Tuesday, October 24, 2023

October 24, 1979: One Negative Pregnancy Test, Two Dead Teens

Today is the anniversary of the day schoolgirl Delores Jean Smith died a lingering death. She was the second of two teens to be fatally injured on June 2 of 1979, at National Abortion Federation member Atlanta Women's Pavilion in less than an hour. To add to the tragedy, Delores's mother found out that her daughter's pregnancy test performed at the clinic had been negative.

It all began when 19-year-old Angela Scott stopped breathing in the recovery room. Nurse-anesthetist Theresa Sterns was administering Brevital anesthesia to 15-year-old Delores while Dr. Jacob Adams was performing her abortion. Neither Sterns nor Adams was certified to administer this drug.

Sterns and Adams rushed off to assist in efforts to revive Angela, leaving Delores under the care of an untrained technician with her anesthesia drip still running. After staff had resuscitated Angela and loaded her into an ambulance, Sterns returned her attention to Delores, who had gone into cardio-respiratory arrest. 

Adams had accompanied Angela to the Grady Memorial Hospital, and staff at the clinic refused to release Dolores to an ambulance until the physician had returned to discharge her. This resulted in a 30-minute delay, during which the ambulance crew was unable to attend to Delores. 

Angela lingered for a week in a coma before dying on June 11. Delores never regained consciousness and eventually was admitted to a nursing home, where she died of adult respiratory distress syndrome on October 24, 1979.

Watch the YouTube video.

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