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"Patricia" Roe

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 cathether into Patricia's usterus 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.


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

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