* In March 1989, six months after Becky Bell’s death, 16-year-old Erica Kae Richardson of Cheltenham, Maryland was assisted by her aunt in obtaining an abortion without her mother’s consent or knowledge. Erica’s aunt, a registered nurse, first took her to Washington Hospital Center, which would not perform the abortion because the pregnancy was 19 weeks along. She then took her to the Metropolitan Women’s Center in Laurel, where Dr. Gene Crawford carried out the abortion, puncturing her uterus in the process. Erica died several hours later from “rupture of [her] lower uterus and cervix with complications, including hemorrhage into the pelvic cavity surrounding the uterus and air embolism.”    
It is often argued that women have a right to control their own reproductive capacity and that abortion is a vital tool for doing this. Proponents of this view state that nobody has the right to force a woman to undergo a nine month pregnancy, with all the accompanying discomfort and serious health risks, if she does not want to. Some say that the right to abortion is absolute and it is acceptable to use it as a method of birth control; other pro-choice advocates disagree but believe it should be available in cases where pregnancy will endanger the woman's health, the fetus has a severe congenital defect or the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.