The doctor who performed the late-term abortion was Robert L. Kothenbeutel.
According to court documents, on December 13, 2007, Maria Diel of Pierce County came to Cedar River in Renton -- also known as the Feminist Women's Health Center -- to have her "25+ week" baby killed by the brutal abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation. This is medical-speak for forcing the mother's cervix open enough so that the 'doctor' can go in with a forceps and rip the baby's legs and arms off and pull them out. Here is one description of the procedure:
Dilation and Evacuation (D & E)
Similar to a D & C abortion, this method also necessitates the forced dilation of the cervix. Metal forceps with a sharp cutting edge are used to grasp and pull the baby from the womb. The entire body is removed piece by piece. Because the baby's skull has typically hardened to bone by this time it must sometimes be compressed or crushed in order to be removed from the uterus. As a result, women undergoing this procedure have a higher risk of cervical laceration. Ironically, even some abortionists find this procedure distasteful, as the process of using forceps to twist and tear the baby's body from the womb is undeniably traumatic.
Another description is from former late-term abortionist Dr. Tony Levatino, where he goes into detail about removing the baby's skull:
The toughest part of a D&E abortion is extracting the baby’s head. The head of a baby that age is about the size of a plum and is now free floating inside the uterine cavity. You can be pretty sure you have hold of it if the Sopher clamp is spread about as far as your fingers will allow. You will know you have it right when you crush down on the clamp and see a pure white gelatinous material issue from the cervix. That was the baby’s brains. You can then extract the skull pieces. If you have a really bad day like I often did, a little face may come out and stare back at you.
Because the baby is so developed at 25 weeks, and his or her bones are hard, and so much force is involved, it's quite easy to lacerate the mother's uterus, or other organs. It seems something very much like this happened when Dr. Kothenbeutel was dismembering Mrs. Diel's baby.
The court documents allege that:
"Dr. Kothenbeutel and Cedar River Clinics were ill equipped to handle Maria Diel's late term termination the termination was negligently performed. Maria Diel lost an excessive amount of blood and was taken from Cedar River Clinics by ambulance to Valley Medical Center where a hysterectomy was performed to save her life."
The case is still at an early stage, and further medical facts will be brought out at trial. The parties have agreed to arbitration, as opposed to a jury trial, so maximum damages are $1 million.
Alas, Mrs. Diel's attorneys will be hard pressed to prove that Kothenbeutel and Cedar River were 'ill equipped' to handle late-term abortions like this, because they have in fact committed hundreds, if not thousands.
According to a 2002 “study” published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine, Dr. Kothenbeutel reported doing just under 200 Dilation & Evacuation abortions in just a 6 week period.
We will bring you further details as they emerge. Meanwhile, this story can't be comforting to future would-be clients of this abortion mill.