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Maria Hernandez Ortega, Abortion Death

Twenty-three-year-old Maria Hernandez Ortega traveled from her home in Massahusetts for a safe and legal abortion by Dr. Armida Zepeta in her New York office on October 10, 1970.

Zeptea estimated the pregnancy to be two months. She attempted an abortion, but was unable to extract the fetus. She concluded that Maria had not been pregnant after all, and sent her home.

At 10:00 that night, Maria died in her home. It turned out that she had actually been four months pregnant, not two months. Zepeta had pushed the fetus through the uterine wall into Maria's abdominal cavity.
Sources: New York Times 10-17-70; Obstetrics and Gynecology March 1974

Unintended Late Abortions
Maria isn't the only woman who ended up having an abortion far later in the pregnancy than she intended.

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