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Sunday, October 6, 1996 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Pacific Northwest

UW Department Honors Doctor Who Led Abortion-Law Reform

Seattle Times Staff: Seattle Times News Services

SEATTLE - A controversial Renton doctor who performed illegal abortions in the 1960s was honored posthumously yesterday by the University of Washington's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Belinda Koome Eliahu accepted the first annual Rosie Award on behalf of her late father, Dr. A. Frans Koome, who made headlines in 1969 when he admitted performing abortions at his general-practice clinic.

Abortion was illegal then, but Koome wrote to then-Gov. Dan Evans, urging the state to reform its abortion laws. A reform measure was placed on the November 1970 ballot and voters approved it.

Koome kept performing abortions throughout the 1970s. He died in 1978 at the age of 49, apparently after being thrown from a horse.

The Rosaura "Rosie" Jimenez Memorial Award, named after a Texas woman who died in 1977 following an abortion performed by an unskilled health-care worker, will be presented annually to someone who has significantly contributed to providing high-quality abortion

services.

Copyright (c) 1996 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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