Cassandra Bleavins, a 20-year-old clerk, died shortly after midnight on September 19, 1971, at LA County/USC Medical Center. She had been taken there just the day before, comatose after an abortion.
The abortion had been performed on September 2, 1971. Cassandra had bled heavily afterward, and the abortionist had tied off a portion of her cervix to control the bleeding, then sent her home.
On September 15, Cassandra returned to the place where her abortion had been done, reporting heavy bleeding. She was given a follow-up D&C and again sent home. She returned again on September 17, still bleeding heavily, and went into convulsions during treatment. Cassandra slipped into a coma. The next day, she was brought to LA County/UCLA Medical Center, where she died.
The coroner discovered a 1.25 inch sutured laceration in Cassandra's uterus, additional sutures to her uterine artery, and uterine hemorrhaging. The medical examiner concluded that Cassandra had bled to death due to the lacerations and D&C.
Where had Cassandra undergone the abortion that took her life?
At the apartment of a woman who ran an underground abortion service. The abortionist was the leader of the group, a social activist who had learned to do abortions from an elderly doctor who was looking for somebody to replace him.
At a veterinary clinic.
At a doctor's office. The doctor was arrested after Cassandra's death.
At a county-owned hospital. The abortion was perfectly legal, and the doctor faced no charges in Cassandra's death.
For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:
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