A British Columbia woman has gone public with the story of her January abortion, claming that she was not told of the state of development of her unborn child.  The 25-year-old single mother of two believed herself to be 10 weeks pregnant at the time of her abortion at the Burnaby General Hospital.  She experienced severe cramping for two days after her release from hospital and at two o’clock in the morning went to the bathroom where she delivered “an arm…from the shoulder all the way down…a whole hand, fingers and all.”  Thoroughly traumatized, the woman returned to bed, but the cramping persisted.  At 6 a.m., she returned to the bathroom and pushed out…a part of a head which still had an eye and was partly developed.”

The woman stated in a TV interview, “I believed I was getting rid of something the size of my fingernail…I didn’t believe that I had something inside me that had arms and fingers and eyes.”

The abortionist Dr. Nelson Savein, said that the woman was 14 weeks pregnant, and not 10 weeks as she believed.  He told television reporters that, “a tissue hemorrhage in a late abortion is not an uncommon occurrence.”  The patient, he said, “was informed that I may not be able to remove all the tissue and that a second abortion may be necessary.”  According to Dr. Savein the woman accepted this risk.  The young woman maintains that she never realized that the “tissue” that Dr. Savein referred to was “whole arms and whole heads.”

After an initial investigation the Regional Coroner decided that the case was outside the jurisdiction of that office as, “a death had not occurred.”  The Burnaby General Hospital promised to launch an internal investigation into the case, but added that the results would not be made public.  Hospital spokesmen referred to Dr. Savein as a “respected practitioner.”  Dr. Savein is the only physician to have volunteered his services for the illegal abortion clinic being proposed by Vancouver’s Concerned Citizens for Choice on Abortion, a group headed by his wife.