SUMMARY; "Molly," age 21, died in July, 1975 after an abortion performed in Massachusetts.

"Molly" is one of the women Life Dynamics lists on its "Blackmun Wall" of women killed by safe and legal abortion.

Molly was 21 years old and 18 weeks pregnant when she was admitted to a Massachusetts hospital in July of 1975. This was Molly's first pregnancy.

Molly was suffering from kidney problems, hypertension, and anemia associated with disseminated lupus erythematosus. Molly had first been diagnosed with lupus three years earlier. The pregnancy was aggravating the disease.

After a week of trying to treat Molly's symptoms without harming her unborn child, doctors decided to perform an abortion, hoping this would abate Molly's symptoms and allow them to treat the lupus problems more aggressively.

For some reason, the doctors chose the dangerous saline technique to perform the abortion, which resulted in Molly's death.

The Massachusetts Medical Society's Committee on Maternal Welfare reviewed Molly's death, and they found the doctor's decisions regarding Molly's treatment to be problematic:

First, they believed that abortion was riskier for this ailing woman than the pregnancy itself was. The decision to abort was thus faulty to begin with.

Second, they questioned the choice of the highly risky saline procedure to perform the abortion. Placing so much saline into the body of a woman whose renal function was already compromised was a very poor choice.

Molly's was not the only tragic death caused by doctors who recommended abortion as a life-saving or health-preserving option for the mother:
  • Allegra Roseberry was pushed into an abortion in order to obtain experimental cancer treatment.
  • Anjelica Duarte sought an abortion on the advice of her physician, and ended up dying under the care of a quack.
  • Barbara Hoppert died after an abortion recommended due to a congenital heart problem.
  • Christin Gilbert died after an abortion George Tiller holds was justified on grounds of maternal health.
  • Erika Peterson died in 1961 when her doctors obtained her husband's permission to perform a "therapeutic" abortion.
As you can see from the graph below, abortion deaths were falling dramatically before legalization. This steep fall had been in place for decades. To argue that legalization lowered abortion mortality simply isn't supported by the data.

external image Abortion+Deaths+Since+1960.jpg


LDI Sources:
  • "Saline Abortion and Lupus Erythematosus," Committee on Maternal Welfare, John F. Jewett, New England Journal of Medicine, 294:14, Apr. 1, 1976, p. 782-83
  • Massachusetts Department of Health, Database run on maternal deaths


  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