Jennifer Suddeth, 1965-1982

Jennifer Suddeth, 17, underwent an abortion performed by Dr. Frank Robinson in Los Angeles County on June 30, 1982. As she was riding home with her husband, John Fredzess, she started to bleed heavily. Jennifer and her husband became hysterical and called Dr. Robinson for help. Dr. Robinson informed the frightened couple that the bleeding was normal and reportedly refused to offer any further help.

Later that afternoon, Jennifer went into convulsions. John immediately called for an ambulance. But Jennifer was dead before the paramedics arrived.

A coroner’s agent and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide investigator said Jennifer was covered with smeared blood, and a great deal of blood was matted on her vagina. They found Jennifer’s blood in the bathtub, in the bed, on the carpet, and on some towels. Dr. Robinson refused to cooperate with the investigation. (Eventually, Dr. Robinson stood trial for homicide but was acquitted.)

According to the autopsy report, Jennifer died of exsanguination (excessive bleeding) from the abortion. The examiner found the uterine lining “roughened” and covered with blood clots. He estimated that Jennifer had lost 70 percent of her blood.

Los Angeles County coroner report 82-8251


Reprinted from The American Feminist, Spring 1997