Stella Saenz #40s #1960s #infection #preroelegal #california

SUMMARY: Stella Saenz, age 42, died April 13, 1968 from complications of a legal abortion performed in a California hospital.

Stella V. Saenz, age 42, was one of the growing number of safe-and-legal abortion deaths that were to soon almost completely replace illegal abortion deaths in the United States over the coming decade.

Stella had arranged for a legal abortion in the spring of 1968. At that time, California allowed legal abortions, but only in hospitals.

On April 11, she was admitted to Los Angeles County General Hospital with sepsis.

Doctors administered penicillin. Stella went into anaphylactic shock; neither she nor the doctors had realized that Stella was allergic to penicillin.

Doctors tried to treat both the infection and Stella's reaction to the penicillin, to no avail. She died on April 13.

The California Department of Public Health classified Stella's death as both a drug reaction death and a legal abortion death.


external image Abortion+Deaths+Since+1940.jpg

For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion


Sources: California Certificate of Death 68-083706; Los Angeles County CoronerÂ’s Report 68-3820


  1. 1900s
  2. 1910-1919
  3. 1920s
  4. 1930s
  5. 1940s
  6. 1950s
  7. 1960s
  8. 1970s
  9. 1980s
  10. 1990s
  11. 19th century
  12. 2000-2009
  13. 20s
  14. 30s
  15. 40s
  16. NAF
  17. abortifacient
  18. abortion
  19. abortion mill
  20. abortion mortality
  21. abortionists
  22. abortionists -- female
  23. abortionists -- male
  24. alabama
  25. anesthesia
  26. arizona
  27. black women
  28. botched abortion
  29. california
  30. chicago
  31. colorado
  32. connecticut
  33. cover-up
  34. death
  35. deaths
  36. deception
  37. delay in transport
  38. delay in treatment
  39. district of columbia
  40. dumped body
  41. ectopic
  42. embolism
  43. falsifying forms
  44. fetal indications
  45. florida
  46. former criminal abortionist
  47. george tiller
  48. georgia
  49. hemorrhage death
  50. hospitals
  51. illegal - doctor
  52. illegal - midwife
  53. illegal - nurse
  54. illegal - paramedical
  55. illegal - post roe
  56. illegal - unknown
  57. illegal - untrained
  58. illegal abortion
  59. illinois
  60. inadequate documents
  61. inadequate equipment
  62. inadequate resuscitation
  63. incomplete abortion
  64. indiana
  65. infection
  66. kansas
  67. legal abortion
  68. llinois
  69. louisiana
  70. maryland
  71. massachusetts
  72. maternal indications
  73. maternal mortality
  74. michigan
  75. mills
  76. missouri
  77. mortality
  78. national abortion federation
  79. new jersey
  80. new mexico
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  82. north carolina
  83. ohio
  84. oklahoma
  85. pennsylvania
  86. planned parenthood
  87. pre-roe legal
  88. previous misconduct
  89. prostaglandin
  90. quackery
  91. questionable stories
  92. ru-486
  93. rupture
  94. saline
  95. secret abortion
  96. self-induced
  97. suicide
  98. teens
  99. texas
  100. wisconsin