It has emerged that the tragic death of Ms Bimbo Onanuga in 2010 was most likely caused by an earlier abortion. See RTE report
Coroner Dr Brian Farrell in delivering a ruling of death by medical misadventure in the case of Ms Onanuga, who died at the Mater Hospital in 2010 after being transferred there from the Rotunda Hospital, found that a principal risk factor in her death was a pre-existing scar caused by an earlier abortion, along with the use of misoprostol, which had caused her uterus to contract.
Irish Medicines Board Director of Scientific Affairs, Dr J M Morris in his evidence to the Court said that misoprostal was not approved for use to induce labour. Such use is called off-label and is done on the responsibility of the doctor who gives it.
Coroner Dr Brian Farrell found that a principal risk factor in the death of Ms Bimbo Onanuga was a pre-existing scar caused by an earlier abortion, along with the use of misoprostol, which had caused the uterus to contract.
The inquest heard that Ms Onanuga’s uterus had ruptured, and her baby had delivered through a rupture, into the abdominal cavity. The inquest also heard that the postmortem found that the site of the rupture had been weakened by scarring caused by an earlier abortion.
Dr Sam Coulter-Smith, Master of the Rotunda, told the inquest that it was “probably reasonably safe to assume” that the scarring had been caused during a previous abortion, when Ms Onanuga's womb had been perforated, and that this predisposed her to rupture. He also said that it was an "unrecognised perforation" and that the Rotunda had no information that any complication had occurred during the abortion.
Dr Sean Ó Domhnaill commenting on the case on behalf of the Life Institute offered his sympathies to Ms Onanuga's family and said that the media would be doing a “huge disservice to women if they ignored the central fact in the case - that scarring from an earlier abortion had led to this women's tragic death."
Dr O’ Domhnaill said that the case showed that abortion clinics posed a real and substantial risk to women's lives, and that abortionists were all too often "substandard practitioners who caused physical harm to women and did not even bother to report it".
"Clearly, the Rotunda were made aware of the earlier abortion, but not of the complication - the perforation to the womb - which caused the scarring. The question is: did Ms Onanuga even know about the injury caused to her by the abortionist? Is this yet another case of abortion malpractice where women die?" he asked.