Tragic Anniversary of Three Women’s Deaths from Abortion


The RealChoice blog documents the deaths of women as a result of abortion: both legal and illegal. Today the blog remembers three women who died on August 7, all from so-called “safe and legal” abortions:

photo by zenroxie cc flickrRuth Montero, age 23, underwent a safe and legal vacuum abortion of her 8-week pregnancy, under general anesthesia, August 1979, at Women’s Care Center in Miami. Ruth awoke from anesthesia in the recovery room, and went into convulsions and cardiopulmonary arrest. She died from hemorrhage and a prolapsed mitral valve on August 7. Ruth, Myrta Baptiste, Maura Morales, and Shirley Payne all died in a clinic owned by Hipolito Barreiro, trained in Argentina and West Africa, but not licensed in U.S. Barreiro was accused of practicing without a license and tampering with witness.

Mary Ives was 28 when she had an abortion 19 weeks into her pregnancy. She was admitted to W.W. Backus Hospital in Norwich, Connecticut, for treatment of complications of the abortion, but her heart and lungs failed due to amniotic fluid embolism. Mary was pronounced dead on August 7, 1983.

Teresa Smith was 31 years of age when she submitted to a D&C abortion. She went into cardio-respiratory arrest from a pulmonary embolism and was pronounced dead at a local hospital on August 7, 1988.

While abortion advocates claim that making abortion illegal will endanger women’s lives, the number of maternal abortion deaths had actually dropped dramatically long before abortion was legalized, as a result of improvements in medicine. Indeed, the legalization of abortion has failed to prevent women from being exploited, abused, traumatized, maimed, injured and killed before, during and after abortion.

Women and girls still die from abortion, but their deaths are no longer automatically investigated by police or even always counted in the official statistics because they are no longer the result of criminal activity. Further, large record-based studies from the U.S., Finland and Denmark have have all found that the death rates among women who had abortions are significantly higher compared to the death rates among women who continued their pregnancies.

Learn more:
Two Deaths from “Safe and Legal” Abortions: Would More Women Die If Not for Legalization?
5 Myths About Back-Alley Abortions
From “Back Alley” to Main Street: Illegal Abortionists Who Became Legal Abortionists

Abortionists Are Not Held Accountable for Mistakes
Higher Death Rates After Abortion Found in U.S., Finland and Denmark
Suicides After Abortion Remain High Even With Screening Guidelines
Kermit Gosnell, the Back Alley and the Front Door
Exception or Rule? Gosnell’s “House of Horrors” Not So Rare

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