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Maureen Tyke, Abortion Death
Nobody noticed how sick she was until it was too late
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Maureen Tyke

Maureen Lynne Tyke, a 21-year-old Pennsylvania resident, was in Florida visiting relatives when she went to Aware Woman Clinic in Melbourne for a safe and legal abortion.

The abortion was performed by Dr. John Bayard Britton on May 27, 1983. The clinic records indicate that Britton noted that Maureen had a complete double uterus and cervix. Nobody noted anything else unusual.

About 24 hours after her abortion, Maureen developed nausea, vomiting, and chills. She felt extremely ill.

The next day, she was admitted to the hospital. She had fever and chills, and was extremely weak. Her blood pressure was very low and her skin had turned an unhealthy blue-gray from lack of oxygen to her tissues. Her autopsy later noted that she was "in extreme septic shock."

Doctors at the hospital performed a complete hysterectomy on Maureen to try to remove what seemed to be the source of the infection. But their efforts were in vain. The raging infection and heart failure Maureen suffered took their toll on her body. Maureen died early on the morning of May 31.

The autopsy found that Maureen had "florid myocarditis, probably of viral etiology [a serious viral infection of the heart]."

The medical examiner added, "The intensity of this myocarditis should indicate that the young woman was very ill and there should have been some signs or symptoms of serious illness at the time she was being prepared for the abortion."

However, as the autopsy had noted, nobody at the clinic had noticed that Maureen was very ill and in no condition for elective surgery.


"ClinicÂ’s Patient dies 4 Days after abortion," Jane Shealy, Florida Today, June 1, 1983; Holmes Regional Medical Center, Legal Investigation, Autopsy Report # A-83-128-LMA, 5-31-83; Florida Certificate of Death # 83-042495; "Pro-life activists mourn woman dead a decade," Florida Today, June 1, 1993

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