Eighteen-year-old newlywed Barbaralee Davis called a local women's group for a safe and legal abortion referral. They sent her to a member of the newly founded National Abortion Federation, Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, Illinois.
After the abortion, performed June 14, 1977 by Hope Medical Director Hector Zavalos, Barbaralee attended a post-abortion counseling session, during which she was pale and reporting lower abdominal cramping. She was kept for observation an additional two hours, but the CDC noted that Barbaralee's vital signs were last noted 45 minutes after the abortion. Barbaralee then reportedly told staff that she felt better and asked to be sent home, so they discharged her even though she was still showing, according to the CDC's investigators, symtoms "suggestive of internal hemorrhage." Barbaralee was not given a discharge examination before being sent home.
Her sister helped her, pale and bleeding, to the car. Barbaralee slept in the back seat the whole way home, approximately a two-hour trip. Her sister helped her to bed.
When Barbaralee's sister checked on her several hours later, she was unresponsive. She was rushed to the Pickneyville hospital, where an emergency hysterectomy was attempted to save her life. Barbaralee died during the surgery, leaving one child motherless. The autopsy found the face and spinal column of Barbaralee's baby embedded in a hole in her uterus. There were two quarts of blood in her abdomen. Barbaralee had bled to death.
Hope Clinic for Women was not only permitted to remain in operation, it was allowed to remain a member in good standing of the National Abortion Federation.
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