, 2013 at 12:44 AM
Preterm birth can be harmful to the baby. It can result in mental impairment, autism, cerebral palsy and epilepsy. In addition, there are other undesirable effects as shown in the new study which Mr. Rooney sends for information. The URL is: http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1171951 and the results paragraph from the study is below. One of the findings is that babies born at less than 32 weeks gestation are 7.4 times more likely to have bipolar disorder. Results: Preterm birth was significantly associated with increased risk of psychiatric hospitalization in adulthood (defined as >16 years of age) in a monotonic manner across a range of psychiatric disorders. Compared with term births (37-41 weeks), those born at 32 to 36 weeks’ gestation were 1.6 (95% CI, 1.1-2.3) times more likely to have non affective psychosis, 1.3 (95% CI, 1.1-1.7) times more likely to have depressive disorder, and 2.7 (95% CI, 1.6-4.5) times more likely to have bipolar affective disorder. Those born at less than 32 weeks’ gestation were 2.5 (95% CI, 1.0-6.0) times more likely to have non affective psychosis, 2.9 (95% CI, 1.8-4.6) times more likely to have depressive disorder, and 7.4 (95% CI, 2.7- 20.6) times more likely to have bipolar affective disorder. (Note: CI = confidence interval.) That induced abortion raises the preterm birth risk in subsequent pregnancies is settled science and caring for the resulting impaired is extremely costly. To be con't
John Naughton March 01, 2013 at 12:49 AM
Nicole, would you like a list of the 161 studies showing that induced abortion raises the risk of preterm birth in subsequent pregnancies which can be devastating to the baby?
John Naughton March 02, 2013 at 06:33 PM
Abortion and Breast Cancer -- There are three reasons for an increased risk of breast cancer from abortion the first two are: 1) the loss of the protective effect of a full-term pregnancy and 2) abortion interrupts the body's preparation for lactation, leaving immature breast lobules injured by excess estrogen and subject to cancer. The September 2002 study by the eminent John M. Thorp, Jr., MD, et al, “Long-term Physical and Psychological Health Consequences of Induced Abortion: A Review of the Evidence”, at: (http://www.ncrtl.org/images/concept/evidencereview.pdf ) helps clarify and quantify the breast cancer risk: "We would argue that given the undisputed protective effect of a full-term delivery early in one’s reproductive life on subsequent breast cancer development that a young woman facing an unwanted or crisis pregnancy can and should be informed of the loss of that protection that would derive from a decision to terminate her pregnancy and delay having a baby. "To illustrate, ... the Gail Equation [is used] to predict five-year and lifetime risk of breast carcinoma for an 18-year-old woman with an unintended or crisis pregnancy. The Gail model is considered the best available measure for estimating an individual woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. It was used to calculate risk estimates for the National Cancer Institute’s breast cancer chemoprevention trial and is specifically designed to be useful in decision making by women. to be con't
John Naughton March 02, 2013 at 06:37 PM
Breast Cancer -- 2 "In the first scenario, she decides to terminate and then has her first term delivery at age 32, where in the second she has a live-born infant. We then assess her individual risk at age 50 when the risk of breast cancer begins to peak. For both black and white women her decision at age 18 and subsequent reproductive choices can almost double her five-year and lifetime risk of breast neoplasia at age 50. "... the 'loss of protection' effect is most pronounced in women under twenty years of age who elect to undergo abortion rather than continue their pregnancy. We believe at the present time that clinicians are obliged to inform pregnant women that a decision to abort her first pregnancy may almost double her lifetime risk of breast cancer through loss of the protective effect of a completed first full-term pregnancy earlier in life. "Additionally, we believe that women should be aware of the studies that support induced abortion as an independent risk factor for breast cancer, with the only quantitative analysis showing a small but statistically significant odds ratio of 1.3, while the other three reviews (which are non-quantitative) refute this. "Brind et al have clearly demonstrated the need for such studies by showing that despite the relatively low increase (30%) in risk they discovered, the high incidence of both breast cancer and induced abortion would ensure a substantial impact on women’s health if their conclusions are correct."
John Naughton March 02, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Breast Cancer -- 3 Dr. Thorpe tells us that abortion is a factor in breast cancer and the discussion among clinicians is not whether abortion is a breast cancer risk but how large is the risk. One especially disturbing study for the National Cancer Institute done by Dr. Janet Daling and colleagues at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in 1994. Dr. Daling, an abortion supporter, found that “among women who had been pregnant at least once, the risk of breast cancer in those who had experienced an induced abortion was 50% higher than among other women.” Daling’s team found that teenagers under age 18 and women over 29 years of age who abort increase their breast cancer risk by more than 100%. Those with a family history of BC increase their risk 80%. Daling’s most alarming finding was teenagers with a family history of BC who abort face an infinite risk. All 12 women in her study with this history were diagnosed with breast cancer by the age of 45. [Janet R. Daling et al., “Risk of Breast Cancer Among Young Women: Relationship to Induced Abortion,” 86 Journal of the National Cancer Institute; (1994);1584] The abortion breast cancer risk is not news to honest cancer researchers. As you can see the degree of risk is dependent on a number of factors but the risk is real. You may wish to consider advising family members of the risk. . There is yet another way that abortion indirectly increases a woman's breast cancer risk. To be con't


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