Pro-choice activist dies after getting an abortion in Argentina
A young woman in Argentina died on the 11th of April following a legal chemical abortion, the first such recorded death after the passage of a law legalizing abortion in December last year.
María del Valle González López was a 23-year-old student in the town of La Paz in Mendoza Province, Argentina. According to the Argentine newspaper Clarín, the young woman went to the Arturo Illia hospital in La Paz for an abortion.
“There she was prescribed a medication – presumably misoprostol – and on Friday she began to feel ill. She was referred to the main healthcare facility in the eastern area of Mendoza, Perrupato Hospital, where they diagnosed a general infection that may have caused her death,” Clarín reported.
The investigation into the death of María del Valle was started by the Santa Rosa Prosecutor’s Office, but due to its complexity it will be sent to the San Martín Prosecutor’s Office next week, Clarín said. The results of the autopsy should be known soon, although it is not clear exactly when they will be released.
Misoprostol is a drug used to induce abortion in early pregnancy or to expedite a miscarriage. Potential side effects of the medication include bleeding and deadly hypovolemic shock. Generally, a woman who takes misoprostol then has a D&C (dilation and curettage) to remove any of the baby’s remains from the uterus.
If the D&C is done using equipment that is not properly sterilised or is contaminated, it can cause an infection that could lead to septicemia or a generalized infection, which can lead to death.