Abortion Provider: Gerald Zupnick

Dr. Gerald Zupnick was sued multiple times for abortions he botched while working for National Abortion Federation member Bill Baird. He practices in Massachusetts and New York. Along with Baird, Zupnick challenged the Massachusetts parental involvement law so that he could perform abortions on underage girls without informing or involving their parents.

A suit by Vivian S. alleged that she underwent an abortion by Gerald Zupnick at Bill Baird Center on November 5, 1983. She faulted Zupnick with failure to evaluate her symptoms. Vivian suffered a perforated uterus, incomplete abortion, and bleeding. She asserted that Zupnick was unqualified to perform her abortion, that he abandoned her, failed to hospitalize her when her condition required hospital care. Vivian had to undergo corrective surgery under general anesthesia, and was hospitalized December 7-9. She also required multiple transfusions, and was left with impaired fertility. She also sued for lost earnings. (Nassau County Supreme Court Index No. 1281-84)


A suit by Merline G., age 27, alleged that she sought counseling at Bill Baird Center on May 28, 1983. Center staff arranged for abortion of Merline’s 6-week pregnancy that day by Zupnick. Merline later learned that the staff “induced plaintiff to submit herself to the procedures by material misrepresentations.” Merline had “instant, intense pain” during the procedure, and informed Zupnick. Her suit said “it was clearly observable to defendants, and to the nurse in attendance, that something was obviously wrong with the procedure… defendants continued in the same erroneous manner, not even alleviating plaintiff’s pain with any anesthesia; for hours thereafter insisted on plaintiff remaining on the premises, unattended to, in pain, followed by a repetition of the identical misapplication.” Merlene faulted Zupnick with “failure to administer even so much as a local anesthetic,” and noted that he detained her “without care or treatment for her condition.”

Merline asserted that Zupnick and Bill Baird Center staff kept Merline isolated from the friend who had accompanied her, and interfered with their communications. Merline, “in order to leave the premises to receive proper medical care was required to slip out of the premises unobserved.” The suit asserted that their treatment of Merline “not only constitute malpractice, but violate the lowest standard of care applicable to a volunteer layman, who would purport to assume responsibility in an emergency.”

Merline was hospitalized two weeks, where she passed products of conception, and treated for pelvic infection. She also required blood transfusions. Zupnick contended he did not perform a second procedure, only an exam, and that he referred Merline to hospital.

Merline’s attorney investigated Zupnick and the Bill Baird Center and noted that “80% of Zupnick’s practice was Baird referrals, 90% of it abortions.” Abortion patients would come to the Baird Center, where they would complete a history for Zupnick, and execute an informed consent for Zupnick in form and content prepared by Zupnick; to be instructed in the abortion procedure by counselors trained by Zupnick. Patients would pay $165: $85 to Baird and $80 to Zupnick, with Baird collecting Zupnick’s fee for him. Patients were then walked next door to be aborted by Zupnick. (Queens County Supreme Court Index No. 41067/84)


A suit by Beverly S., age 21, alleged: that she submitted to an abortion of her 3-month pregnancy on February 12, 1978. The abortion was performed at Bill Baird Center by Zupnick. Beverly suffered a perforated uterus, pain, and excessive bleeding. Beverly was transported to a hospital, where she arrived at the emergency room with no blood pressure to to hemorrhage. She had to have a hysterectomy. Beverly faulted Zupnick with failure to take an adequate medical history, failure to perform a complete physical exam, failure to detect beverly’s deteriorating condition, failure to advise Beverly to undergo further evaluation and care, failure to keep abreast of medical knowledge, failure to inform Beverly of risks and alternatives, and failure to monitor Beverly’s vitals appropriately. (New York County Supreme Court Case No. 21580)


Compiled by Christina Dunigan

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