Maria Lira was a 19-year-old college student when she went to Riveria Hospital on October 14, 1974, to undergo a safe, legal abortion. After she'd been discharged, Maria had problems and returned. Staff perfromed a D&C, then discharged her again. That night, she went to the emergency room due to excessive bleeding. She was sent to Torrance Memorial Hospital for treatment. Maria died at Torrance Memorial on October 16. The autopsy found a decomposing fetus in her uterus, which had caused infection and DIC (disseminated intravacsular coagulopahty). The DIC prevented clotting, causing the hemorrhage that killed Maria.
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