READ THIS for copy of suit: Abortion Patient sues doc; claims he forced abortion on her because she was BLACK
Abraham Hodari, Caitlin Bruce part of national debate after forced abortion lawsuit
By Laura Angus | Flint Journal
November 29, 2009, 12:00PM
FLINT, Michigan — Abraham A. Hodari became a doctor because he wanted to be able to heal children’s hearts, but ended up abandoning his plans to become a pediatric surgeon because some cases were “too depressing.”
He now is one of the most high-profile abortion doctors in the state — a man praised by his medical peers and protested by pro-life activists.
Now, Hodari is at the center of a new controversy involving a Fenton Township woman who claims that the doctor held her down and forced her to have an abortion at his Flint clinic when she was 18.
“I wanted it to stop, but it didn’t. I wanted a child, but I didn’t have one,” said Caitlin Bruce, now 20.
Hodari and his lawyer maintain he was well into the procedure when she expressed misgivings, and he had to continue for her safety.
Both Hodari and Bruce have witnesses to support their claims.
Both also now find themselves the focus of headlines and blogs across the country.
And, both say they are a victim — one by her doctor and the other by overzealous protesters.
Bruce debated for several weeks what to do before going on April 9, 2008, to the WomanCare clinic, also known as the Feminine Care Center, on Saginaw Street in Flint.
She was a high school dropout with no job, six-weeks pregnant and scared.
Bruce worried she wouldn’t have enough support from her family to become a mother.
As she sat alone at the clinic and waited for her turn, she looked at pictures from a recent ultrasound. When her name was called, she said she told Hodari she was unsure about the procedure.
She said she told him she changed her mind.
Bruce claims in a civil lawsuit that Hodari and an assistant held her down and covered her mouth as she screamed for them to stop while Hodari aborted her fetus.
A written statement reportedly provided by another worker in Hodari’s office and contained in the lawsuit, claims that the doctor told an upset Bruce “I’m not going to do this. I’m going to send you home” before going through with the abortion.
The employee wrote that Hodari grinned as he completed the procedure, according to court documents.
Bruce said Hodari’s employees gave her a juice box when it was over.
Hodari was born in France and his family moved to Argentina soon after he was born to escape the Nazis, he said in an e-mail from his lawyer in response to questions from The Flint Journal.
He entered medical school at the University of Buenos Aires in the 1950s, planning to be a pediatric surgeon, but had difficulty with the emotional toil of seeing children with irreversible heart conditions and switched his focus to obstetrics and gynecology.
In the 1970s, Hodari was serving as the OB/GYN residency program director for three hospitals as part of the Detroit-Macomb Hospital Corporation.
When abortions were legalized by the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, Hodari began performing early-term abortions.
He agreed to do so because he was worried about the “excessive number of illegal abortions that were being performed, wherein all too often complication, infections, sepsis, and death might occur,” he said.
After Medicaid stopped paying for abortions in 1977, Hodari decided to offer abortions in private clinics — which reduced the costs for patients and made them more accessible, especially to poorer women.
He started opening clinics in 1980 and went on to open six abortion clinics, including WomanCare in Flint.
Bruce said she is not a “money hound” — she wants “justice” for the baby she lost in Hodari’s abortion clinic.
She said she tried to kill herself soon after the abortion, and blamed herself for going to the clinic in the first place. After going through therapy, she realized she didn’t bring this upon herself and decided to file the lawsuit, she said.
She never sought criminal charges because was young and she knew it wouldn’t bring her baby back, she said.
“I just thought it was done and over with and what more could I do,” she said.
Bruce’s mother, Donna Bruce, said the family didn’t want to tell anyone about the abortion at first, but now want to protect other women from harm.
“The way she was fighting around and everything … it’s amazing that he didn’t hurt her,” she said.
Caitlin Bruce’s lawyer, Tom Pabst of Flint, said this isn’t an issue of pro-life or pro-choice — but of consent. His client didn’t want the procedure, but Hodari proceeded anyway, said Pabst.
“I have a problem with him turning into God and telling you want you can do with your body,” said Pabst.
Hodari rarely speaks to the media, but has been a nationally respected doctor since the 1960s.
The Bloomfield Hills doctor has earned more than a dozen awards over his career for his work in OB/GYN and abortion procedures, and speaks across the country to colleges and medical students.
“I have great satisfaction of what I do,” he said in a speech given to students at Wayne State University that can be seen on YouTube. “I never feel bad or worried about doing abortions.”
He is a fellow in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and has earned honors including the President’s Award Excellence in Medical Research from the college.
He declined to answer any specific questions about Bruce’s claims.
However, his lawyer has said Hodari had to continue with the procedure after Bruce changed her mind because he already had broken her water and she was bleeding.
Written statements from other employees in the room day also claim Hodari acted professionally and properly.
Entire Web sites are devoted to detailing every court case involving Hodari.
Protesters have gone though his trash, taken photos of him driving his car and posted them on the Internet, and kept constant vigil outside his Saginaw Street clinic.
He has faced more than 20 civil lawsuits over the past two decades, according to court records in Oakland and Genesee counties.
“He’s nationally known because he’s barbaric,” said Judy Climer, president of Flint Right to Life.
In one widely publicized incident, pro-life activists sifted through the garbage at Hodari’s abortion clinics, where they claim they found aborted fetuses and medical records.
One of those protesters — Monica Miller, director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, a national organization headquartered in Michigan — said Hodari is unique because he owns several abortion clinics rather than just one, and said he “represents the worst.”
“I think he’s in the abortion practice to make a lot of money,” she said. “For him it’s like a commercial franchise.”
Climer said the attention from pro-life activists shouldn’t be intimidating, “because if he’s obeying the law, he shouldn’t have anything to worry about.”
To protect his safety, his family and his employees, Hodari has installed 24-hour security cameras at his clinics and worn bullet-proof vests when giving public speeches at schools about abortions, he said.
“The threats and harassment are quite scary for him, his family, and his staff, and often his patients, as well,” said lawyer Steve Weiss of Bloomfield Hills.
Hodari said while he believes everyone has the right to express their beliefs, he thinks anti-abortion activists “have gone too far.”
He said women should be able to make health choices without “intimidating harassment.”
Four months after the abortion, Bruce and her boyfriend, Trumain Holmes of Flint, were expecting again. This time, she never considered an abortion.
Eva, a smiling and outgoing baby girl, was born May 31.
Bruce and Holmes, now 37, have been dating for four years and work together fixing up homes and renting them out to earn money.
Bruce also is planning on returning to school in the spring and lives with her mother and Eva in Fenton Township in a home filled with family pictures and toys for the baby.
Still, Bruce said she has anxiety because of the abortion and worries someone will come and take Eva away while she sleeps.
“Seeing how perfect my child is, could my other child have been just as perfect?” she said.
Allegations of misconduct brought against local doctor
FLINT (WJRT) — (11/23/09)–Allegations have been brought against a Flint doctor by a Genesee County teenager who says that doctor physically forced her to have an abortion.
She has filed a civil lawsuit against the doctor, and that lawsuit is now drawing national attention from anti-abortion groups.
It is a controversial lawsuit. Caitlin Bruce says she is seeking justice with the lawsuit she filed in June against the doctor who she says went to far.
That Flint doctor says he had no choice and did nothing wrong.
“They ripped the life out of me that day,” Bruce said.
Bruce was just 18 years old and 6 weeks pregnant when she says walked into the Feminine Health Care Clinic in Flint last year.
“I was nervous and I really didn’t have the moral support I needed. And I just didn’t know what to do,” Bruce said.
Bruce says she wrestled with her decision in the waiting room.
“They started the ultrasound. The lady turned the ultrasound toward me and said, ‘This is your baby. This is the heart flicker,'” Bruce said.
Bruce says that’s when she changed her mind. But she claims Dr. Abraham Hodari did the procedure anyway.
“He told his assistant, ‘Hold her down.’ They had my arm pinned,” Bruce said.
“His weight was all on my chest and then he took his hand and he had it so tight on my mouth that it was muffled. I was trying to scream, ‘Stop!‘
“I was screaming. I was crying. It felt like they were ripping a life out of me. When he was done, he looked at me. He gave me a smirk and he left he room.”
We tried to reach Hodari at his clinic on South Saginaw Street, but he wasn’t available.
In court documents, Hodari denies the plaintiff’s claims and says they are untrue and defends his actions, saying: “The surgical instrument was inside her uterus and she was already bleeding when she verbalized any misgivings.”
“My client acted properly under the circumstance. This was an abortion that was consented to,” said Steve Weiss, Hodari’s attorney.
“When the patient first expressed misgivings about it, it was too far along for Dr. Hodari to stop.”
Bruce’s lawyer admits Hodari has long been a target for anti-abortion groups, but he says that shouldn’t matter.
“This is shockingly wrong no matter what camp you’re in,” said Tom Pabst, the plaintiff’s attorney. “This shouldn’t have happened. If a woman says stop, it should’ve stopped.”
Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton says he is not investigating this case for possible criminal charges.
No police report was filed.
Included in the suit are 6 counts against Hodari, including lack of informed consent/medical malpractice, battery, fraud, misrepresentation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and ethnic/gender intimidation.
Michigan has a statute that forbids intimidation based on gender or ethnicity. Ms. Bruce believes that Hodari forced the abortion on her because she is Black. Statistics show that the abortion industry disproportionately targets Black women. for more on this – watch a 2 hour fully documented film called: Maafa21 ( Clip Below)
click here for copy of suit:
Also Read: Activists call for criminal charges against Flint abortion clinic owner Dr. Abraham Hodari