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Woman died after ‘repeated failures’ at buffer zone abortion clinic

Pro-lifers at a vigil outside an abortion clinic in Ealing, west London (Getty)

A mother suffered catastrophic internal bleeding and died after a procedure at the Marie Stopes abortion clinic in Ealing.

Coroner Dr Sean Cummings criticised “repeated failures” at the clinic – which recently had the UK’s first ‘buffer zone’ imposed around it – after staff discharged Aisha Chithira, 32, despite vomiting, feeling dizzy and falling on the floor.

Staff told her she could not stay overnight and helped her into a taxi after a late-term abortion. She later died of internal bleeding.

Ms Chithira, a mother-of-one, had flown from Ireland for the termination. Dr Adedayo Adedeji and nurses Gemma Pullen and Margaret Miller were charged with manslaughter but the case was dropped in 2016.

Observations taken by a nurse after the termination showed her pulse and blood pressure were normal, meaning her symptoms were “difficult to diagnose” and “the severity was missed”, Dr Cummings said.

Ms Chithira’s death was the result of “the manifestation of a recognised complication of the procedure resulting in sometimes subtle and atypical symptoms and signs which were not appreciated as potentially sinister at the time,” Dr Cummings added.

“There were repeated failures of recording of observations by different clinicians involved in her care.”

The coroner recorded a narrative verdict.

Last month, cabinet members on Ealing Council decided to enforce a Public Space Protection Order, prohibiting prayer, any acts of approval or disapproval of abortion, and ‘interference’ with staff and users within 330ft (100m) of the clinic.

However, mothers who were helped by pro-life vigils have launched a challenge to the ‘buffer zone. Alina Dugheriu, who filed the High Court challenge last week, said: “My little girl is here today because of the real practical and emotional support that I was given by a group outside a Marie Stopes clinic.

“I am launching my legal challenge at the high court to ensure that all women at Ealing and across the country do not have a vital support option removed. In doing this I represent the thousands of women who have been helped by these vigils.”