Donna Heim, 1966-1986 Liliana Cortez, 1964 - 1986 & Michelle Thames, 1969-1987

Donna, Liliana, and Michelle never knew each other. The only thing these women had in common was that they died after undergoing abortions at Her Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Donna, a 20-year-old child-care worker, underwent an abortion at Her Medical Center on Aug. 12, 1986. Donna started to experience difficulty breathing during the abortion, but the abortionist, Mahlon Cannon, continued with the procedure for five minutes before stopping to help his nurse assistant resuscitate Donna. Cannon cut a hole in Donna’s throat, but she still did not start breathing. Paramedics arrived just as Donna went into cardiac arrest. Donna, comatose by then, was taken to a nearby hospital, where she died one day later.

Liliana, a 22-year-old housekeeper from Guatemala, went to Her Medical Center on Sept. 20, 1986, to have an abortion. According to the medical records, Liliana went into cardiac arrest during the abortion. Staffers at the center delayed 20 minutes before calling paramedics. When the paramedics finally arrived, they transferred Liliana to a nearby hospital. She died there five days later. A medical examiner in the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office determined that the staffers at Her Medical Center were responsible for Liliana’s death.

Eighteen-year-old Michelle Thames died of an abortion performed at Her Medical Center on Sept. 19, 1987, just before she was to be inducted into the U.S. Navy. The attorney for Michelle’s family accused Her Medical Center staff of taking inadequate medical data from Michelle and of incompetently trying to resuscitate her.

LA Herald-Examiner, 2/22/88

 

Reprinted from The American Feminist, Winter 1997-98