Mother sues Planned Parenthood over failed abortion of baby girl


WASHINGTON — Jennifer Raper did not want a baby, and she underwent an abortion to make sure she would not give birth to one. She has a 2-year-old daughter now, and she wants Planned Parenthood to pay for the child-rearing expenses of the little girl the abortion clinic failed to kill.

Raper, 45, of suburban Boston, Mass., filed a lawsuit recently seeking damages from the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, the physician who performed the unsuccessful abortion at the clinic and another doctor who failed to recognize she was still pregnant three months later, according to The Boston Globe.

Raper's suit does not claim her daughter has any health problems.

In her medical malpractice suit, Raper said she underwent what she thought was a successful abortion at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Boston in April 2004, according to The Globe. She chose to have an abortion for financial reasons, the newspaper reported.

In July, she had a pelvic exam, but the doctor at Boston Medical Center failed to recognize she was 20 weeks pregnant. Only when she went to a hospital emergency room for pelvic pain in late September was she told she was pregnant, according to Raper's suit, The Globe reported. Her daughter was born Dec. 7, 2004.

Raper's suit alleges Planned Parenthood and its doctor were negligent for not aborting her child and the other physician was negligent for failing to notice she was pregnant.

Raper's so-called "wrongful birth" suit will have to undergo review by a panel consisting of a judge, lawyer and doctor to decide if it can go to trial, according to the Globe.

"That the phrase 'wrongful birth' exists and a mother would ever conceive of making a legal case out of wishing her kid was never born does always seem to me a clear sign the end is nigh and Judgment Day won't be merciful to our national soul," National Review Online Editor Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote about Raper's suit on a weblog.

Published, April 2007