Ruth Montero, age 23, underwent a safe and legal vacuum abortion of her 8-week pregnancy, under general anesthesia, August 1979, at Women's Care Center in Miami. Ruth awoke from anesthesia in the recovery room, and went into convulsions and cardiopulmonary arrest. She died from hemorrhage and a prolapsed mitral valve on August 7. Ruth, Myrta Baptiste, Maura Morales, and Shirley Payne all died in a clinic owned by Hipolito Barreiro, trained in Argentina and West Africa, but not licensed in U.S. Barreiro was accused of practicing without a license and tampering with witness.
Mary Ives was 28 when she had an abortion 19 weeks into her pregnancy. She was admitted to W.W. Backus Hospital in Norwich, Connecticut, for
treatment of complications of the abortion, but her heart and lungs
failed due to amniotic fluid embolism. Mary was pronounced dead on August 7, 1983.
Teresa Smith was 31 years of age when she submitted to a D&C abortion. She went into cardio-respiratory arrest from a pulmonary embolism and was pronounced dead at a local hospital on August 7, 1988.
The abortion lobby will argue that although all of these deaths are tragic, more women would be dying were abortion not legal. The evidence shows quite the contrary. Deaths from abortions were falling long before legalization, which didn't even show up as a blip on the data tracking those deaths. Improved overall health, improved medical care in general, and the development of better treatments for injuries and infections brought all maternal mortality, including abortion mortality, down. We should not let the abortion lobby claim credit for the benefits of other people's hard and laudable work.