Technically (Il)Legal Abortion Death: Gloria Small, 43

Gloria Small, a 43-year-old mother of six, went to Ronald Tauber for a safe ane legal abortion. Despite Gloria’s obesity, asthma, chronic lung disease, and family history of high blood pressure, Tauber elected to perform the 15-week abortion at his Orlando Birthing Center on March 7, 1978.

Gloria’s uterus was punctured in the abortion. She died despite an emergency hysterectomy. The medical examiner said that Gloria’s medical history should have precluded performing an abortion in an outpatient setting. A court-appointed panel found Tauber negligent in Gloria’s death.

Tauber’s license was suspended the month Gloria died; this means that if the Centers for Disease Control counted Gloria’s death, they would have tabulated it as a death from an illegal abortion. (They count abortions as legal only if they are performed by a physician with an active license.)

Credit: Christina Dunigan, cemetery of choice

Orlando Sentinel Star 4-20-78, Miami Herald 7-20-79

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About Sarah

Sarah is a member of the board of The Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians.
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