Nineteen-year-old Diane lived in a state institution for the mentally retarded. There, she was beaten and raped in July of 1981, and was later discovered to be pregnant.
A safe, legal abortion was arranged for Diane at National Abortion Federation member Reproductive Health Services in St. Louis.
Screen capture of assurance of safe, quality care on National
Abortion Federation web site. It reads:
"What is a NAF Clinic? NAF is the professional association of
abortion providers in North America. .... In order to become a member,
a clinic must complete a rigorous application process. Member clinics
have agreed to comply with our standards for quality and care....
NAF periodically conducts site visits to confirm that our clinics
are in compliance with our guidelines.
Diane's mother signed a consent form. The abortion was performed October 22, 1981. Diane died the next day.
According to suits later filed by Diane's mother, RHS staff and abortionist Robert Crist did not check for possible drug interactions before giving Diane valium and sublimaze. These drugs evidently reacted with Diane's usual medication, thorazine, causing her to stop breathing. Diane's mother said that the clinic lacked heart monitoring equipment or resuscitation equipment.
Diane was not the last woman to die after abortion by Crist. Seventeen-year-old Latatchie Veal bled to death after an abortion by Crist in 1991. Twenty-two-year-old Nichole Williams died of DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulopathy) after an abortion by Crist in 1997.
Fourteen-year-old Sandra Kaiser committed suicide after a 1984 abortion at RHS, performed without her mother's knowledge or consent.
Source: St. Louis City Circuit Court Case 812-11077
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