On March 1, 1989, Erica Richardson, a 16-year-old Maryland resident, bled to death from a punctured uterus only hours after undergoing an abortion. During the next five months, two other residents of Maryland, Gladys Estanislao and Debra Gray, also died from abortion complications.
Since there is not a standard, much less reliable, mechanism for tracking abortion related deaths, none of these three women was even granted that smallest of recognitions — becoming a statistic. The official statistics issued by Maryland public health officials showed that there were no deaths from abortion in 1989. Indeed, Maryland only reported a single abortion-related death for the entire decade of 1980 to 1989.
Actually, there was at least one more woman who died as a result of a 1989 abortion in Maryland. In this case, Susanne Logan fell into a coma during her abortion and awoke four months later as a quadriplegic, unable to talk. She survived for three years, dying in 1992 at the age of 24.
These four deaths occurred in one small state. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported only 12 abortion related deaths for the entire country in 1989.
Final toll: Eight dead, four families devastated, no one helped.
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1. Kevin Sherlock, Victims of Choice, (Akron, OH: Brennyman Books, 1996) 134-135.
2. Kevin Sherlock, Victims of Choice, (Akron, OH: Brennyman Books, 1996) 134-135.
3. Retha Hill, “Abortion clinic scrutinized after two cases end badly: patient who was left paralyzed files suit.” Washington Post, Aug 13, 1990. A1, Col. 1., also “Botched-abortion Victim Dies in Baltimore,” Washington Times Dec. 2, 1992, Final Edition, page B2.
4. Koonin L, Green C, Ramick M Smith J. Abortion surveillance–United States, 1992.May 3, 1996. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Volume 45 / No. SS-3.