Harvey Karman, whose invention led to safer, less painful abortions, died this month of a stroke in Santa Barbara, California. He was 84 years old. In the 1970’s, Karman developed the soft, flexible cannula, still widely used in early abortions, that made the procedure faster, safer, and more accessible for women.
Karmen also performed abortions before the procedure was legalized, serving two and a half years in prison as a result, reports UPI.
“Harvey Karman did more for safe abortion around the world than practically any other person in the world. Karman’s name is not known, yet his ingenuity and to some extent his courage has made safe abortion available to literally millions of women around the world,” said Dr. Malcolm Potts, who accompanied Karman on a humanitarian mission to Bangladesh 35 years ago to aid rape victims, according to the LA Times.
Karman is survived by his four children and six grandchildren.