Woman Sues Abortion Clinic
Sep. 02, 1998
BOSTON (AP) _ A woman who says she was too upset to get an abortion after running from a deadly clinic shooting has sued for ``wrongful birth,'' claiming the clinic should help pay to raise her child.
Deborah Gaines went to the Preterm clinic in Brookline, just outside of Boston, for an abortion in 1994, but ran out in terror when a man began firing a rifle in the lobby.
Gaines, 31, said she was so traumatized by the shooting, in which two receptionists died, that she was unable to bring herself to enter another clinic to end her pregnancy.
She says she loves her daughter Vivian, now 3, but needs Preterm to help defray the cost of raising her fourth child because she is poor, her lawyer said.
``She started receiving counseling immediately after that for extreme post-traumatic stress disorder,'' lawyer Chris Milne said Tuesday.
Gaines declined comment.
But a lawyer for Preterm said Gaines is like a person who becomes too afraid to fly for necessary medical treatment after seeing an airliner crash.
``That doesn't give you the right to sue Pan Am because you chose not to do something,'' lawyer James Franchek said.
John Salvi III, 24, killed two people and wounded five others in attacks on two Brookline clinics. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, but died in an apparent suicide in 1996.
Preterm contends the clinic had two armed guards at the time of the attack. Milne claims that was not enough, especially since it was widely known that abortion protests could turn violent.
``It should have been locked; there should have been armed guards,'' he said.
Although Franchek claimed the case is meritless, a state judge refused Tuesday to throw it out.
And while Milne said Gaines loves Vivian, ``She strongly believes she should not have been put in this place.''