Barbara was in the second trimester of her pregnancy. She was having the abortion on the recommendation of her physician, because of a congenital heart condition.
The abortion was performed on February 22, 1983.
During the procedure, Barbara's heart stopped. Physicians were unable to revive her, and she was pronounced dead on the operating table.
The following comment was posted on the RealChoice blog:
- It's been almost 24 years since I was at the Loma Linda Hospital and was roomed with Barbara Hoppert, but not year goes by when Feb 22nd rolls around and I don't think of her. She died that day during her abortion procedure. I just now put her name into google and found your article on her. It was barely 4 sentences and seemed as cold as her death. She was once alive and had such a sad end and dramatic story. It still brings me to tears today thinking about her last night alive... how she was treated by her own family and the staff at the hospital. We watched Square Pegs that night on tv. And she told me about the boy who had impregnated her... She left early the next morning and I wished her good luck... An hour later a woman came to the room, later I found out that was her "real" mother whom Barbara thought was her sister. She missed seeing Barbara that one last time.... Barbara's story is very tragic. I am so very sad that she was so alone her last night alive. I was her only comfort and I was a complete stranger. Don't know how comforting I was other than I cried with her and listened.... Knowing the pain she was in.... She remains in my prayers. Just thought you should know she was more than just part of your cause.
Barbara's was not the only tragic death caused by doctors who recommended (or excused) abortion as a life-saving or health-preserving option for the mother:
- Allegra Roseberry was pushed into an abortion in order to obtain experimental cancer treatment.
- Anjelica Duarte sought an abortion on the advice of her physician, and ended up dying under the care of a quack.
- Christin Gilbert died after an abortion George Tiller holds was justified on grounds of maternal health.
- Erika Peterson died in 1961 when her doctors obtained her husband's permission to perform a "therapeutic" abortion.
- "Molly" Roe died in 1975 when her doctors made the dubious decision to perform a saline abortion to improve her chances of surviving a lupus crisis.