SUMMARY: "Geraldine Newhart,"* age 14, was found dead by her mother on June 15, 1985 after a botched abortion by E. Wyman Garret in Newark, NJ.

Early on the morning of June 15, 1984, 14-year-old "Geraldine Newhart's" mother found her dead on the bathroom floor.

Just the day before, Geraldine had undergone a second-trimester abortion performed by Dr. E. Wyman Garrett in Newark, New Jersey. She was 22 weeks pregnant.

After her abortion, Geraldine had begun vomiting and suffered from abdominal pain and a high fever. During the night, the massive infection that was causing her symptoms killed her.

An autopsy found that Geraldine's uterus had been punctured, and her abdomen was full of pus and adhesions.

When the New Jersey medical board investigated Dr. Garrett, they noted that he had illegally altered Geraldine's medical records. Garrett argued that he was suffering from ''burnout syndrome,'' caused by performing more than 2,600 second-trimester abortions between 1982 and 1986.

For more information about Garrett, read this passage from //How Newark Became Newark// and this passage from Teacher Power. He also sometimes practiced under the name Ernest W. Garrett.


*New Jersey is not an open record state, and a health official accidentally released documents to Life Dynamics without redacting the girl's name. Thus, I am using her initials to protect her family's confidentiality.

Sources:
  • New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners, disciplinary proceedings from Apr. 10, 1986 to 20 May, 1988;
  • New Jersey Certificate of Death #35737;
  • "Newark Physician Has License Revoked," The New York Times, Apr. 9, 1987
  • "Doctor can't do abortions, surgery," Asbury Park Press, Jun. 21, 1986

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