A lawsuit filed by the father of Barbara Dillon, a 22-year-old college student, alleged that Barbara underwent a safe and legal abortion performed by Dr. Mark Silver at Long Island Gynecological Group April 18, 1981.
Barbara's father said that the pathology report identified placental tissue, but no fetal parts. This meant that something had gone wrong, and that Barbara needed medical care, but nobody contacted her to tell her this.
Barbara suffered pain and bleeding from May 5. She went to the emergency room and was treated with antibiotics and advised to see her family doctor. She was in severe pain later that day, so her roommates called the emergency room again. They were told to give the antibiotics more time.
Barbara's pain did not abate. On May 10, her roommates got a neighbor to take Barbara to the university health center. Barbara was unconscious upon arrival, with no respiration, blood pressure, or pulse, and was rushed to the emergency room. There were delays finding a doctor from the clinic who would aid the emergency room physician in addressing Barbara's symptoms. She went into irreversible shock and died on May 11. It turned out that Barbara had an ectopic pregnancy which the clinic had failed to detect. Barbara's father also sued Silver over his daughter's death.
Even though, in theory, women who choose abortion should be less likely to die of ectopic pregnancy complications, experiences shows that they're actually more likely to die, due to sloppy practices by abortion practitioners.
Source: Dillon v. Silver, New York Appellate Court 134 A.D.2nd 159
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