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Abortion doctor didn't violate law, court rules

Published Aug. 27, 2005

A doctor didn't violate federal law when he had a woman restrained during an unsuccessful abortion, even though she demanded that he stop the procedure and let her leave, a federal appeals court panel has ruled.

A panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta upheld a lower court's summary judgment dismissing the 1997 lawsuit against Dr. William Egherman, the Aware Woman Center for Choice in Melbourne and its former owners, Patricia and Ed Windle.

The woman claimed that when she went to the clinic in March 1997 for an abortion she experienced pain in her stomach. She demanded that Egherman stop the procedure and said she wanted to leave but was held down while the doctor continued, she claimed.

Egherman and clinic officials argued that the woman was restrained to save her life so she could be medically stabilized and taken to a hospital by ambulance because of complications that arose during the abortion.

The woman was eventually taken by ambulance to a hospital emergency room. After the fetus was removed, she underwent surgery to repair a perforated uterus and a colon laceration.

_ Wire reports