Elizabeth Tsuji, a 21-year-old Cal State student, underwent a safe and legal 8-week abortion at a local Planned Parenthood on November 11, 1977. She called the clinic in December to report that she was still not menstruating, but staff assured her that the abortion had been successful.
On February 1, 1978, Elizabeth confirmed that she was indeed still pregnant, five months along. The Planned Parenthood clinic referred her to Inglewood General Hospital for a saline abortion.
That evening, she packed a nightgown and told her family she was going to spend the night at a friend's house. That was the last time they saw her alive.
Elizabeth underwent the abortion on February 2, and died that day. Two autopsies were performed, neither of which could find a definitive cause of the young woman's death.
Abortionist Morton Barke was somehow involved, although documents aren't clear what his role was in her death. Barke also worked at the unsavory San Vicente Hospital. He is known to have been a partner at Inglewood and to have been involved in the deaths of Yvonne Tanner and Lynette Wallace. His involvement might have been that he served in a supervisory role.
The other women who met their deaths at Inglewood include Kathy Murphy, Cora Lewis, and Belinda Byrd. Other women who were referred for fatal abortions by Planned Parenthood include Christi Stile, Sandra Kaiser, and Andrea Corey.
One of Three Dead Patients of Dr. Justin Mitchell
|Dr. Justin Mitchell|
Dr. Justin L. Mitchell, age 57, of Palos Park, was charged by the Grand Jury on March 10 in Alice's death. Just 11 days after Alice's death, Mitchell was convicted in the abortion death of 32-year-old Mary Nowalowski. Mitchell had been implicated two years earlier in the abortion death of Mary Schwartz.
An Unknown Perpetrator
On February 2, 1926, Alberta Handy, a 38-year-old Black woman, died of a botched abortion in Chicago. The perpetrator was never caught.
A Doctor Wins a New Trial
On February 2, 1916, Ruth Camp died from complications of an illegal abortion performed in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Bennett Graff was found guilty of murder in Ruth's death, and sentenced to 11 - 13 years in prison. Graff protested "stoutly" and appealed the conviction. While awaiting trial in Ruth's death, another woman, Beulah Hatch, died at Denver's Mercy Hospital, and blame was placed on Graff for that death as well. Graff was found guilty of murder in Ruth's death, and sentenced to 11 - 13 years in prison, but won a new trial when a witness came forward and placed the responsibility for the abortion on a lay practitioner and asserted that Graff was merely attempting life-saving aftercare for Ruth.