SUMMARY: Mary Ann Dancy, age 32, died July 28, 1990 after an abortion performed by Clarence Washington at Fleming Center in North Raleigh, NC.

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Mary Dancy
Thirty-two-year-old Mary Ann Dancy was a mother of five children ranging in age from 2 to 17 when she went to Fleming Center in North Raleigh, North Carolina for a safe and legal abortion on July 27, 1990. She was accompanied by a male friend and her sister, Carolyn.


The abortion was performed by Clarence J. Washington at around 4:00 p.m. He documented no complications.

"She seemed all right," Carolyn told the Raleigh News & Observer. "She walked to the car.

After Mary Ann went home, she took a bath and went to bed. However, she bled heavily, and the next day, July 28, she was taken to Halifax Memorial Hospital. She died that night during emergency surgery from hemorrhage due to a lacerated cervix.

Washington faced two other lawsuits the year Mary Ann's family sued:
  • Mary Magdelen Vincent bled profusely after Washington cut her uterus during a 1990 abortion. He sewed the laceration and packed it with gauze, telling her she would be fine and could return to work. Height days later she began to hemorrhage. Her husband took her to the hospital. She required two hospital stays for a total of ten days.
  • Ami Paulette Wilcox suffered an incomplete abortion at Washington's hands on March 5, 1992. She felt sick after the abortion but got no answer when she called the clinic's emergency number. She called during office hours the next day, and staff told her that her symptoms were normal after an abortion. Twelve days later she called the clinic again, and Dr. William Brenner prescribed painkillers over the telephone without even examining her. After repeated positive pregnancy tests and visits to the clinic, including a second abortion procedure, an ultrasound found a dead, decomposing fetus still in her uterus. She had to have two more procedures performed at a hospital to remove the dead fetus. She was finally discharged from the hospital on April 23, 49 days after the initial abortion.

Sources:
  • "Doctor faces 3rd suit over clinic abortions," Raleigh News & Observer, Jul. 21, 1993
  • "Clinic, doctor sued in death," Raleigh News & Observer, Jul. 29, 1992
  • Medical Malpractice Reporter Vol. 10, Case 9;
  • Wake County Superior Court Case # 92-CVS-07936;
  • North Carolina Certificate of Death # 035620


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