(Published in The Washington Post
on 26 12mo 2010.)
ROBINSON, FLORENCE VUITCH "Lee" (Age 81) On Thursday, December 9, 2010 at her residence in Leisure World of Maryland. Florence (Lee) Vuitch, 81, of Silver Spring, MD. Born October 17, 1929 to Mabel K. Robinson and Col. Ernest F. Robinson in Syracuse, NY.|
Graduated from National Cathedral School, Washington, DC and Wells College, Aurora, NY. Beloved wife of the late Dr. Milan Vuitch. Loving mother of Dr. M. Frank Vuitch (Angela) of Dallas, TX, John Z. Vuitch (Barbara Wyckoff) of Silver Spring, MD and the late William Vuitch; sister of Charles D. Robinson of Richmond, VA, Harold E. Robinson of Arlington, VA and the late William K. Robinson of Canton, NY. She is also survived by two grandchildren, Jay and Robin Vuitch of Dallas, TX.
A Memorial Service officiated by her niece, the Reverend Micki Robinson of St. Petersburg, FL, will be held on Sunday, January 16, 2011 from 12 Noon until 2 p.m. at the Chesapeake Room of Club House 1, at Leisure World of Maryland.
(Published in The Washington Post on 10 4mo 1993.)|
MILAN M. VUITCH, 78, DIES|
By Bart Barnes, April 10, 1993
Milan M. Vuitch, 78, a physician and outspoken advocate of liberalized abortion laws who was arrested for performing illegal abortions 16 times in Washington, Maryland and Virginia before the U.S. Supreme Court legalized such procedures in 1973, died April 6 at Holy Cross Hospital after a stroke.
During his years of medical practice in Washington, Dr. Vuitch fought a running legal battle with the medical establishment and law enforcement officials. He was first arrested for abortion law violations in 1964, and he was arrested regularly after that. But he never served any jail time, and most of the charges against him were dropped, overturned on appeal or ended in acquittal.
It was one of his arrests in Washington that led to a 1969 ruling by U.S. District Judge Gerhard A. Gesell that the city's law regulating abortions was unconstitutionally vague. Gesell held that any licensed physician could perform an abortion for any reason that was satisfactory both to the patient and the physician. The case eventually came before the U.S. Supreme Court and helped lay the groundwork for the court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortions.
Until 1984, Dr. Vuitch operated the Laurel Clinic in Washington, where he performed abortions. He also had operated abortion clinics in suburban Maryland and Virginia. During the years when abortions were illegal in most states, Dr. Vuitch was widely known throughout the mid-Atlantic region as a physician who was willing to carry out the procedure.
The Laurel Clinic closed in 1984 after being cited for medical deficiencies, including the improper use of anesthesia. Dr. Vuitch and the clinic had been targets of several malpractice suits, including one in which they agreed to pay $150,000 to the family of a West Virginia woman who died after an abortion.
Contesting efforts by city officials to shut him down, Dr. Vuitch declared, "I stand behind my work. No one's talking about revoking the licenses of all the other doctors and hospitals who have malpractice suits. I think it's all fabricated, political and part of the general confusion surrounding abortion."
But in 1984, he retired after signing an agreement with city officials that prevented him from practicing medicine in the District of Columbia.
Dr. Vuitch, a resident of Silver Spring, was born in Serbia. He received his medical degree from the University of Budapest. He was a physician in the Yugoslav Army early in World War II, but was captured by the Nazis and later conscripted into a Hungarian Army medical unit serving with the Germans. He was a physician on a hospital train treating men who had been wounded in combat. Near the end of the war, he was captured by U.S. Army forces and held as a prisoner of war.
After the war, he practiced general and gynecological surgery in Yugoslavia until 1955, when he immigrated to the United States and settled in the Washington area. He opened a medical practice here after completing an internship and residency at Doctors Hospital in Washington.
Dr. Vuitch contributed articles to medical journals published in this country and abroad.
He was an enthusiastic jogger.
Survivors include his wife, Florence Vuitch of Silver Spring; three sons, Frank Vuitch of Dallas and William and John Vuitch, both of Silver Spring; and a grandson.