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.
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.
- Germantown and the Abortion Debate
- An Interview with Dr. LeRoy Carhart
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.