Gloria Small, a 43-year-old mother of six, went to Ronald Tauber for a safe and 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.)
Tauber also got into trouble for sex crimes against children when he returned to Detroit after Gloria’s death.