Twenty-year-old LaSandra Russ, from Berkley, California, went to Los Angeles to have an abortion on December 13, 1971. She was six weeks pregnant. At the time, abortions were legal in California as long as they were performed in a hospital. The abortion was performed at Memorial Hospital of Hawthorne the next day, December 14. LaSandra went into cardiac arrest almost immediately after the abortion. Attempts were made to revive her, but she was finally pronounced dead on December 15, 1971.