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Couple heartbroken after doctor performs abortion without mother's consent

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11/24/2015 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (

'We went there to have a baby, not to kill a baby.'

When David and Melissa Pineda had trouble conceiving, they turned to Dr. Rifaat Salem for fertility treatment. Following the implantation of embryos, Melissa was called in for a check up. What she wasn't told was that she had been implanted with a stranger's embryos -and that Dr. Salem performed an illegal abortion without her consent.

Dr. Rifaat Salem is being sued for malpractice after implanting the wrong embryo into a woman, then aborting it without the mother's consent (KTLA).

Dr. Rifaat Salem is being sued for malpractice after implanting the wrong embryo into a woman, then aborting it without the mother's consent (KTLA).

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "We went there to have a baby, not to kill a baby," Melissa told KTLA after the couple launched a malpractice lawsuit against Dr. Salem.

The Pinedas described how they approached Dr. Salem and two months later Melissa was implanted with a set of embryos. She was told to get plenty of bed rest but received a call two days following the procedure and was urged to come to the office, which was normally closed on Sundays, immediately. 

Pineda described a disturbing conversation she shared with a nurse at the clinic, who informed her the couple's embryos were all accounted for in the petri dish, suggesting the couple had accepted a stranger's embryos. 

That was when Dr. Salem claimed he was going to conduct an examination.

Melissa and David Pineda (KTLA).

Melissa described the painful "exam" in which she believes she underwent a painful dilation while Dr. Salem scraped her cervix, wich is a common abortion method.

She was given a drug and told to return the next day, but later discovered she received methotrexate -a chemical abortion drug.

After realizing exactly what happened to them, the Pinedas were heartbroken but hired Niel Howard, a malpractice lawyer.

Howard claims Dr. Salem did not receive consent for the abortion procedures and Melissa Pineda did not sign any paperwork until after the procedure.

 The lawyer said, "There's no question in my mind that this was a viable healthy pregnancy that he wanted to make sure did not continue. That's why he did two things: a chemical abortion and a surgical abortion. He wanted to be 1billion per cent sure this baby did not go to full term."

The distraught couple said they would never have agreed to the abortion despite the mix up, saying, "What if we did have a viable baby that was going to be born [? W]e should have a little kid running around now because of what he did. That's the hard part and what will never be replaced - the moments and the happiness with this child that we wanted and it's not there now."


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