Summary: Maria Rodriguez, age 22, died on March 25, 2000 after an abortion performed by Steve Lichtenberg at his Albany Medical Surgical Center, a Family Planning Associates Medical Group facility in Chicago.

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On March 25, 2000, 22-year-old Maria Elizabeth Rodriguez, a Chicago native, went to Steve Lichtenberg's Albany Medical Surgical Center for a late second trimester abortion. Lichtenberg estimated her pregnancy at 18 weeks and went ahead with the what a later expert consultant called "a seemingly uncomplicated (albeit short) procedure."

At about 9:00 a.m., Maria was showing signs of shock from hemorrhage. The expert consultant pointed out that Lichtenberg had failed to notice that he had ruptured Maria's uterus. Her hematocrit (a measure of red blood cells) was 32% after surgery, but it had fallen to 25%. (About 38% is normal for a woman.) Lichtenburg flushed out her uterus with a dilute solution of Vasopressin, a hormone used sometimes to control bleeding. He also had pressure applied to her uterus. But, the consultant noted,"At no time were further attempts made to ascertain the cause of the bleeding or to explain the discrepancy between the marked decrease of hematocrit and the seemingly moderate blood loss."

Lichtenberg diagnosed DIC, a clotting disorder caused by triggers such as amniotic fluid in the blood stream. He started treating Maria with Fresh Frozen Plasma (FPP) at 9:34. She was given a total of 14 units of FPP, but her hematocrit continued to fall, and she was showing abnormal EKG readings. Her heart was racing and she was continuing to bleed. She wasn't given a transfusion, or transported quickly to a hospital so that a transfusion could be administered there. Lichtenberg also didn't administer any additional medications to help control Maria's bleeding.

At around 10:15 a.m., Maria appeared to have been somewhat stabilized, but "no attempt was made to determine the cause of the bleeding with ultrasound evaluation" or to tie off the bleeding artery. By 10:30, her hematocrit had fallen to 15%, meaning she had less than half the red blood cells needed to carry oxygen to her brain. This was a sign that her condition was rapidly deteriorating. Finally, an hour and a half after Maria suffered her life-threatening injury, and an hour after Lichtenberg had diagnosed the dangerous clotting disorder, it occurred to somebody to call 911 and have Maria taken to a properly equipped hospital.

By the time she arrived there, her hematocrit was 3.5%, less than 10% of what it should have been. Doctors at the hospital tried to save her, to no avail, she died that evening.

Maria left behind a four-year-old daughter.

naflogo.jpgN.B. At a National Abortion Federation Risk Management Seminar in the 1990s, Michael Burnhill of the Alan Guttmacher Institute scolded Lichtenberg for "playing Russian roulette" with patients' lives by performing risky abortions in an outpatient setting and treating serious complications on site in his procedure room rather than transporting them to a hospital. Evidently Lichtenberg chose not to listen to Burnhill's warning.

Other women to die from abortions at FPA facilities include:


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Source: Joyce v. Lichtenberg et al., Social Security Death Index

  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