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Woman died from complications of late-term Maryland abortion, report says

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Local,Maryland,Crime,Scott McCabe

Maryland's chief medical examiner has determined that the woman who died after having a late-term abortion at a Germantown clinic died through "natural causes."

Jennifer McKenna-Morbelli, 29, of New Rochelle, N.Y., died Feb. 7, after having the procedure in Maryland, where late-term abortions are legal.

The autopsy report concluded there was a series of events that caused McKenna-Morbelli's death, said Bruce Goldfarb, spokesman for the medical examiner's office.

Following the abortion, amniotic fluid seeped into her bloodstream, and small blood clots formed in her blood vessels. The second cause was "disseminated intravascular coagulation" -- when small blood clots form in the blood vessels, which can lead to extensive bleeding throughout the body.

A third cause of death was "fetal abnormalities." The report did not elaborate on those.

A full written autopsy report can take 60 to 90 days, and will likely be ready next month, Goldfarb said.

A spokesman for the Montgomery County Police Department has said investigators are awaiting the full autopsy report.

Morbelli's death became a rallying point for anti-abortion activists who have denounced the Germantown Reproductive Health Services clinic, run by Dr. LeRoy Carhart.

Carhart is featured in a documentary film, "After Tiller," as one of four doctors in the U.S. who perform legal late-term abortions. The title refers to George Tiller, an abortion doctor in Kansas who was assassinated in 2009 by an anti-abortion activist.

smccabe@washingtonexaminer.com

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