Myrta Baptiste, age 26, went for a safe and legal abortion of her 10 week pregnancy, performed by Orlando Zaldivar at Woman's Care Clinic December 18, 1982. But something went wrong, and eventually it occurred to somebody to send Myrta to a hospital.
Myrta arrived at the hospital in critical condition due to delay of transfer by the clinic staff. She bled to death from two uterine perforations. Zaldivar could not be reached for 7 hours while hospital staff were struggling to save his patient's life.
Upon investigating Myrta's death, the CDC discovered that Zaldivar's license was inactive at the time he performed Myrta's abortion, so they classified her death as being due to illegal abortion rather than legal abortion. This effectively lowered the US death toll from legal abortions by one that year, while still noting the death of a woman who sought a safe, legal abortion. The other deaths at that facility -- Ruth Montero, Shirley Payne, and Maura Morales -- were counted as legal abortion deaths.
For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:
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