Tuesday, July 14, 2020

1921: More Confusion, No Justice

On July 14, 1921, 23-year-old homemaker Edna May Rohner died at Illinois Masonic Hospital in Chicago from an abortion reportedly perpetrated by Dr. Otto Klemmick.

He was held by the coroner and tried, but acquitted on June 12, 1923. The source material is scanty, so it's unclear how much evidence there was against Klemick or why he was acquitted. Whether Klemmick was truly innocent, or whether he simply managed to escape punishment, Edna and her baby got no justice.

When I checked on Newspapers.com to see if there was any information from recently added newspapers, I found the following snippet in the July 15, 1921 Chicago Tribune:

This piece says that Edna died from a self-induced abortion.

So a search for more information about Edna's tragic death just led to more confusion.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

From Mysterious in 1889 to Safe and Legal in 1978

Unclear Circumstances in Chicago, 1889

On July 12, 1889, 24-year-old Annie Doran, from Traverse City, Michigan, died suddenly in Chicago. 
Annie had come to Chicago about two weeks earlier, and had asked her sister to accompany her to visit friends in Cadillac, Michigan. They stayed for three days, Annie's sister said. 

Annie's brother-in-law, a former county sheriff, pushed for an investigation. The coroner's inquest concluded that she had bled to death from an abortion, possibly self-induced. News coverage, however, indicated that a physician, Dr. McMullen, was believed to have provided Annie with abortifacients. However, McMullen indicated that he was in New York attending a medical conference at the time.

Annie's sister said that she had been unaware that her sister had been pregnant. Mrs. Hansen, who ran the boarding house where Annie died, also said that she'd known nothing about Annie being pregnant.

The crime scene was described in the Homicide in Chicago database as a "Medical facility", with the additional notes, "Midwife, Abortion place" and "Clinic (e.g. abortion facility)". This lends credence to the idea that Annie had visited some sort of doctor or midwife for the purpose of an abortion.

Two Doctors in Oklahoma, 1918

Druggist John A. Sims of Stigler, Oklahoma, was charged in the abortion murder of 18- or 20-year-old telephone operator Grace Malone in 1918. Simms was believed to be responsible for Grace's pregnancy as well as for arranging the abortion, though not present when it was perpetrated on July 11 at the home of her sister, Mrs. Cynthia Vasser.

Cynthia stated that she had sterilized the instruments in question by boiling them in water. She didn't know what they were called, but said that one resembled scissors without blades. She said that Dr. W. W. Aiken of Muskogee perpetrated the abortion, assisted by another physician that neither she nor another witness were able to positively identify. The witnesses could, however, identify Dr. L. D. Bruton as a physician that Aiken called in at some point to help him in providing care to Grace.

Grace died there the following day, July 12. The original death certificate attributed her death to "heart failure," but an autopsy found internal lacerations.

Aiken and Bruton were charged with murder in Grace's death, as was Sims, after Grace's father, O. E. Malone, filed a complaint against them. Both Grace's father and sister said that Grace had originally gone to Dr. T. B. Turner of Stigler, OK to ask him to perform an abortion. Only after he refused did she go to Muskogee and arrange for Aiken to do the abortion.

During pre-trial proceedings, Grace's father ran out of the courtroom shouting that somebody needed to be punished for his daughter's death. He was taken to the county attorney's office, where he was able to regain his composure.

Sims died, reportedly from "nervous collapse," before his case went to trial. Aiken and Bruton had also been charged with murder in Grace's death, but charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence to secure a conviction after Sims' death.

Abortion-on-Demand Unleashed in New York

Pearl Schwier, age 42, was 20 weeks pregnant when she sought a safe, legal abortion under New York state's new law, at St. Luke's hospital in New York City.

She was brought into the operating room on July 6, 1970 for a hysterotomy abortion, which is simply a c-section in which the intention is to allow the baby to die rather than to deliver him or her alive. It was performed under general anesthesia.

About 45 minutes into the procedure, Pearl had a reaction to the anesthesia and never regained consciousness, dying on July 12, leaving her husband, John, a widower.

The 1970 liberalization of abortion had made New York an abortion mecca until the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court ruling that abortionists could legally set up shop in any state of the union. In addition to Pearl, these are the women I know of who had the dubious benefit of dying from the newfangled safe-and-legal kind of abortion in pre-Roe New York. The following include women noted by public health officials from the mid-1970 legalization for a two year period ending in mid-1972:

  • 1970: Carmen Rodriguez, salt solution intended to kill the fetus accidentally injected into her bloodstream; Barbara Riley, sickle-cell crisis triggered by abortion recommended by doctor due to her sickle cell disease; "Amanda" Roe, sent back to her home in Indiana with an untreated hole poked in her uterus; Maria Ortega, fetus shoved through her uterus into her pelvic cavity then left there; "Kimberly" Roe, cardiac arrest during abortion
  • 1971: "Amy" Roe, massive pulmonary embolism; "Andrea" Roe, overwhelming infection; "Sandra" Roe, committed suicide due to post-abortion remorse; "Anita" Roe, bled to death in her home during process of outpatient saline abortion; Margaret Smith,  hemorrhage from multiple lacerations during outpatient hysterotomy abortion; "Annie" Roe,  cardiac arrest during anesthesia; "Audrey" Roe, cardiac arrest during abortion; "Vicki" Roe,  post-abortion infection; "April" Roe, injected with saline for outpatient abortion, went into shock and died; "Barbara" Roe, cardiac arrest after saline injection for abortion; "Tammy" Roe, massive post-abortion infection; Carole Schaner, hemorrhage from multiple lacerations during outpatient hysterotomy abortion; "Beth" Roesaline injection meant to kill fetus accidentally injected into her bloodstream
  • 1972: "Roseann" Roe, vomiting with seizures causing pneumonia after saline abortion; "Connie" Roe, cardiac arrest during abortion; "Julie" Roe, holes torn in her uterus and bowel; "Robin" Roe, lingering abortion complications; "Roxanne" Roe, given overdose of abortion sedatives; "Danielle" Roe, air in her bloodstream
Screwed-up Anesthesia, 1978

In 1978, Twenty-seven-year-old Gail Mazo went to Mt. Sinai in New York for an abortion, because she had ulcerative colitis. While she was under general anesthesia for the abortion, Gail began to vomit, and breathed the vomit into her lungs. The material in her lungs caused  complications that killed Gail on July 12.

Gail's survivors filed suit against the anesthesiologist for failure to recognize that Gail was a high-risk patient and to treat her accordingly. The family and the doctor eventually settled out of court for $800,000 ($3.15 million in 2020 dollars).

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Three Chicago Deaths

Three Deaths in Early 20th Century Chicago

On July 11, 1904, Alma Swanson (link broken), 24-year-old wife of Morris Swanson, died at her Chicago home from an abortion performed there that day. Midwife Constance Marie Anderson was arrested and held by Coroner's Jury on July 15. (Source: Homicide in Chicago Interactive Database, not sure what else!)

At six weeks pregnant, 24-year-old "Cathy", identified in the source document as "Mrs. W.," used a catheter on herself to perform an abortion. All seemed well for three weeks, but then she took sick. On July 7, 1909, three weeks after taking ill, Cathy was admitted to Cook County Hospital by a doctor who had diagnosed her as suffering from typhoid fever. Her pulse was 144, her respirations 42, and her temperature 104.8. The Widal test for typhoid came back negative. Cathy's blood culture showed streptococci instead. Her leucocyte count was 8,800. Cathy developed an abscess on her left forearm, and it too tested positive for streptococci. For reasons the source document does not make clear, the septicemia was attributed to the self-induced abortion. Doctors were unable to fight the infection, and Cathy died on July 11.

On July 11, 1920, 36-year-old homemaker Vincenza Romans died at Chicago's Columbus Hospital from septicemia after an abortion. A midwife named Marie Lendino was arrested, and was indicted on July 15, but the case never went to trial for reasons the source does not indicate.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Media Lies and Abortion: Same Stuff Different Century

Marie Oganesoff, wife of the Russian Attaché in Washington during WWI, died on July 11, 1919, from complications of a criminal abortion performed on July 5 by Dr. Julius Hammer, father of industrialist Armand Hammer. Hammer was a 1902 graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

The autopsy performed on Marie's body found that she had been about one month into her pregnancy at the time of the abortion. All of her internal organs were normal except for signs of damage due to the sepsis. Marie's body showed no signs that she had been suffering from influenza. There was also no mention of preexisting heart or kidney problems.

A grinning, middle-aged white man with salt-and-pepper hair and round dark eyeglasses
Marie's maid testified that she'd accompanied her employer to Hammer's office on the morning of Saturday, July 5. Upon arriving at Hammer's office, Marie had been in perfectly good health, but she was pale and weak upon leaving, needing help to go downstairs and get into her car. Marie had told her driver to drive very slowly. The chauffeur corroborated this testimony. Upon their return home, the maid helped Marie to bed, and noticed bright red spots of blood on her underwear.

Mr. Oganesoff testified that when he returned from work sometime between 4:00 and 5:00 pm, he found Marie in bed. The next morning he spoke to his ailing wife but was unable to reach Hammer by telephone. He managed to reach Hammer that evening, and reported that Marie was very ill and had a high fever. Hammer, he said, came that evening, peered in Marie's throat, and said "She had grippe and maybe flu." Mr. Oganesoff expressed great anxiety about his wife's condition, whereupon Hammer admitted that he had performed "a little operation", but that Marie was in no danger.

Hammer returned the following day and again on Tuesday, when he performed an internal examination on Marie. Hammer, Mr. Oganesoff said, assured him that Marie was in no danger and was in fact recovering. Mr. Oganesoff wasn't convinced and asked Hammer about getting a second opinion. Mr. Oganesoff said that Hammer told him, "There is nothing dangerous, we can see tomorrow, I can bring my friend doctor." Mr. Oganesoff testified that he also suggested hiring a nurse to attend to Marie, but Hammer responded, "Very sorry, now it is very difficult to get, but when I can get my nurse which was nurse to my baby I bring with me."

By Wednesday evening, Mr. Oganesoff had wearied of Hammer's stalling and called another doctor on his own initiative. He said that Hammer told him, "Don't tell [the new doctor] that I make a little operation." I don't know this second doctor's name so I will call him Doctor A.

Upon arriving at the Oganesoff residence, Doctor A examined Marie and immediately got two nurses to help him.  He testified that he called Hammer and told him that Marie showed signs of peritonitis. Hammer, Doctor A said, insisted that Marie had been suffering from "grippe" (influenza) and a sore throat for six days. Had this been true, surely Marie's maid would have noted that her employer had been sick four days earlier when arriving at Hammer's office.

Doctor A said that he insisted to Hammer that he was not seeing any symptoms of influenza, only peritonitis. In Friday morning, Doctor A testified, it was clear that Marie was dying of peritonitis but Hammer kept insisting that she had influenza. Doctor A said that Hammer made it clear even before Marie's death that he, Hammer, wanted to fill out the death certificate as attending physician and list influenza as the cause of death.

Hammer was charged with manslaughter and put on trial.

He said that Marie had called him on July 4, saying that she needed to see him urgently. He said that he'd tried to put her off because he hadn't wanted to come into the city, but he finally agreed to meet her at his office on the morning of Saturday, July 5. Hammer said that he had treated Marie almost exactly one year earlier, performing a curettage on her.

Hammer said that when Marie arrived at around 10:00 a.m., she told him that her period was nine days late and that she'd felt miserably sick for the previous two weeks. He said that she told him that she'd attempted her standard home abortion with a crochet hook cleaned with peroxide, but that this time she hadn't gotten the desired result. The bleeding, she said, was bright red and didn't look like menstrual flow. She said that she had headaches, couldn't keep any food down, and was in a very miserable condition. 

Hammer's assertions that Marie was ill and unable to keep any food down doesn't jibe with the maid's testimony that Marie had been healthy prior to the visit to Hammer's office, though both the maid and Marie's husband testified that Marie had been suffering from headaches for a number of days prior to her visit to Hammer's office.

Hammer said that Marie pestered him to finish the abortion she had tried to start with the crochet hook. According to Hammer, she said, "There is no use persuading me to leave it go; you know my history; you know I cannot leave it go; it is a question whether you are going to relieve me or keep me in misery for a few weeks, and then I will go to have it done anyway." He also said that he'd informed her that the crochet hook wouldn't have been sterile from just being washed in peroxide and she might well have introduced germs from her vagina into her uterus.

Hammer said that he told Marie that he didn't want to do the abortion because he wanted to go back to the countryside and rejoin his family. He said that he told her to either go home or to a hospital. Hammer said that Marie scolded him for not attending to her promptly. He testified that she said, "Well, then how can you then talk to me about postponing the case, when you said to me yourself I might have infected myself and in such a case every hour may count."

Hammer testified that at this point "I was in a quandary. I felt that I didn't care for this job; I didn't want that job, but I called in Dr. Diamond."

Diamond, who had been a physician for about 18 months, worked with Hammer and lived with Hammer's family. Hammer said that he explained the situation to Diamond as he washed his hands in preparation for treating Marie. He said that he put on gloves, examined Marie, and showed blood on his fingers to Diamond, asking him, "What would you do under these circumstances?" Hammer said that Diamond said that he would immediately do a curettage. 

With no nurse or other doctor present, Hammer said, he proceeded with the curettage then swabbed out Marie's uterus. He said that Marie also reported a mild sore throat, for which he recommended gargling.

Hammer also said that Marie told him that she had been to many doctors in Europe and the United States, all of whom had told her that she had heart and kidney problems such that she shouldn't have any more children.

Diamond testified that he'd spoken with Marie in a mix of English and Russian. She had said that she had used a crochet hook to start an abortion and had been bleeding since the previous day. He testified that she did have a menstrual pad in her underwear and that the pad did have blood on it. Diamond said that Marie had told him that six or eight years earlier, when she'd been in Europe, she'd taken very ill when three or four months into a pregnancy. She told him, Diamond testified, that she ended up in the hospital for this illness, that it was due to kidney trouble and heart trouble and that she needed an abortion to save her life. She said that the abortion was performed at that time and the doctors had told her never to get pregnant again since another pregnancy might kill her. 

Diamond testified that Marie told him that she'd become pregnant on numerous occasions since that abortion. Each time she'd either gotten a doctor to perform an abortion or had done one herself with a crochet hook. 

Diamond also testified that he had listened to Marie's heart with a stethoscope " for a complete examination" and "for the question as an anesthetic." However, no anesthetic was administered to Marie. He said that he had not tested Marie's urine nor made any examination of her kidneys or throat. Nobody took Marie's temperature. He said that he did believe that Marie had influenza because she said she had a headache and general feeling of being unwell.

Some other doctors testified on Hammer's behalf. One, whom I'll call Doctor B, said that he'd cared for Marie in July of 1917. At that time, Doctor B testified, Marie was about three or four months pregnant and had a heart disease. She'd told him, he testified, that a European doctor had told her she must not bear any more children. He said that she told him that she'd had several curettage abortions performed since that time. Doctor. B said that he didn't bother performing an abortion on Marie since she seemed to be in the process of mismarrying at the time.

Another doctor, whom I'll call Doctor C, testified that Marie had come to him in January of 1918, telling him of her repeated abortions for health reasons, and showing symptoms of uterine disease. She said that she feared she might be pregnant. Doctor C said that he hadn't been able to determine whether or not Marie was pregnant but decided to do a curettage just to be on the safe side.

Two other doctors were called in to give expert testimony. The situation as Hammer had described it was presented to them. They said that if they believed that a patient needed a curettage, they would perform it in a hospital or at least in the woman's home, where she could remain in bed for 24 hours. One of those two doctors also noted that he would never perform such a procedure on a woman in her street clothes and without a nurse or other assistant present. Both physicians indicated that any reputable physician would get a second opinion to verify that it was necessary to preform an abortion to save the life of a pregnant patient.

Both doctors testified that a fever could set in 18 hours after such a procedure but would more typically arise within 24 to 72 hours. This became a sticking point in the trial, since Hammer insisted that Marie had brought the infection on with the crochet hook and that the first signs of fever had an onset too soon after the curettage for this to be the cause of the infection.

The jury was basically considering the following factors in their deliberations:

1. The expert witnesses said that a responsible physician would seek a second opinion before proceeding with an abortion to save a patient's life. They had testimony by Hammer and Diamond that Hammer had asked Diamond's opinion before proceeding with the curettage. However, Diamond didn't actually examine Marie. He only spoke to her briefly and testified to having seen blood on a menstrual pad and on Hammer's glove.

2. The expert witnesses testified that they would not perform such a procedure without a nurse or other assistant present, as Hammer had done.

3. Hammer hadn't even bothered to take Marie's temperature prior to performing a procedure on her. This would have been expected in order to determine whether Marie was suffering from an infection prior to starting the procedure. Thus, Hammer's pre-operative examination of Marie was inadequate and he had no evidence to back his assertion that the curettage was necessary at that time.

4. Hammer had not instructed Marie to take her temperature after returning home and immediately report any fever, as a reasonable physician would have done.

5. When Marie was clearly ill and suffering from fever, Hammer had not followed through by procuring nursing care for Marie, nor did he consult with colleagues, as Doctor A had promptly done.

6. Even after Mr. Oganesoff had transferred care of his wife to Doctor A, Hammer continued to show up at the house, insisting that Marie had influenza, and that he had been treating her for influenza and withholding the crucial information that he had performed a presumably medically-indicated curettage upon her.

7. While Doctor A was treating Marie, Hammer kept pestering Doctor A with requests that he be permitted to complete the death certificate and list influenza as the cause of death.

The jurors clearly didn't think that Hammer's behavior indicated that he had performed the abortion in a good-faith attempt to preserve Marie's life. In fact, Hammer seemed to be more concerned with falsifying Marie's death certificate than in preserving her life even as three other doctors were struggling to save her.

Dr. Hammer was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 3 1/2 - 15 years. 

Hammer appealed, and with help from a complicit media he drummed up public outrage. Hammer's supporters insisted that he had been prosecuted for trying to save Marie's life. "Fight for a Life Jails Physician Who Broke Law: Court Rules Statutes Higher than Science," screams a headline in the July 20, 1920 Chicago Tribune.
The article opens with clearly false assertions: 

The law is the law regardless of physicians or ethics and regardless of life or death.

The law says that certain surgical operations are against the rights of society and therefore they are criminal. Nothing by way of mitigation can enter into a case where such an operation has been performed. Even though the operation were a battle to save a woman's life, says the law, the surgeon who performs it is a malefactor.

That's not what the law says, and any reporter who wanted to report honestly could have found this information easily.

Hammer was prosecuted under Section 2015 of the Penal Law, which says, "Any person who provides, supplies or administers to a woman … or who uses or employs, or causes to be used or employed any instrument or other means with intent thereby to procures the miscarriage of a woman, unless the same is necessary to preserve her life, [emphasis mine] in case the death of the woman, or of any quick child of which she is pregnant, is thereby produced, is guilty of manslaughter in the first degree."

The article then continues to misrepresent the facts of the case.

"A year ago Mrs. Marie Oganesoff, one of Dr. Hammer's wealthy patients, was sent to the hospital. She expected a child."

This sentence implies that Marie arrived at a hospital, pregnant and ailing, and that Hammer had been, from the beginning, dealing with a patient who was clearly in mortal danger.
"Dr. Hammer was convinced that if Mrs. Oganesoff underwent the natural course she would die. The chances were a thousand to one against her recovery. There was but one operation which might save her. But this operation was against the law."

Actually, according to his own testimony, Hammer had wanted to resume his weekend plans with his family but only did the operation because Marie pestered him. Neither Hammer nor Diamond testified as to any sense that Marie was in immediate danger. As for the claim that "the chances were a thousand to one against her recovery," all of the doctors testifying on Hammer's behalf, including himself, said that Marie told them that she routinely dealt with pregnancies with a hasty abortion, either performed by a doctor or of the crochet-hook variety. Nobody, not even Hammer himself, testified that Marie was in some sort of medical crisis.

"He told his friends that he would perform the operation regardless of the law -- and did so. But he lost the fight with death, for Mrs. Oganesoff succumbed to the shock."

Hammer and his defense witnesses didn't testify to any pre-abortion consultation in which he bravely risked his freedom to save his patient. He just showed Diamond some blood on a glove and then calmly proceeded. This wasn't a case of Hammer bravely forging ahead to save his patient's life. This was a case of Hammer trying to cover his ass while three other doctors struggled to save his patient's life.

As icing on the cake, Hammer also tried to claim on appeal that an apparent attempt by the defense to get a juror to take a $10,000 bribe prejudiced the jury against him. This claim fell flat because Hammer's attorney had stated that he was satisfied at the time that the jury had not been tainted by the incident.

Hammer's conviction was upheld on appeal.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Pamela Colson With New Clippings

Pamela Colson, age 31, was 12 weeks pregnant when friends drive her to Women's Medical Services in Pensacola, Florida, for a safe and legal abortion on Saturday, June 25, 1994. The abortion was performed by Dr. William Philip Keene.

Pamela bled heavily during the drive home. According to her friends, Pamela became unresponsive at around 7:30 p.m., so they stopped at a motel. Two passers-by did CPR while Pamela's friends called for an ambulance. Pamela was taken to a hospital where she had to be resuscitated because she was in full cardiac arrest. She died shortly after midnight the following day after an emergency hysterectomy.

Her autopsy showed: bloodstained fluid in chest and peritoneal space, and "extensive hematoma formation in the pelvic area with the peritoneum denuded from the left gutter area caudually." The surgeon who performed an emergency hysterectomy, trying to save Pamela's life, had removed her uterus at the site of the laceration "so that the laceration was a portion of the incision made to remove the uterus." Her uterus showed extensive hemorrhage and blood clots. Her uterine artery was also injured. Several of Pamela's ribs were fractured, apparently during attempts to resuscitate her; this is common in even properly performed CPR.

The cause of death was given as "irreversible shock from blood loss due to a perforated uterus occurring at the time of an elective abortion." William Keene was tentatively identified as having performed the abortion.

Pamela's fatal abortion was performed at the clinic where abortionist David Gun was shot dead.

After the investigation into Pamela's death, Keene was fired from Sarasota Women's Health Center. The director of Women's Medical Service, on the other hand, pooh-poohed the idea of dismissing Keene. "Of course he's allowed to perform abortions. That's a ridiculous question. Complications occur all the time," clinic director Sandy Sheldon told the Tuscaloosa News. She insisted that Pamela had seemed fine, talking and eating, before being discharged from the clinic.

Pamela's family didn't find out about her death until the following Tuesday because they were traveling at the time. They sued the clinic but the case was dismissed because of the plaintiff attorney's failure to submit an investigation in a timely manner.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Jane Doe of Newark With New Clippings

A 20-year-old Newark college student, identified in prolife sources as "Jane Doe of Newark," underwent a safe and legal abortion by Dr. Steven Berkman at Metropolitan Medical Associates on June 16, 1993. She was in the second trimester of pregnancy.

Jane reportedly felt dizzy in recovery. Berkman examined her, noted that she had a perforated uterus, and had her taken to a hospital by ambulance. She died in surgery, leaving her four-year-old son motherless.

"We are intensely investigating this matter," said an attorney for Jane's family. "We know something occurred that shouldn't have. We had a healthy 20-year-old go into that clinic and not come out. And I think a delay had something to do with it." Her medical chart showed the injury occurring at 10 a.m., but the ambulance wasn't summoned until two hours later.

A state report cited "chaos and confusion" when the ambulance arrived at the clinic to find Jane lifeless. The ambulance workers were not given adequate information about her condition.

Berkman said that there was no delay in transporting Jane to the hospital. He also said he did not believe she died from blood loss. The Bergen County Medical Examiner found that Jane had died from hemorrhage from a perforated uterus. Jane also had developed a clotting disorder that made it difficult to stop any bleeding. He ruled the death accidental.

Jane Roe is "Tracy" on Life Dynamics' "Blackmun Wall".

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Angela Hall, Updated and with Pics and New Clippings

Angela Hall, a 27-year-old mother of five, felt unable to deal with a sixth child. She saw an advertisement for safe, legal abortionat Thomas Tucker's office in Alabama.  The ad, which pictured a couple walking arm-in-arm, said that Tucker did abortions to 24 weeks. Angela called to schedule an appointment. 

Angela was keeping the abortion a secret from her mother, and drove to Tucker's Birmingham clinic with a friend, Annette Wilson. One of Tucker's employees, Joy Davis, screened Angela and felt that she had risk factors that made abortion in an office setting unsafe. She had a fever and was anemic. Joy got on the phone with Tucker and indicated that she felt that Angela should be referred to a hospital. Tucker told Davis that "we need the money. Just do it. Just put the patient through." 

Tucker ordered her to prep Angela, who was in the second trimester of pregnancy. The fee for Angela's abortion was $1,800. She was already unconscious, under general anesthesia, when Tucker started the abortion on June 11, 1991. Angela started gasping for breath. Her blood pressure fell, setting off an alarm on a piece of monitoring equipment. Tucker told Davis to turn the alarm off because other patients could hear it. "It was a very panicked atmosphere," Joy Davis said. "Dr. Tucker was screaming at us." He managed to stabilize Angela's blood pressure and sent her to the recovery room.

While in recovery, Angela bled so heavily that Davis became alarmed and called an ambulance. "Blood was running down the table," Joy Davis tearfully told reporters. "It was pooling in the floor and running down behind her back." Angela's sheets and hospital gown were soaked. Davis said that Tucker told her that he was the doctor and if anybody was going to make a decision to call the ambulance, it was going to be him.

Davis reported to Tucker that Angela was bleeding through the packing put in place after the abortion, and asked him to do something for his patient.

"What do you want me to do?" he asked her. 

"I don't know," Davis said she responded, "but I want you to do something. She's going to lay here and die."

"Fine. Call the f*ing ambulance," Tucker said before leaving the building, according to Davis. He was loath to call an ambulance, Davis reported, because he had already referred a patient to a hospital that day for complications. 

Angela was taken to the hospital, where she suffered respiratory failure, clotting, and sepsis. It was hours after she was admitted that her friend finally called her mother, in hysterics, to say that Angela was being taken to the Intensive Care Unit. Annette didn't mention the abortion. Angela's mother rushed to the hospital, where she saw her daughter hooked up to tubes, pale, and breathing only faintly. 

She died just before midnight June 14. The autopsy found numerous tears and lesions in the pelvic area, and congestive necrosis in Angela's liver and spleen. The doctors concluded that amniotic fluid embolism had caused clotting problems resulting in necrosis, septic shock, and cardiac arrest. 

When Alabama authorities subpoenaed Angela's records, Tucker ordered Davis to destroy some and falsify others. Davis tore up the records, which he then tried to burn in an ash tray, Davis said. When this set off the clinic's smoke alarm, Tucker put out the fire, bagged up the papers, and told Davis to take the papers to the basement and burn them. Instead, she said, she taped them back together and eventually turned them over to the medical board. 

During the initial investigation, the board learned that Tucker allowed his untrained staff to do medical procedures, including inserting the laminaria sticks to dilate a patient's cervix prior to the abortion, while he wasn't even in-state much less at the clinic.

Tucker surrendered his medical license in order to halt the investigation, planning to renew his license at a later date.

It is interesting to note that in the publicity surrounding the lawsuit filed by Angela's family, Ron Fitzsimmons of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, among other prochoice groups, balked at efforts to close Tucker down, on the grounds that he was Alabama's only abortionist, and that even he was better than no abortionist at all.

Angela's parents took their five grandchildren into their two-bedroom house. Her youngest child has no memories of his mother, only of taking flowers to her grave.