Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dr. Andrew Rutland

Dear Pro-Choice Movement,

Dr. Rutland is an obstetrician-gynecologist who is currently on probation. In July 2009 a patient receiving a paracervical block (local anesthesia) had a severe reaction and ultimately passed 6 days later. The Los Angeles County Coroner's office closed the case after autopsy ruled her death as accidental. Under pressure from anti-abortionists, Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran - Chief Medical Examiner changed the mode of death from accidental to homicide. The reasons are connected to technical violations of practice, which the department disapproves of, but are NOT connected to this event.

This case is about the CA Medical Board's attempt to close down an abortion provider very much like Dr. Bruce Steir in 1997. Originally charged with 2nd degree murder, in April 2000 Dr. Steir bargained for involuntary manslaughter.

We currently do not have an up-to-date on Dr. Rutland's case. But we do urge that people be extremely critical of this case and any other case where anti-abortionists are behind the attack.

Please read the following articles:

And, if you'd like further information please contact Dr. Rutland at

Thank you.


  1. Boy oh boy, you are so far off the mark on this one, it shows how your ideology trumps the reality that many victims suffered at the hands of incompetence. You would rather conclude that a "witch hunt" was taking place "because anti-abortion was the motivation," rather than seek the truth of this case. People who were not having abortions also suffered. The links you provided address this! Some feminist vision you have!!

    1. @Anonymous: Yes, it might not indicate that the State is trying to close down abortion providers when the Chief Medical Examiner opens a closed case to change the ruling from accidental death to homicide; it might indicate a zeal to protect patients‘ health. However, where pressure from the anti-abortion community is shown, and where the CME’s ruling was based on technical violations of practice which were not connected to the event, it looks pretty darned suspicious, especially when you see a pattern of discrimination against abortion providers as we have seen in California.

      As to the prior death of a baby delivered by Dr. Rutland, it does not appear that the CME changed the ruling based on that tragic outcome. Unfortunately, deaths do occur in all medical procedures, including birth and abortion, even when the highest standards of medical practice are met, and of course, this causes suffering to the patient’s families.

      We remain concerned that women’s access to abortion is being threatened by foes of women’s rights to abortion who abuse the power of the state to regulate medical practice to close down clinics and prosecute doctors who do abortions.