Milan Vuitchabortionists, abortionistsmaleMilan Vuitch was a hero among abortion advocates. He had deliberately been arrested performing criminal abortions so that he could challenge the Washington, DC abortion law, and he succeeded in changing the way the law was enforced, effectively nullifying it. On June 15, 1974, seventeen-year-old Wilma Harris of West Virginia went to Vuitch’s Laurel Clinic for a safe and abortion. Five days later, she was dead. During interrogatories, Vuitch said that anesthesiologist Strahil Nacev described Wilma as “so quiet” during the abortion. Although he had begun a vacuum abortion, Vuitch said that the fetus had been too big to pass through the suction tube. He said he used instruments to remove the remaining fetal parts. Although the abortion was done at around 2:00 PM, Vuitch didn’t trasfer Wilma to a properly equipped hospital until after midnight. Wilma’s family sued, claiming that Vuitch and his staff had allowed Wilma to lapse into a coma and lie unattended for 12 hours before transferring her to the hospital. The suit also claimed that Vuitch and his staff falsified records to cover their tracks. The family won a judgment on December 23, 1976, but the settlement was sealed by court order. Georgianna English also died after an abortion by Milan Vuitch.
Vuitch was a physician performing abortions in Washington, D.C. and Silver Spring, Maryland.
His father died when he was young, and his mother made a living growing potatoes and beans. Vuitch won a full scholarship to the University of Budapest, and recieved his medical degree in 1939. He served as a conscript in the Hungarian army during World War II.
After the war, he practiced surgery and gynecology in Skopje, where he was also an instructor at the medical school. He married American Florence Robinson and with her help was able to immigrate to the United States in 1955. He settled in the Washington, DC area, initially charging $100 to $200 for an illegal abortion.
In 1969, Vuitch was arrested and won a ruling that the District of Columbia law was unconstitutionally vague. The U.S. Supreme Court disagreed with the ruling, holding that the standard was clear. But the majority opinion included language that limited enforcement of the D.C. law, as well as similar laws, both by broadening the concept of health to include mental health, and by shifting the burden of proof. Rather than being incumbent upon the physician to prove that the abortion had been medically necessary, the ruling put the burden on the prosecution to prove that the abortion had not been necessary.
Vuitch performed roughly 1,000 abortions annually in his illegal practice, three blocks from the White House.
After the 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling, Vuitch ran into trouble in his abortion practice, leading to numerous malpractice suits and public disgrace related to unsanitary conditions, questionable practices, the birth of a live infant during an abortion, and the deaths of two abortion patients.
Vuitch died at age 78 at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, MD after suffering a stroke.
He was survived by wife Florence (Robinson) Vuitch and sons Frank, William, and John Vuitch.