The Cover-Up: Why U.S. Abortion Mortality Statistics Are Meaningless

David C. Reardon

On March 1, 1989, Erica Richardson, a 16-year-old Maryland resident, bled to death from a punctured uterus only hours after undergoing an abortion. During the next five months, two adult women, Gladys Estanislao and Debra Gray, also died from abortion complications. They too were residents of Maryland.

Shockingly, none of these three women was even granted that smallest of recognitions–becoming a statistic. The official statistics issued by Maryland public health officials showed that there were no deaths from abortion in 1989. Indeed, Maryland only reported a single abortion-related death for the entire decade of 1980 to 1989.(1)

There was actually a fourth maternal death related to a 1989 abortion in Maryland. In this case, Susanne Logan fell into a coma during her abortion and awoke four months later as a quadriplegic, unable to talk. She survived for three years, dying in 1992. Since Susanne’s death was not an immediate result of her abortion, it has not been counted in any of the official abortion mortality statistics

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