Venus Ortiz died in a nursing from lingering abortion complications at age 29 on December 16, 1998. The abortion had been performed five years earlier by Dr. Leiber at Eastern Women's Center, a National Abortion Federation clinic in New York, NY. Her family asserted that there was negligence in administering anesthesia to Venus, and failure to establish an airway. Brevital, fentanyl, and midazolam were administered in dosages and manners contrary to standards of practice, causing Venus to suffer a synergistic reaction. Eastern's staff failed to promptly diagnose and attend to cardio-pulmonary arrest. Eastern's notes of 5:35 PM indicate "2:35 PM end of surgery ... we noticed patient's ashen color and the pulse oximeter tracing and digital readout were gone from the monitor." Emergency medical services were called. However, the damage had already been done. Venus was left in permanent need of respirator, with profound brain damage. Two other patients, Dawn Ravenelle and Dawn Mack, also died of complications of abortions done at Eastern Women's Center.
Other women who suffered severe brain injuries and died years later from those abortion complications include
- Suzanne Logan, who languished, mute and paralyzed, for three years until her death on in December of, 1992
- Shelby Moran, who was cared for in a nursing home for over 20 years until her death in September of 1999
- "Gabriella Alonso," who spent six years in a coma until her death in the summer of 2002
- Christi Stile, who spent nearly 22 years in a vegetative state until her death in March of 2015
1984: One of Sixteen Deaths at a Reputable Chain of Clinics
On December 15, 1984, Mary Pena, a 43-year-old mother of five, underwent a safe and legal abortion at San Vincente Hospital in Los Angeles. Mary had thought that she was 3 months pregnant, but doctors discovered she was at 22 weeks. During the procedure, performed by Ruben Marmet, Mary sustained two cervical lacerations, and because she was bleeding heavily, a hysterectomy was performed in an effort to save her life. Hospital owner Dr. Edward Allred and another physician, Sohn Soon, were assisting Marmet with the emergency surgery. They were unable to locate a severed artery so they packed Mary's abdomen with sponges and closed the incision. Mary continued to bleed, so the surgical team called in another doctor who tried to repair the damaged artery, but to no avail. Mary died on the table in the early morning hours of December 16. The Investigator's Report states, "Dr. Allred cleared the case with Coroner and body was released to the family picked mortuary ... and services held. When the death certificate was taken to Kern County Health Department they refused to accept it and called the case to Los Angeles Coroner. ... Mortuary in Bakersfield will bring body to this office for autopsy on morning of 12-20-84."
Only then was cause of death attributed to exsanguination due to cervical laceration due to therapeutic abortion. The cervix showed two lacerations - a small one that had been sutured and a large unsutured one extending through the full ring of the cervix. Once a cause for the fatal hemorrhage was determined, the death certificate was accepted, and Mary was laid to rest again.
San Vicente had been purchased by National Abortion Federation member Familiy Practice Associates Medical Groupshortly before Mary's death.
1981: Safe and Legal in a New York Hospital
Barbara Auerbach was 38 years old when she went to a New York hospital for a safe, legal abortion and tubal ligation, performed December 11, 1981. Two days later, she was discharged. On December 16, Barbara was vomiting and suffering from back pain and inability to void her bladder. She was admitted to Princeton Medical Center in Princeton, New Jersey. Doctors there tried in vain to save her life, but she died within three hours of being admitted. The autopsy showed that Barbara had an obstruction of her small bowel, which caused massive infection throughout her body.
1925: Another Victim of the Infamous Dr. Lucy Hagenow
On December 16, 1925, 22-year-old Irish immigrant factory worker Bridget Masterson died in her Chicago home from a botched abortion. Police were able to question Bridget prior to her death, but she refused to implicate anybody. John O'Malley, a boarder and the father of Bridget's baby, committed suicide by gas after learning of Bridget's death. The Chicago Tribune printed the text of the suicide note he left which implicated notorious abortionist Dr. Lucy Hagenow. Hagenow, who had already been implicated of the abortion deaths of Louise Derchow, Annie Dorris, Abbia Richards, and Emma Dep in San Francisco, would go on to be linked to over a dozen Chicago abortion deaths:
|Dr. Lucy Hagenow|
- 1891: Minnie Deering
- 1892: Sophia Kuhn and Emily Anderson
- 1896: Hannah Carlson
- 1899: Marie Hecht
- 1905: May Putnam
- 1906: Lola Madison
- 1907: Annie Horvatich
- 1925: Lottie Lowy, Nina H. Pierce, Jean Cohen, and Elizabeth Welter
- 1926: Mary Moorehead
1923: One of Five Dead Patients of a Chicago Physician
On December 7, 1923, 19-year-old Hazel Hadicke of Arkansas City, Kansas, checked into a Wichita hotel. She remained in the room almost constantly and died under the care of Dr. Charles C. Keester on December 16. He attributed her death to heart disease. Abortion was certainly suspected, since Keester had already been implicated in the abortion death of Hattie Myers, age 19, in 1922. Other abortion deaths attributed to Keester are Loren Franklin, age 19, August, 1924; "Bonnie," age 18, August, 1924; and Rena Armstrong, age 17, February, 1930.
1874: A Brooklyn Midwife's Fatal Work
Christina Seifred, aged around 34, died on December 16, 1874 from complications of an abortion perpetrated by Brooklyn midwife-abortionist Johanna White. Christine had been unfaithful to her husband when he was away in Europe, and when he returned and learned of the pregnancy, he left her. Police arranged a sting and arrested White.