Abortionist Pleads Guilty to Felony Negligent Homicide in Botched Abortion

Frank Franklin II/AP

An abortionist accepted a plea bargain Friday, admitting his guilt to Felony Negligent Homicide in the case of a botched abortion he performed in 2016 that led his patient to bleed to death.

Robert Rho of Lake Success, New York accepted a previously offered plea bargain and admitted his guilt, reports Operation Rescue, just moments before a Queens, New York jury would have announced its verdict in a three-week trial that centered on the death of Jamie Lee Morales, 30, who had sought a second trimester abortion.

Rho, 53, had been charged with manslaughter in the death of Morales. He had closed his clinic and surrendered his medical license following Morales’s death, but had been investigated before by state officials due to concerns about improper procedures and poorly trained staff.

As ABC News reports, Assistant District Attorney Brad Leventhal said Rho’s errors during the abortion procedure were beyond civil malpractice.

According to the report:

During the operation, Rho severed Morales’ uterine aorta, ripped her cervix and pierced her uterine wall. Profuse post-operative bleeding forced the doctor to perform another procedure, but that did not fix the damage, prosecutors said.

Rather than call an ambulance, prosecutors said, Rho sent Morales home with her sister, despite signs she was in grave condition, because he wanted to get back to seeing other patients.

Morales became unconscious while driving home with her sister. Following a 911 call, emergency responders took her to a hospital, where she later died.

“It’s about greed and arrogance,” Leventhal said. “Jaime Morales bled to death because this defendant did nothing.”

According to Operation Rescue, the plea agreement Rho was offered required him to admit his guilt in court. The report continues:

At first, he simply stated that he had lacerated the victim’s cervix, repaired in twice, then sent her home where she died unexpectedly.

That statement was insufficient to meet the terms of a confession.

Finally, under questioning from his defense attorney Jeff Lichtman, Rho admitted through clenched teeth that he killed Morales.

Rho is scheduled to surrender into custody on July 26 and can be sentenced to between 16 months and four years in prison.

Catherine Glenn Foster, President and CEO of Americans United for Life—the legal arm of the pro-life movement—said in a statement in response to the news of Rho’s decision to plead guilty:

While nothing will bring their daughter back, Americans United for Life is pleased that the family of Jamie Lee Morales received some measure of justice today when abortionist Robert Rho pled guilty to Felony Negligent Homicide in her death, moments before the jury would have announced their verdict. Robert Rho is not an anomaly, however; the truth is that the type of behavior described in the Rho trial—not following best medical practices, using untrained staff, failing to properly monitor vital signs, not maintaining a sterile environment, etc.—are all very common in abortion clinics across America.

“AUL’s groundbreaking Unsafe Report sought to shed a light on these dangerous practices, but in New York, where inspections are uncommon and regulations practically non-existent, abortionists are not exposed until someone has died,” Foster added. “True justice for Jamie would be ensuring that no other woman is exposed to these dangerous practices.”

President of Operation Rescue Troy Newman commented on the media blackout about the case.

“When a woman dies from a negligent abortion, it simply doesn’t fit the mainstream media’s pro-abortion agenda,” he noted. “It’s better for them to ignore it and act like it never happened. In a way, the media bears some responsibility for cases like this because they refuse to report on the true dangers of abortion.”


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