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Woman claims Methodist pressured her to have an abortion after making medical error

PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) — A 23-year-old woman is suing UnityPoint Health-Methodist in Peoria, claiming the hospital pressured her to have an abortion after making a medical error that endangered her unborn baby’s health.

Reneizha Morris said she went to the hospital for treatment in November 2017 after having an issue with her medication. After she was admitted and underwent routine testing, she learned she was pregnant.

On Nov. 6, 2017, a sonogram showed her baby was about 7 weeks old and healthy.

However, Morris said a miscommunication within the hospital caused her to be injected with Methotrexate, which causes severe birth defects when given to pregnant women.

After the hospital became aware of the error, Morris said physicians held two meetings with her telling her about the risks, but she still intended to carry the baby to term.

The hospital’s risk manager then began meeting with Morris, but she still wanted to keep the baby. On Nov. 29, she went to a clinic in Peoria for an abortion, but left after seeing her baby on an ultrasound.

Morris’ attorneys then said the risk manager called the Morris family multiple times, eventually offering her $2,000 for a consultation at a Chicago-area Planned Parenthood clinic. Morris said she felt pressured to have the abortion, and went through with the operation on Dec. 15, 2017.

The attorneys claim the calls by the risk manager after Morris decided not to go through with the abortion the first time were not recorded in medical records.

Reneizha Morris with her attorney at a Chicago press conference on April 11, 2019 / Courtesy Salvi Law

“This case has one of the ugliest fact patterns I have ever seen. A perfectly healthy fetus was given a deadly injection based on reckless communication. The hospital administration knew full well they would have been legally responsible for the considerable healthcare costs associated with the baby’s birth injury. The hospital purely had their own interests in mind and failed to take Reneizha’s wishes into consideration,” the Morris family’s attorney, Thomas R. Mulroy III said in a statement.

“No one should ever have to make that decision. I think about what happened every single day and I hope another woman will never have to feel the pain I have felt since this happened,” Reneizha Morris said in a statement.

A UnityPoint Health-Methodist spokesperson said the hospital does not comment on pending litigation.

Morris and her Chicago-based attorneys will hold a press conference in Chicago this afternoon.

Tim Shelley

Social Media & Digital Content Manager

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