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Media Embargo Slowly Crumbling on Jennifer McKenna Morbelli’s Death

Posted on | February 12, 2013 | 97 Comments

Jennifer McKenna Morelli with her future husband in 2008

Jennifer Morbelli died last Thursday at Shady Grove Hospital in the Maryland suburbs of D.C. after undergoing a gruesome third-term abortion ordeal at Dr. LeRoy Carhart’s Germantown Reproductive Health clinic. A 29-year-old married kindergarten teacher in the affluent Westchester County suburbs of New York, Morbelli had actually named her unborn daughter Madison Leigh, but reportedly decided to seek an abortion in her 33rd week of pregnancy after prenatal testing diagnosed her baby as suffering from a disorder that causes seizures.

Both Morbelli and her daughter will be recognized at a funeral mass Wednesday — coincidentally, Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent – at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in New Rochelle.

Carhart has been called “likely the most prominent abortionist in America.” Carhart has been the plaintiff in two cases that reached the U.S. Supreme Court and was featured in a highly-praised documentary, After Tiller, about an abortionist who was assassinated in 2009.

Given these facts, ask yourself a question: How could any news editor look at the death of Jennifer Morbelli and say, “That”s not a story”?

This is not merely news, it’s got enough of a human-interest angle to deserve at least a two-hour network special or a magazine cover story.

Forget your opinion about the legal and political controversies involved and think about the basic journalistic news value of this story. Here is a profound human tragedy, a young woman who died in a heartbreaking circumstance which just happens to be a microcosm of a major national issue, and . . . that’s not a story? Turn in your press credentials, clean out your desk and find yourself another line of work.

This was why, last Friday, I called attention to the complete news blackout on the story: Jennifer Morbelli died in the Maryland suburbs of D.C., and yet neither the Washington Post nor the Baltimore Sun deemed it newsworthy? The illogic was glaring, and the Washington Post finally did a 350-word article inside the Metro section of Sunday’s paper. The media embargo crumbled further yesterday when the Journal News in Westchester County, N.Y., reported on the death of the local kindergarten teacher. And now the Washington Post has followed up with coverage of Monday’s press conference by pro-life activists:

The Maryland Office of Health Care Quality is investigating the death of a woman who visited a controversial abortion clinic in Germantown before dying last week at a local hospital.
More than 150 demonstrators gathered near the clinic Monday to step up their efforts to draw national attention to the case, asserting that the clinic’s leader, LeRoy Carhart, was directly responsible for the woman’s death and that she had come to his office for a multi-day abortion procedure when she was 33 weeks pregnant.
“We will not rest until this clinic is shut down and the license of LeRoy Carhart is revoked. God let it be so,” the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, said at the demonstration.
The circumstances leading to the woman’s death remained unclear Monday. State and county officials confirmed that she had visited the abortion clinic and that she died Thursday morning at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, but they offered no details.
Antiabortion demonstrators seized upon the incident to try to sway public opinion about late-term procedures. Many of their specific claims about the case could not be immediately verified. . . .

You can read the whole thing, and I could criticize how the reporter, Dan Morse, handled the story, making “antiabortion demonstrators” (rather than LeRoy Carhart or Jennifer Morbelli) the central characters of the narrative and insinuating that their version of events was unreliable. (As I pointed out Monday night, “If it weren’t for pro-life activists who keep constant vigil at this facility, we might not even know about Jennifer Morbelli’s painful death.”) But I’m not criticizing Morse, at least not at length, because at this point I really don’t care how much pro-abortion spin or liberal bias goes into mainstream media coverage of the story, just so long as they actually cover the story.

In the same spirit, therefore, let us applaud Roseann Moring and Robby Korth of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald for their coverage:

A New York woman’s death has put Bellevue abortion provider LeRoy Carhart back in the national spotlight.
Abortion opponents say a 29-year-old kindergarten teacher died Thursday after getting a late-term abortion at Carhart’s clinic in Germantown, Md.
Carhart did not return messages left on his cellphone Monday. A woman who answered the phone at his Bellevue clinic said he would not be available for comment.
Maryland authorities confirmed the woman’s death but said they still are investigating the cause. Montgomery County (Md.) Police and the Medical Examiner’s Office declined to say whether she had been at Carhart’s clinic.
So far, abortion opponents are the only ones who have publicly linked the death to Carhart’s clinic.
Carhart is one of the nation’s few doctors who perform late-term abortions. He had done so at Bellevue’s Abortion and Contraception Clinic until 2010, when the Nebraska Legislature banned abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation.
He then opened the Germantown Reproductive Health Services clinic about 30 miles north of Washington, D.C.
Carhart also considered opening a late-term abortion clinic in Council Bluffs.
In response, Iowa lawmakers proposed legislation aimed at keeping him out of the state. . . .

Read the whole thing and notice that, like the Washington Post‘s Dan Morse, the World-Herald reporters don’t name Jennifer Morbelli as the victim, and make clear that they are merely reporting the assertions made by “abortion opponents.” Heaven forbid that any mainstream reporter should actually do some actual journalism the way “just a blogger” Jill Stanek did on this story.

If you know anything about Jill Stanek (which, of course, no liberal reporter would) you know that she wouldn’t report something like this unless she was absolutely certain of the facts, and so this concern-troll attitude that Stanek’s reporting “could not be immediately verified” bespeaks the incompetence and sloth of reporters who can’t be bothered, at least, to contact Stanek as a source. (Hint: She’s on Twitter.)

However, I don’t want to complain too much about this, because I’m genuinely grateful for any mainstream media coverage of this story. In fact, if some left-wing feminist blogger like Amanda Marcotte or Elspeth Reeve decided to do a post condemning pro-life bloggers for their coverage of Jennifer Morbelli’s death, I would absolutely welcome it. Please, feel free to denounce me by name, call me a hateful misogynist or whatever, and I don’t care: Just stop ignoring the story.

There will be a funeral in New Rochelle tomorrow morning — Ash Wednesday — and I defy anyone to say that funeral isn’t legitimate news.

 

 

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Comments

  • darnesha7733
  • darnesha7733

    BTW AD82 I am a pediatric LPN & woked for 13 years in a specialty unit caring for children born as young as 23 weeks. I also took care children with seizure disorders, muscular distrophy, brain injury, etc. I am well aware of what a “failed medical procedure” entails. The difference here is in the intent of the procedures. If the mother’s health is endangered an OB will induce & deliver her child while trying to save them both. In the case of a 33 week viable baby the only reason for a woman to be sent to Carhart’s “clinic” would be for the intended demise of one of them otherwise delivery would be performed in a hospital at this late stage.

  • Dolan

    Good idea, Tommie D. Let’s discuss unsubstantiated allegations and their potential repercussions. Go to it.

  • Dolan

    You are not great at differentiating. Should I have access to medical or other records about you, they should be public? Pls respond if you disagree. ;)

  • Dolan

    I nominate Laura for the “Best at Vilifying a Dead Woman Whose Medical Condition She Knows Nothing About” Award. You would be doing a public service by explaining how you look yourself in the mirror everyday.

  • Dolan

    Do you not have google capabilities, Laura? Well, manslaughter and malpractice do both star with M.

  • Dolan

    Every time I see that girl’s picture on your website, I wish you were near so I could punch you in the face, Robbie.

    Imagine how her husband feels.

  • Dolan

    Yes. Let’s keep the fact that we’ve decided she is a murderer quiet until a more politically opportune time.

  • Tim d

    Yeah! They deserved a dead daughter & granddaughter. (On second thought, maybe they did not, but you are a horrible person.)

  • Sr.M

    What is wrong with you?

  • Boolean

    Agreed. That young woman who lost her baby and then died can go to hell.

    In Christ’s Love,

    bool

  • Boolean

    Burn them!

  • Boolean

    Burn her!

  • Dolan

    Amen

  • http://www.facebook.com/leigh.coudriet Leigh Ann Coudriet

    I disagree with you — there are people who love abortion — there are people who love money more than anything else – the abortion doctors. They love their jobs. You should do more research and listen to some of the interviews of doctors that perform abortions. They are convinced that abortion is a wonderful option and that they are helping women – thus they love their jobs as abortion doctors.

  • http://www.facebook.com/leigh.coudriet Leigh Ann Coudriet

    ThomasD : please see my reply from yesterday. I wanted to add to those thoughts that you should study the Bible instead of your church’s catechism because there are many false teachings in them. Babies DO GO TO HEAVEN WHEN THEY DIE – WHETHER BAPTIZED OR NOT. Study the life of King David who was also a prophet of God and the only person mentioned in both the old and new testament that God refers to as “A MAN AFTER HIS(God’s) OWN HEART” and you will find the answers there.
    Read “I’ll Hold You in Heaven” by Jack Hayford too. This book provides all scripture and is written for anyone who has lost a baby – whether through miscarriage, abortion or still born and early infant death.

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  • Jeanette Victoria

    What wrong with you that you think murder is ok?

  • Jeanette Victoria

    Yes we even have female “priests” calling abortion a sacrament.

  • ctmom

    She didn’t lose her baby, she killed it. Only God will decide if she goes to hell.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    ThomasD and I were discussing Catholic doctrine and belief. You efforts at proselytizing are not appropriate to the discussion.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Hey, Clyde, there’s a new thing out: it’s called Basic Human Decency – you should try it sometime.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    I was hoping a nurse would comment on this aspect of the story – thank you.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    You Leftists are so predictable – and so damn boring.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Ahhhh…threats of violence – so predictable.

    You Nihilists really need to get a new schtick.

  • http://mydomesticchurch.com mrsL

    The catechism says we commend the unborn to the mercy of god. Therefore I see no reason to. believe they are not in heaven.

  • http://mydomesticchurch.com mrsL

    Well if she read the catechism she would see the mercy of God saves them. If you read the catechism you’d know the son of David is referenced in that regard.

  • L&D Nurse

    I’m a nurse in North Carolina on an L&D unit and this story is so tragic. On one hand I can sympathize with the family and their decision regarding this infant. On the other hand, we have patients delivering everyday that have been told their child has one defect or another. I seriously hope they had multiple opinions on the infants outcome beforehand, and some counseling. What angers me is that we wouldn’t treat a 33 week mother who came in with a fetal demise this way…. the woman would be closely monitored, offered pain medicine, and have a caring nurse by her the whole time. If anyone knows what cytotec (the medicine they used) does to a uterus they wouldn’t agree to take large doses like this without monitoring. I can only imagine what kind of discomfort this woman was in….probably a lot of agony.

  • http://twitter.com/77_Laura Laura Jensen (D)

    No reason to be a jerk. What is the criminal charge for death as a result of malpractice classified as then? If this doctor were to have criminal charges filed against him it would be manslaughter or murder? Malpractice is not a criminal charge.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Hey, Clyde, there’s a new thing out: it’s called Basic Human Decency – you should try it sometime.

  • AD82

    Great. There are also people who believe the moon landings were faked, that the holocaust didn’t happen, and, presumably, there are still a few roaming around who believe the Sun still revolves around the Earth. I guess their very existence lends credibility to any cause that would find them and root them out and correct their thinking according to you? People, for the most part, enter the medical profession to help others……but now here we are, on account of your “research” faced with the prospect that all doctors that administer this type of medical service to patients are giant profit driven boogey men. Given your evident fear of this type of doctor, I have to wonder what your views are on socialized medicine.

  • AD82

    Or perhaps that her baby might have been born without a face, or with undeveloped lungs, or a missing heart valve, or maybe with a completely undeveloped and non-existant brain where she would be facing an excruciating and terribly short life. It might behoove you to wait until the circumstances are released (if they ever are) before you come flying in to cast your unneeded opinions into the fray. Quite frankly, since you are clearly not part of her immediate family, I fail to see why you need to know or look into anything concerning this family’s medical problems.

  • AD82

    Would you care to share what medical infomation you are privy to that suggests this child would have been born alive? Or are you completely unaware that children, even in the womb, can have a heartbeat but can be clinically brain dead?

  • AD82

    Yeah us crazy “leftists” and our inherent belief that a person’s medical decisions are between themselves and their doctor. How….”predictable”.

  • AD82

    You mean like when someone accuses a doctor of malpractice and murder when they were attempting a dangerous medical procedure?

  • AD82

    …and I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night, Darnesha. Now would you care to explain how your experience as a nurse lends you any insight whatsoever into THIS woman’s medical condition?

    I didn’t realize nurses, being medical technicians (Protip to everyone else: a nurse is not a doctor), had such far reaching access to everyone’s medical files.

    I also find it more than a little disconcerting that someone that practices medicine, even in the relatively routine form of nursing, is on a web blog issuing moral objections to a woman’s entirely legal and intensely personal healthcare decision…..particularly when you are not directly involved in the case or privy to any of its facts.

  • AD82

    Says the guy who is supporting a lynch mob outside of a person’s place of employment.

  • AD82

    Laura,

    If a medical professional was found to be criminally negligent or reckless, both terms which are highly subjective in a court of law (they rely on a determination of mental culpability), then they could potentially be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

    A recent example of this would be the doctor who was administering or prescribing pain medication to Michael Jackson.

    Beyond that the only example I can think of regarding anything other than involuntary manslaughter is Kevorkian, who was charged with second-degree murder.

  • AD82

    Hey Sweatervest,

    There’s this thing called the edit button. It allows you to delete posts so you don’t look like a parrot.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    The Left wails and gnashes their teeth, screaming ‘if we outlaw abortions, women will have them in back alleys with coat hangers!!!’ but they’re just accusing us of what they themselves are doing with the way they conduct late-term abortions.

  • darnesha7733

    You wrote: “As for this little fantasy of yours. If you can’t spot the difference
    between a failed, elective medical procedure and homicide via a handgun,
    then you really are out of your depth in this conversation….or any
    other.”

    I was merely informing you that I have had a good deal of experience with medical procedures, (with positive & negative outcomes). What I don’t get is why this woman was sent to this butcher shop to deal with this? If the baby had died in utero the mother should have been induced & delivered in a hospital where emergency equipment would be within arms reach on the floor. I think we can all assume that Madison was alive & the OB believed it was not in the best interests of mother & child or he would have delievered her. The only reason to have an abortion is to cause the death of the tiny human within.

    Adminstering a powerful chemical into the body of this woman (after killing her baby with a shot of heart stopping poison directly into her little heart) & then failing to monitor her closely (i.e. sending her to a hotel with no monitoring by medical personell) almost assures her death in the event of complications. And he does this over & over.

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  • Jeanette Victoria

    The baby wasn’t dead…that is why she had this abortion to kill her unborn baby.

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  • COBuffrun

    I disagree that this was not eugenics. The reason for the abortion was because the child had genetics for seizures. This is true discrimination based on genes. Happens all the time for Down’s Syndrome children which is also called trisomy 21 for the extra gene.

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