Harvey Leroy Karman (1924–2008)
Harvey Karman was an abortionist, inventor, and activist for safe abortion techniques in the US during the twentieth century. Karman developed the Karman cannula, a flexible soft tube used for vacuum aspiration abortions. Karman traveled extensively throughout the US to educate healthcare providers on how to administer safe abortions. He also traveled to Bangladesh, India, China, and other developing nations to promote safe and simple abortion techniques that anyone could perform without previous medical training. As of 2017, Karman’s abortion technique and cannula continue to be widely used throughout the world for terminating early pregnancies. Karman challenged laws prohibiting abortion in the US prior to 1973 and worked to create methods for abortion that were safer, less expensive, and easier to administer than previous abortion techniques.