SUMMARY: Dawn Mendoza, age 28, died June 29, 1988 after an abortion performed by Edward Rubin at Women's Medical Pavilion in Dobbs Ferry, NY.

Dawn Mendoza underwent a safe, legal abortion at the hands of Edward Rubin at Women's Medical Pavilion in Dobbs Ferry, New York, on June 29, 1988.

Dawn was 22 weeks pregnant. Her brother, who accompanied her, was instructed to wait in a grassy park across the street, and to come back for her at 4 p.m. He returned, as instructed, and was told that Dawn wasn't ready to leave yet, to return in half an hour. When he came back at 5:30, staff told him that his sister was dead.

Rubin had done a D&C abortion on Dawn, a 28-year-old mother of two. Afterward Dawn started screaming and gasping for breath. Her blood pressure fell and she stopped breathing. Staff tried unsuccessfully to revive her, but did not call an ambulance. Dawn died without ever being transferred to a hospital.

The medical examiner determined that she had died from amniotic fluid embolism, as evidenced by particles of placenta and amniotic fluid in her lungs. This foreign matter in her bloodstream also caused disseminated intravacsular coaglopathy, a blood clotting problem. The autopsy found "about 1/2 liter of a yellowish fluid ... present in the abdominal cavity" and "about 10cc of an amber colored fluid" in heart sac.

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Decieved or lying?
Abortion advocates argue that although legal abortion deaths like Dawn's are indeed sad, they're only a pale shadow of the carnage that would ensue were legal protection restored to unborn children. They use these claims to garner support among those otherwise reluctant to support legal abortion as well as to slander life advocates.

There are two approaches Big Abortion takes when trying to scare people into supporting legal abortion as a means of protecting women's lives:

Outright lying. They will trot out the long-disproven claim that 5,000 to 10,000 women were dying every year from abortion before legalization.

external image AbortingAmerica.pngBernard Nathanson, co-founder of NARAL,* admitted that he and his associates knew that the claims of 5,000 to 10,000 criminal abortion deaths were false. They bandied them about anyway, Nathanson confessed, because they were useful. This, too, is old news -- Nathanson came clean in 1979 when he published //Aborting America//.

Lying by omission. They will use numbers that are accurate, but will totally remove them from context in order to draw a conclusion that is demonstrably false. which typically involves taking fairly reliable abortion mortality numbers from before and after legalization then crediting legalization for the drop. No less prestigious organization than the Alan Guttmacher Institute uses this statistical legerdemain: "As the availability of legally induced abortion increased, mortality due to abortion dropped sharply: The number of abortion-related deaths per million live births fell from nearly 40 in 1970 to eight in 1976."

The truth is that you can take virtually any time period from when public health officials first started collecting the data and you'll find that abortion mortality fell.The only exception is a strange leveling-off in the 1950s that I've been unable to account for:
external image Abortion+Deaths+Since+1940.jpg


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Milan Vuitch
What caused abortion mortality to fall precipitously wasn't legalization. Legalization didn't even make a blip in the trends, likely because for every non-physician whose business fell away, a physician abortionist became sloppy once the risk of a prison sentence for botching an abortion was gone. I know of three erstwhile criminal abortionists -- Jesse Ketchum, Milan Vuitch, and Benjamin Munson -- who kept their noses clean prior to legalization but each went on to practice appallingly sloppy abortions that killed two patients after legalization.



Sources: The Wanderer 6/29/88; New York Post 7/4/89; Westchester County Autopsy No. 88-1488
  1. 1900s
  2. 1910-1919
  3. 1920s
  4. 1930s
  5. 1940s
  6. 1950s
  7. 1960s
  8. 1970s
  9. 1980s
  10. 1990s
  11. 19th century
  12. 2000-2009
  13. 20s
  14. 30s
  15. 40s
  16. NAF
  17. abortifacient
  18. abortion
  19. abortion mill
  20. abortion mortality
  21. abortionists
  22. abortionists -- female
  23. abortionists -- male
  24. alabama
  25. anesthesia
  26. arizona
  27. black women
  28. born alive
  29. botched abortion
  30. california
  31. chicago
  32. colorado
  33. connecticut
  34. cover-up
  35. death
  36. deaths
  37. deception
  38. delay in transport
  39. delay in treatment
  40. district of columbia
  41. dumped body
  42. ectopic
  43. embolism
  44. falsifying forms
  45. fetal indications
  46. florida
  47. former criminal abortionist
  48. george tiller
  49. georgia
  50. hemorrhage death
  51. hospitals
  52. illegal - doctor
  53. illegal - midwife
  54. illegal - nurse
  55. illegal - paramedical
  56. illegal - post roe
  57. illegal - unknown
  58. illegal - untrained
  59. illegal abortion
  60. illinois
  61. inadequate documents
  62. inadequate equipment
  63. inadequate resuscitation
  64. incomplete abortion
  65. indiana
  66. infection
  67. kansas
  68. llinois
  69. louisiana
  70. maryland
  71. massachusetts
  72. maternal indications
  73. maternal mortality
  74. michigan
  75. mills
  76. missouri
  77. mortality
  78. national abortion federation
  79. new jersey
  80. new mexico
  81. new york
  82. north carolina
  83. ohio
  84. oklahoma
  85. pennsylvania
  86. planned parenthood
  87. pre-roe legal
  88. previous misconduct
  89. prostaglandin
  90. quackery
  91. questionable stories
  92. ru-486
  93. rupture
  94. saline
  95. secret abortion
  96. self-induced
  97. suicide
  98. teens
  99. texas
  100. wisconsin