Dawn Mendoza underwent a safe, legal abortion at the hands of Edward Rubin at Women's Medical Pavilion in Dobbs Ferry, New York, on June 29, 1988.
Dawn was 22 weeks pregnant. Her brother, who accompanied her, was instructed to wait in a grassy park across the street, and to come back for her at 4 p.m. He returned, as instructed, and was told that Dawn wasn't ready to leave yet, to return in half an hour. When he came back at 5:30, staff told him that his sister was dead.
Rubin had done a D&C abortion on Dawn, a 28-year-old mother of two. Afterward Dawn started screaming and gasping for breath. Her blood pressure fell and she stopped breathing. Staff tried unsuccessfully to revive her, but did not call an ambulance. Dawn died without ever being transferred to a hospital.
The medical examiner determined that she had died from amniotic fluid embolism, as evidenced by particles of placenta and amniotic fluid in her lungs. This foreign matter in her bloodstream also caused disseminated intravacsular coaglopathy, a blood clotting problem. The autopsy found "about 1/2 liter of a yellowish fluid ... present in the abdominal cavity" and "about 10cc of an amber colored fluid" in heart sac.