Saturday, February 11, 2023

February 11, 1992: High Risk Abortion in an Outpatient Setting

Danette Pergusson, a 19-year-old medical assistant, submitted to a safe, legal abortion on February 11, 1992, at the hands of Robert Tamis of Phoenix, Arizona.

Danette had a rare condition called Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency , a hereditary blood disorder that made her a very high-risk patient for an abortion. Dr. Thomas Murphy Goodwin, a high-risk OB/GYN, pointed out in later court proceedings that any abortion on a woman with PKD should have been done in a hospital, and special steps should have been taken to prevent possible fatal clots from forming in DaNette's blood stream.

During the abortion, Danette stopped breathing, and paramedics were summoned.

The Maricopa County deputy medical examiner determined that Danette died from a pulmonary embolism, which is when blood flow in the lungs is blocked by material such as a clot.

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