Volume 43, Issue 1 (January 1998)
Alleged Forgery of Sonography Report Leads to Elective Abortion of Late 23 Week-Old Fetus
In this case report, a very obese young woman who claimed to be 17 gestational weeks into pregnancy, sought an elective abortion. Upon dilation and curettage, the doctor assessed the fetal remains to be nearly 26 gestational weeks. After contacting local authorities, who turned the case over to the Office of the Medical Examiner, the doctor determined that the woman had apparently forged her sonography report from the radiology clinic. She was thus able to obtain an abortion at more than 23 gestational weeks. While abortion laws vary from state to state, most doctors are reluctant to perform an abortion on a woman so far into term, since serious medical complications may arise and fetal viability must be considered. This case history may demonstrate the importance of independent confirmation of gestational age prior to such a procedure.