Mary Pena

Mary Pena, a 43-year-old mother of five, died after she underwent a second-trimester abortion at San Vicente Hospital in Los Angeles in December, 1984. When Mary started to bleed severely from the abortion, the surgeon decided to perform a hysterectomy on her. While in recovery from the operations, Mary started to bleed again and went into shock. The surgeon was unable to stop the bleeding, and Mary died on the operating table.

According to the autopsy report, Mary bled to death as a result of a cervical laceration, which she suffered during the abortion. The medical examiner noted that Mary’s cervix was cut extensively and that the uterus lining had hemorrhaged. According to the medical examiner, the surgeon had cut out almost a pound of Mary’s flesh. The body of Mary’s 22-week-old baby girl, whose head had been cut off, was also found in Mary’s uterus.

Los Angeles County coroner report 84-16016


Reprinted from The American Feminist, Summer 1997