The notion of abortion as a safe medical procedure took another blow with the recent death of Carolina Gutierrez of Miami.

Gutierrez, 21, the mother of two children, obtained a legal abortion at the Maber Medical Center December 19 in the East Little Havana section of Miami. According to reports, Gutierrez had been reluctant to obtain the abortion, but was pressured into the action by a family friend.

On returning from the clinic, Gutierrez experienced pain and dizziness and after her calls to the Maber clinic were ignored, she was admitted to hospital December 2. There, doctors found Gutierrez to be in septic shock due to a severe blood infection.

Despite being placed on massive antibiotics, gangrene soon set in and infection spread throughout Gutierrez’s body. Her condition worsened until her death February 5.

A lawyer representing the Gutierrez family said doctors told him the women’s uterus had been perforated at least twice during the abortion.

Martha Augustine of Miami Right to Life told The Interim that the Gutierrez case has galvanized Florida’s pro-life community.  

“The death of every mother due to an abortion is serious enough, but this was especially tragic,” Augustine said. “There’s evidence that Mrs. Gutierrez didn’t want the abortion but was pressured by a friend of the family. They’re still trying to find out who this friend was.”

Gutierrez’ husband Jose, who was not aware that his wife had gone for the abortion, was devastated by Carolina’s death. Pro-life groups have begun a fundraising project in support of Jose and his two young children.

Miami Right to Life and other local pro-life organizations responded to the tragedy with a call for tighter restrictions over the abortion industry in the U.S. They claim that the media regularly ignores death, injury and abuse done to women at abortion clinics throughout the U.S.

Florida state officials are now investigating the details surrounding the Gutierrez death. A lawsuit against the abortionist and the clinic owners is pending, and the clinic has been closed since December.

News of the Gutierrez death prompted five other women who have been injured while undergoing abortions at the Maber clinic to come forward. As well, at least one woman scheduled for an abortion at a neighbouring clinic decided to keep her baby in light of the Gutierrez case.

The death in Miami coincides with the release of a new book Lime 5 which argues that women seeking abortions are frequently injured, raped, abused, or even killed at U.S. abortion clinics.

Written by Mark Crutcher and published by Life Dynamics Inc. of Denton, Texas, the book is based entirely on public records. It claims the abuse of women at the hands of abortion clinic operators goes largely unreported and that it is difficult if not impossible for women injured by abortion to seek redress through the courts.