Fr. Paul Marx, president of Human Life International, a pro-life organization headquartered in Gaitherburg, Md., has charged the State of Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) with the deliberate cover-up of two abortion deaths which occurred in Prince George’s County abortion clinics in 1989.


The victims were Erica Richardson, 16, and Debra Gray, both of whom died soon after undergoing legal abortions.  Ms. Richardson died on March 2, 1989 in the Metropolitan Women’s Health Center, just hours after Dr. Gene O. Crawford had performed a suction abortion on her.

Ms. Gray died July 15, 1989, following abandonment of life support procedures demanded by complications arising from an abortion performed three days earlier by Dr. Gideon M. Kioko, at the Hillview Women’s Medical Surgical Center.

Although the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Maryland (a division of the DHMH) performed autopsies on both girls, neither case shows up as an abortion death in the official DHMD records.

“In fact, the official Maryland records falsely report no abortion death in the official deaths in 1989,” said Fr. Marx.

Blame the legislature

He laid the blame for the omission on the State Legislature which has repeatedly refused to mandate the reporting of all abortions and abortion complications.  “The legislature has struck the people of Maryland with a ridiculous, purely voluntary system of reporting, whereby an abortion butcher can decide for himself whether or not to report his malpractice.”

Fr. Marx also denounced the euphemisms employed by the State Medical Examiner’s office in investigating abortion malpractice.  “Take Erica Richardson’s death from severe haemorrhage and an air embolus, a result of the abortionist perforating her uterus – it was sanitized as a ‘therapeutic misadventure’ by the Medical Examiner, who listed the ‘manner of death’ as an ‘accident’ on the autopsy report.

“Some misadventure!” declared Marx.  “The death was an ‘accident’ only in the sense that the abortionist didn’t beat his patient to death with a hammer,” he added.  “Is it any wonder the State issues phoney abortion statistics when reporting is at the whim of abortionists?”

Parental notification

“Teenager Richardson’s sad death is also a stark example of why parental notification/ consent laws are a necessity,” said Marx, who pointed out that Maryland has no such requirement.  “Poor Erica was aborted without the knowledge or consent of her parents.”  He noted that “she might still be alive if she had been obliged to consult with them.”

According to The Washington Post, Ms. Gray’s death occurred when her “brain was deprived of oxygen for at least 12 minutes.”

The Post story detailed instances where anesthesia was routinely administered by non-qualified personnel at the notorious Hillview abortion mill.

According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Ms. Gray’s “manner of death” was “undetermined” and the “cause of death” was listed as “unknown” on the autopsy report.

Marx called upon the State Legislature immediately to set in motion a three-point program:

  • “Investigate why abortion deaths, which are common knowledge in various newspapers published in the State, nevertheless fail to appear in the State’s official records;
  • “Enact mandatory requirements for abortion reporting;
  • “Enact parental notification/consent laws so that there will never be any more Erica Richardson cases.”

James A. Miller id Director of Research, Human Life International in Gaitersburg, Maryland.