License to Kill: Infamous abortionist Joseph Durante dead at 80
Durante launched into his career as an abortionist when California legalized abortion in 1970.
His license was revoked by the Medical Board in 1978, then stayed the decision and suspended him for 30 days for acts of negligence in his care of female patients.
In 1981 when Durante was performing abortions at Indio Community Hospital (now JFK Hospital), he injected a late term pregnant mother with saline solution and her son, ‘Baby Boy Sanchez,’ was delivered alive by nurses. The next morning, when Durante finally came to the hospital, he went alone to see the baby, pronounced the baby dead and had the body incinerated immediately in the hospital lab. After the incident, hospital personnel, including doctors and nurses, signed a petition that they would never again have anything to do with abortion. The hospital announced it would no longer be able to allow abortions.
He was dismissed from the staff of both JFK Hospital and Desert Hospital because of complaints from other doctors about cases Durante had botched, and it was determined that he had no malpractice insurance.
In 1992 while Durante was working part time in San Diego at the Feminist Women’s Clinic, he attempted to abort a very late term baby. The baby survived and a malpractice case was filed on behalf of the baby for inflicted scars on the head.
Durante wasn't disciplined by the medical board until 1996, when he was given five years of probation for his negligence in the case of the surviving San Diego baby. But evidently Riverside County considered him good enough to hire to provide care to female inmates.
Durante opened abortion centers in Moreno Valley, Victorville and Palm Desert. He hired Dr. Bruce Steir of San Francisco as a “fly-in” abortionist. Steir was already on strict discipline with the Medical Board for injuring women during abortions in Sacramento and he was supposed to be acting only under a Medical Board appointed monitor. But Durante never told the Medical Board that Steir was working for him in Southern California. Sharon Hamptlon [pictured] ... went to Dr. Durante’s office and had an abortion performed by Steir. Riverside County criminal court records state that Steir left the office while Hamptlon was in shock. Hamptlon died on her way home in the back seat of her mother’s car. One of Durante’s employees came forward and testified that Steir knew he had perforated Hamptlon’s uterus, but ran out the door to catch a plane to San Francisco, leaving Hamptlon to bleed to death. Steir was later convicted of manslaughter and sent to jail.
In 1998 the Medical board again disciplined Durante for falsifying his Medi-Cal application for provider privileges. Medi-Cal authorities revoked his privileges and the Medical Board placed him on another five years of probation.
In 2001 the Medical Board ordered 10 days of actual suspension against Durante’s license.
What did the abortion lobby think of all this? According to California Catholic Daily, "The National Organization of Women (NOW) of the Desert honored Durante as their doctor of the year."