Senior Fellow Peter Sprigg represented FRC today at a Maryland Coalition for Life (MDCFL) press conference in Germantown, Maryland where it was announced that a 29 year-old woman was pronounced dead at a Germantown hospital as a direct result of complications from a 3rd trimester abortion.

The abortion was performed by Dr. LeRoy Carhart. Carhart, former associate of late-term abortionist George Tiller, was recently hailed a “hero” in the film “After Tiller” at the Sundance Film Festival. Carhart was the abortionist who performed a late-term abortion on a young woman with Downs Syndrome who died following complications from that abortion in 2005 at Women’s Heath Care Services in Wichita, KS.

The young woman who died Thursday was approximately 33 weeks pregnant and came to see Carhart for an abortion procedure that lasted four days and ended in her death from apparent blood loss and shock, according to MDCFL.

Another botched abortion at an Elkton, Maryland resulted in a woman suffering from a ruptured uterus and the discovery of three dozen late-term aborted fetuses in the clinic freezer. This led Maryland, one of the most abortion-friendly states in the country, to quietly enact stricter abortion facility regulations in July, 2012. Those regulations require licensure of facilities and basically mirror regulations that govern outpatient surgical facilities.

MDCFL has learned that while Carhart’s facility was recently licensed by the state, no actual inspection took place prior to that licensure to guarantee that the facility conformed to the new MD regulations. This senseless tragedy should serve as a wake-up call to abortion supporters who continually insist that abortion is “health-care” and is safe for women.

As we have seen over and over again in states like Pennsylvania, Arizona, Marylandand Kansas, abortion facilities and procedures remain unsanitary and unsafe. Late-term abortions are particularly dangerous. Late term abortion complications include, but are not limited to pain, bleeding, shock, infection and instrumental injury, according to S.V. Gaufburg, professor of medicine at Harvard University.

U.S. mortality rates per 100,000 abortions are 14.0 for procedures at 16-20 weeks of gestation and 18.0 for procedures after 21 weeks of gestation, according to Gaufberg. A Bartlett study conducted during the years of 1988-1997 paints an even more dire picture. Specifically, it found that per 100,000 abortions, the relative risk of abortion-related mortality was 14.7 at 13–15 weeks of gestation, 29.5 at 16-20 weeks, and 76.6 at or after 21 weeks.

The death of the young Maryland woman could have been prevented had abortion been more tightly regulated in her home state. In light of this tragedy, Maryland should consider a total ban on late-term abortions in order to better protect women and families.

Maryland, a staunchly pro-abortion state, is not likely to re-think those laws anytime soon, according to LeRoy Carhart, who said in a 2011 interview, “[I] don't think the laws here will change. Maryland is one of the most pro-choice communities in the country.” It is time for Maryland to prove Carhart wrong by putting the safety and dignity of its citizens first and outlawing these dangerous procedures.