Legal Abortion Death: Teresa Causey, 17

Teresa clutched her mother’s hand during her safe and legal abortion by Joe Wesley McDaniel on December 3, 1988. Her mother later said that 17-year-old Teresa’s last words were, “Oh, mama, mama, it hurts so much!” Then she lost consciousness on the abortion table.

When McDaniel was unable to awaken her, he tried smelling salts, slapped her face, then tried to reach another doctor before finally calling an ambulance.

Teresa had two perfortions of her uterus and two lacerated veins. She died of massive hemorrhage the day of her abortion.

An investigation found that McDaniel had been operating in an unlicensed facility, and that he had broken the law requiring abortions after 13 weeks be done in a hospital; Teresa had been 15 weeks pregnant.

No charges were pressed against McDaniel for Teresa’s death, the illegal abortion, or the unlicensed facility. Teresa left behind two children.

Sources: Macon Telegraph and News 12-5-88; Associated Press 12-5-88, 1-26-89, 11-2-89

Credit: Christina Dunigan

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