SUMMARY: "Patricia," age 16, died after an abortion performed around 1975.

Patricia is listed by Life Dynamics on the "Blackmun Wall" of women and girls killed by safe and legal abortion.

Patricia was 16 years old and five weeks pregnant when she went to a doctor's office for an abortion. For some reason, the doctor chose an antiquated technique that had been common in illegal abortions. He inserted a catheter into Patricia's uterus and left it in overnight.

The next day, Patricia's doctor removed the catheter and performed a D&C to complete the abortion.

Two days later, Patricia arrived in an emergency room, reporting fever and severe abdominal pain. She told the ER physician of the abortion. She was diagnosed with sepsis, given antibiotics, and told to return to her doctor for follow-up.

Several hours after leaving the emergency room, Patricia returned because she felt even worse. She was admitted to the hospital and given more antibiotics.

The doctor who did Patricia's abortion came to the hospital and examined her. He attributed her symptoms to a reaction to the antibiotic, and had the medication discontinued temporarily.
Less than five hours after she was admitted, staff at the hospital found Patricia with no blood pressure. They were not able to revive her.

Autopsy confirmed the diagnosis of sepsis, caused by an incomplete abortion.
Since no date was given for Patricia's abortion, I estimated her year of death to be 1975.

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

Source: Life Dynamics "Blackmun Wall" citing “Death after legal abortion by catheter placement,” Grimes, Cates, Tyler, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, v. 129, September 1, 1977, p. 107-8


  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