Thursday, December 11, 2008

Abortion deaths in 1974

The Centers for Disease Control deigned to count the following abortion deaths in their most recent Abortion Surveillance Summary, for 2004:

Today I'll look at deaths in 1974. The CDC counts 33 -- 26 legal, 6 illegal, and 1 unknown. Remember that "illegal" deaths can be like Myrta Baptiste -- cases in which the woman thought the abortion was legal and safe, but after she died the CDC discovered that her doctor's license wasn't currently valid and so counted it as illegal.

I know of 13 abortion deaths in 1974, which means the CDC has at least 20 other deaths I don't know about:

  • Janet Blaum died after an abortion by a man whose criminal abortion charges had been dropped due to Roe vs. Wade, which his lawyer successfully argued had made his previous abortions retroactively legal.

  • Dorothy Brown was one of three women I know of who died after abortions at Friendship Medical Center in Chicago.

  • Bonnie Fix left four children motherless after an abortion performed for medical reasons.

  • Linda Fondern died after her abortionist failed to provide vital follow-up care and the hospital botched a corrective surgery.

  • Wilma Harris was one of two abortion patients to die under the dubious care of erstwhile criminal abortionist -- and prochoice hero -- Milan Vuitch.

  • Maria Lira died after her doctors left a decomposing fetus in her uterus.

  • Evangeline McKenna had a seizure and stopped breathing after her abortion.

  • Dorothy Muworewa hadn't told her husband about her pregnancy or the abortion; he found out after he came home to find his apartment covered with blood and his wife near death.

  • "Ellen" Roe died of an amniotic fluid embolism (amniotic fluid in her blood stream) after a saline abortion.

  • "Erica" Roe also died from an amniotic fluid embolism caused by a saline abortion.

  • "Faith" Roe bled to death from a punctured uterus.

  • "Malorie" Roe suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism after a saline abortion.

  • Carole Wingo died of a Demerol overdose during her abortion.

    For more abortion deaths broken down by year, see this post. Or you can place them in the context of other abortion deaths in the 1970s, and the years surrounding the 1970s:

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

    For more abortion deaths broken down by year, see this post.

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    Mary E. said...

    Do you know how they are counting or would count deaths from chemical abortions by licensed nurses?

    Anonymous said...

    In 1974, about 15 women died for every 100,000 live births. There were 3,159,958 live births that year, so that works out to about 474 dead women.

    474 deaths in one year, from safe and legal childbirth.

    Christina Dunigan said...

    Mary, if the nurse is legally allowed to perform abortions, then they'd count it as legal. If she wasn't, they'd count it as illegal.

    Anon, air travel is safer than driving. So should we just shrug off airline crashes as not worth our notice?