Monday, December 06, 2021

December 6: Slipshod Care Costs Teen Her Life

Katrina Poole was conflicted during that winter of 1988. She'd had a positive pregnancy test on October 31, 1988. On November 4, she went to her family doctor, who confirmed a pregnancy of about 14 or 15 weeks, with a fetal heart rate of 140. 

Katrina's friend Lovie Jones said that Katrina told her, "I'm so confused." Katrina didn't want an abortion. She loved her boyfriend and wanted to have a baby with him.

But at 16, she was so young. She was doing well, excelling in her English classes at Raines High School in Tampa Bay, Florida. Some of her friends tried to talk her into following her heart and keeping her baby. Others reinforced her concerns that she was too young.

No details of the discussion with her physician are included in the medical board documents provided by AbortionDocs; it just relays that the doctor referred Katrina to A Woman's Choice, aka A Jacksonville Women's Health Center or Jacksonville Women's Health, because the doctor in question didn't perform second-trimester abortions.

Katrina didn't report to the clinic for a month, which confirms what her friends told reporters about her being conflicted about whether to have her baby or go through with the abortion. On December 5, Katrina's mother picked her up at school and drove her to A Woman's Choice for her 1 pm appointment.

Color photo of a small one-story building with a mansard roof. It has one large curtained-off window on each side and a sign between them reading "Jacksonvill Women's Health Center" along with the symbol for female.
A Woman's Choice, aka A Jacksonville Women's Health Center
The clinic records show no evidence that anybody at the clinic took any steps at all to determine how to provide appropriate care for Katrina. There's no evidence of a medical history -- which would have disclosed that Katrina's pregnancy had been estimated at 14 or 15 weeks a full month earlier. Taking a medical history would also have revealed that Katrina had a history of irregular menstrual periods, which would make it even more important to take all possible steps to determine an accurate gestational age. There was no physical examination of any kind noted. There was no ultrasound performed. Dr. Herman Miller simply charged ahead with a routine suction abortion, only suitable for first trimester pregnancies of 12 or fewer weeks. Katrina's mother was at her side.

Photo of a middle-aged Black man with half-frame eyeglasses, wearing a red suit coat, red tie, and white shirt with red trim on the collar.
Dr. Herman Miller Jr.
During the abortion, Miller noted that he had suctioned out far more placental tissue than expected. The medical board noted that Miller failed to take this second opportunity to perform an ultrasound and get a clear idea of what he was doing. Instead he simply kept going, making no notes at all about how he proceeded or any evaluation of the fetal remains other than to estimate that Katrina had actually been 22 weeks pregnant -- far enough along that the baby could potentially have survived if delivered alive. Miller had made no effort to assess the baby's viability.

After completing the abortion, Miller had Katrina remain in recovery for 30 minutes before prescribing Stadal (a synthetic opioid), Phenagen #3 (a drug to prevent nausea and vomiting), Metherzine (a drug to control obstetric bleeding), and "TCN Sumycus" (which a reader suggests is probably Sumycin tetracycline, an antibiotic).  He then sent her home. 

That evening Katrina took a prescribed medication, kissed her mother goodnight, and went to bed. She died some time between 2:00 and 6:30 the following morning. Katrina's family evidently went to wake her in the morning and found her dead.

Katrina had already been conflicted about the abortion. Would she even have consented had she known that her baby was at the cusp of viability? A simple ultrasound and a moment of honesty would almost certainly have saved Katrina's life, and perhaps spared the life of her possibly viable unborn baby.

The medical board took disciplinary action against Miller, including limiting his scope to perform second trimester abortions, but let him keep his license in spite of his appalling care of Katrina and the staggering lack of judgement he showed in failing to even examine his patient prior to surgery. I'm not sure how they could trust him to limit himself to first-trimester abortions when he didn't even bother to determine gestational age prior to firing up the suction machine.

New source: "Hard Lessons," St. Petersburg Times, February 8, 1989


Sunday, December 05, 2021

December 5: Safe and Legal in 1998

 Seventeen-year-old Janice Gumm of Beach Park, Illinois, went to Dimensions Medical Center in Des Plaines, Illinois, for an abortion on December 5, 1998, to be performed under anesthesia.

Her abortionist was Dr. Jesse Chandler, and the anesthesiologist was Dr. Murray Rosenberg of Hospital Anesthesia Group. 

The suit by Janice's survivors held that Dimensions failed to perform an adequate physical examination prior to the abortion, particularly in that they did not properly assess her increased risks due to the fact that she had asthma. As a result, Janice suffered an anesthesia-related complication that resulted in her death that day. 

Dr. Jesse Chandler Jr.

Dimensions voluntarily closed in December of 2011, citing the following reasons:
The two surgical suites are too small to accommodate all equipment necessary for modern surgical procedures. The applicants also report flooding issues at the facility, resulting in unsanitary conditions, additional remediation costs, and unnecessary closures of the facility. The applicants also identified a non-functioning emergency generator system that must be replaced
Patients dying because abortion staff didn't take their asthma into account aren't unique. Other deaths similar to Janice's include:

  • Tami Suematsu was 19 when she went into bronchial spasm during an abortion performed by Dr. Vern Wagner at Riverside Family Planning Center in 1988.
  • Donna Heim was 20 when she went to Her Medical Clinic in 1986 for an abortion performed by Dr. Mahlon Cannon.
  • Sheila Hebert was 27 when she went to Delta Women's Clinic in Baton Rouge for an abortion in 1984.
  • "Colleen" was 20 years old when she travelled from Michigan to New York to take advantage of their newfangled "safe and legal" abortions in 1972.

Watch Deadly Oversight on YouTube.



December 5: Who Killed Annie?

On December 5, 1905, 19-year-old laborer Annie Killhoff died at her home on Ashland Avenue in Chicago from an abortion. Two physicians, Joseph Vassumpaur and Charles Boddiger, were arrested, Vassumpaur as the principle and Boddiger as an accessory. Patrick Dillon was also held as an accessory.

Coroner's Physician Henry G. Reinhard believed that Dillon brought Annie to Boddiger, who then referred them to Vassumpaur.

I've been unable to determine if the case ever went to trial. Given the paucity of news coverage, it seems unlikely that anybody was ever held accountable for what was done to Annie.

Source: "Girl Dies: Physicians Held," Chicago Tribune, December 6, 1905

Watch Criminal Abortion: Two Doctors Implicated on YouTube.


Saturday, December 04, 2021

Who Were the "Back Alley Abortionists"?

Roe vs. Wade might be overturned this summer. Of course, the abortion lobby is ramping up the hysteria and predicting that we'll go back to the Dark Ages when the typical abortionist was a greasy old drunk with a coat hanger and thousands of women were dying per year. Let's take a look at that claim, shall we?

Data Manipulation

One common alarmist claim is the hoary old assertion that 5,000 to 10,000 women were dying annually in the US from criminal abortions prior to legalization. However, with prolifers on social media blasting that out of the water, the switch has been to doing a bit of data massage.

Indeed, there were more women dying from abortion complications annually prior to legalization than after legalization. But merely pointing this out is disingenuous. 

What abortion-rights advocates conveniently omit is what was happening before legalization. What was happening? Abortion deaths were plummeting, (see graph, right).

Credit is due not to legalization since, as you can clearly see, neither the first states legalizing abortion nor abortion-rights advocates' beloved Roe vs. Wade made so much as a blip in the trend. What was keeping women from dying was improvements in medical care. Thus, modern abortionists and their cheerleaders are claiming credit for other people's hard work.

The fallacy that legalization reduced abortion deaths is only half of the lie. The other is the claim that prior to legalization, women either reached for a rusty coat hanger or sought out a rank amateur who would do as bad a job with medical instruments as the woman would have done with the improvised fetus dislodger.

The Abortionists


Let us turn to the experts on that issue. In 1955, Planned Parenthood Federation of America held a conference on induced abortion in the United States. As PPFA's medical director, Mary Calderone, concluded in "Illegal Abortion as a Public Health Problem" (American Journal of Public Health, July 1960), roughly 90% of pre-legalization abortions were performed by doctors, about 8% by the woman herself, and about 2% by non-physicians.

Nancy Howell Lee published her data based on interviews with women who had obtained abortions before legalization (The Search for an Abortionist, University of Chicago Press, 1969), and concluded that 89% of pre-legalization abortions were done by physicians, an additional 5% by nurses or others with some medical training, and 6% were done by non-medical persons or the woman herself.

Since both sources agree on the approximate 90% perpetrated by physicians, this number is probably fairly accurate. They disagree on the breakdown of non-physician abortions. I estimate that numbers were probably about 5% trained non-physicians (nurses, midwives, surgical technicians, etc.), 3% untrained accomplices, and 2% the woman herself.

The Quality of the Abortionists

Mary Calderone didn't classify the typical illegal physician-abortionist as a quack:
Call them what you will, abortionists or anything else, they are still physicians, trained as such; and many of them are in good standing in their communities. They must do a pretty good job if the death rate is as low as it is
     Alan Guttmacher     
Alan Guttmacher, then-PPFA President and the man for whom the AGI is named, concurred:
The technique of the well-accredited criminal abortionist is usually good. They have to be good to stay in business, since otherwise they would be extremely vulnerable to police action. (M.D. Babies by Choice or by Chance, 1959)
As far as I've been able to see in my research into pre-legalization abortion deaths, the only circumstances under which quack abortionists of the "back-alley butcher" type were able to thrive was in communities where abortion was perceived as an ordinary and reasonable thing for a woman to do and any abortionist was seen as a helpful, well-meaning person who ought not to be punished even if he killed his patient. Where abortion was frowned upon, prosecution not only of the abortionist but of accomplices as well was the norm. In other words, a strong abortion-rights presence protected all abortionists, including quacks.

What Impact Does Legalization Actually Have?

Ketchum
As I've already noted, legalization had no effect on mortality whatsoever. Most abortions were already being done by doctors, and any improvement gained from the few lay abortionists mostly going away was offset by an increase in slovenliness among many doctors once the threat of prison was taken off the table if they called attention to themselves by injuring a woman.

I know of four criminal abortionists who were not connected to any women's deaths in their "back alley" practices but each went on to kill two women in the "safe and legal" era.

Munson
Benjamin Munson sent Linda Padfield and Yvonne Mesteth home with fetal parts still in their bodies, leading to fatal infections. Jesse Ketchum performed hysterotomy abortions in his office, letting Margaret Smith and Carole Schaner bleed to death. Milan Vuitch used dirty instruments, left anesthetized and unconscious patients unattended for hours on end, and kept patients in his home overnight when they suffered complications. Georgeanna English and Wilma Harris died at his hands.

Gosnell
The most famous -- nay, infamous -- "back alley butcher" who hung out his shingle legally was Kermit Gosnell. His Philadelphia "house of horrors" was flea-infested and littered with cat feces. Patients were doped within inches of their lives by unqualified staff -- two of whom had never even finished high school -- before Gosnell even showed up every evening. Viable babies were routinely delivered alive then killed vial "snipping" -- cutting through their spines with surgical scissors. Semika Shaw and Karnamaya Mongar died under his dubious care.

Vuitch
Abortion-rights supporters tend to dismiss such men as "outliers." Far from it. Vuitch and Munson both enjoyed high status. Vuitch's New York Times obituary praised him as a "fighter for abortion rights." Munson was a member of the prestigious National Abortion Federation. While not as high-profile as Vuitch or Munson, Ketchum got regular referrals from Clergy Consultation Services, a network that arranged abortions prior to Roe vs. Wade. None of these men were renegades that no reputable abortion-rights supporter would go near. They were as mainstream as it was possible to be.

As for Gosnell, he worked part-time at a National Abortion Federation member clinic which would collect his fee then turn patients over to him for late, sometimes illegally late, abortions. These women ended up moaning and writhing on the blood-stained recliners at Gosnell's facility. The word to describe him isn't "outlier." It's "employee."

Friday, December 03, 2021

December 3: Nurses Close Door to Silence Screams

 At 11:45 am on December 1 or 2, 1977, 29-year-old Jacqueline Bailey was injected with saline by Dr. Airo Tunde Eboreime for an instillation abortion at the 22-bed Pacific Glen Hospital in Los Angeles County. She was 20 weeks pregnant. 


Five hours after Jackie expelled the dead baby, her condition appeared grave. 

Two patients who were in the same room with Jackie at Pacific Glen told investigators about what they observed. Jackie was writhing in pain, they said. She cried out for help but her cries were ignored, and somebody shut the door so that nurses wouldn't be able to hear her. 

The call button at Jackie's bed was broken, so she asked another patient to use her own call button. By the time a nurse came in, Jackie's eyes were wide open in a glassy stare.

The nurse believed that Jackie had gone into cardiac arrest and summoned an ambulance. When medics arrived at 12:47 a.m., Jackie had no vital signs. The nurse who was trying to revive Jackie was unable to say how long the patient had been unattended. 

The other patients, the medic, and Pacific Glen's own records all concurred on one thing: No physician at Pacific Glen attended to Jackie at all after the saline was injected. The first physician to see her after the abortion was initiated was one who arrived after medics had begun providing care.

The medics transported Jackie the 12 miles to Memorial Hospital of Glendale. Doctors at Memorial suspected a uterine laceration, so they performed exploratory surgery. The bleeding was so profuse that they then performed a hysterectomy in a last-ditch attempt to save her life. Jackie died at 4:25 a.m. on December 3. 

The attending physician said that he had found 3,500 to 4,000 ccs of old blood in Jackie's abdomen. The autopsy report found that Jackie's uterus had ruptured during the abortion, and that her uterine artery had been lacerated. She had bled to death from her injuries. 

Her grandmother, Hassie Holden, demanded an investigation. She told the Los Angeles Times that she didn't even get notified that Jackie was in trouble until about an hour before her death, when Eborieme called to tell her that Jackie was in serious condition from a hemorrhage. "My son was getting ready to go to the hospital when we got another call that she was dead." 

Mrs. Holden also said that Jackie's brother had mistakenly gone to Pacific Glen looking for her and got the runaround from staff. The family never found out that she had been taken to another hospital until they got the $84 ambulance bill. 

Only Jackie's common-law husband, James Walker, had even known about the abortion, which made her death come as even more of a shock to her grandmother and other family members.

Eight of nine jurors at the inquest held that Jackie died "at the hands of others, other than by accident," while the holdout held that Jackie's death had been accidental. Dr. Gerald Bernstein of Women's Hospital told the Los Angeles Times that in his opinion, "the patient did not receive appropriate medical care and this was an avoidable death." Jackie should have been taken to surgery as soon as signs of hemorrhage were detected, he said.

Due Jackie's death, as well as the 1975 death of Cheryl Tubbs, authorities announced that they would investigate how many of Pacific Glen's abortion patients were discharged home versus transported to other hospitals to be treated for complications. 

Medi-Cal patients were funneled to Pacific Glen Hospital through Pacific Glen Family Planning Clinic after referrals by social workers at the county health office. Pacific Glen performed roughly 517 abortions per month. A social worker at the office admitted that they had concerns about the care patients were getting but continued to refer them because Pacific Glen accepted Medi-Cal. 


Recently added sources:

Thursday, December 02, 2021

If Roe is Overturned: The Hunt for a Corpse

The SCOTUS might be preparing to overturn Roe vs. Wade. The only thing we know is how the abortion lobby will respond. They're ready for those states where abortion will be curtailed in any way, and especially those where abortion is illegal. We've seen this sort of thing play out before. We need to be prepared.

We need to take a lesson to prevent needless tragedy -- a specific needless tragedy that the abortion advocacy movement desperately needs to regain momentum.

It's important to note up front that it is not the average pro-choice citizen who is gearing up to create and exploit a tragedy. It's Big Abortion -- an unholy alliance of population control zealots, abortion practitioners, eugenicists, and third-wave feminists. They are putting the pieces in place, and average prochoice citizens are being primed to play their part in protecting Big Abortion's interests under the guise of protecting women.

Big Abortion is losing traction. The main thing they need to regain momentum is a corpse. If you think they're not gearing up to produce one, think again. We only need to look back to 1976.

Lessons From the Past

In 1976, the Hyde Amendment went into effect, banning the use of Federal funds to pay for abortions except to save the mother from an immediate threat to her life. The measure was named for its author, Congressman Henry Hyde. Abortion advocates had been keening from the moment the Hyde Amendment was up for vote. They painted a ghastly picture of coathanger-impaled women littering the streets as poor women were driven to desperation by lack of "access," just as today abortion enthusiasts are keening about what will happen if we start actually holding abortion clinics up to standards more rigorous than what you see in a bus station men's room.

When the Hyde Amendment went into effect, abortion advocates ramped up the hysteria and waited for a death, any death, they could hang around Henry Hyde's neck. On October 3, 1977, the Big Abortion vultures got what they'd been waiting for: a dead woman they could use as leverage in the fight to once again force taxpayers to fund elective abortions.

On September 26, 1977, 27-year-old Rosie Jimenez had shown up at the emergency room of McAllen General Hospital in the Texas border town of McAllen, suffering from septic shock caused by an infection from an illegal abortion. She was put in intensive care, but died on October 3.

The initial response of the abortion lobby to news of Rosie's death was little short of euphoric. They had their trophy, their dead woman whose face they could hide behind in order to push for the restoration of tax money flowing into abortion clinics.

An Unexpected Investigation

One voice stood out from the crowd: Ellen Frankfort, author of Rosie: the investigation of a wrongful death. Ms. Frankfort was disgusted with the bulk of the prochoice movement, who seemed content to pounce on Rosie's death and then milk it for political gain. She began an investigation into what had led Rosie to her death, and she found a lot that neither the Centers for Disease Control nor abortion advocacy organizations had been willing to look for, since all they'd wanted was political leverage. Unlike Ellen Frankfort, they weren't looking for the real culprit behind Rosie's death: they'd had a bogeyman in mind even before she'd died, in the form of Henry Hyde.

Off to McAllen Ms. Frankfort went, to learn all she could. She learned:
  1. Rosie had already undergone two abortions at taxpayer expense. (Hence, she had no idea what an abortion would actually cost, and had been taught that it was the government's job, not hers or her lover's, to keep her uterus empty.)
  2. (Thanks to the efforts of the abortion lobby) Rosie's friends and relatives knew that there were no more free abortions, and told her so.
  3. Her regular doctor abandoned her; he simply told her there were no more free abortions, without referring her for any help (either for a sliding-scale abortion or help with addressing her life issues that made her feel like abortion was her only choice).
  4. Rosie's cousin brought her to a lay midwife in McAllen who charged $120 to perform an abortion using a catheter, a procedure once used by doctors but since abandoned because of infection risk. 
  5. The sliding-scale abortions (that Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocates pointedly failed to raise awareness about) cost $130 -- only $10 more than the illegal abortion. (This is something Rosie probably would have known if not for the fact that the government, not Rosie herself, paid for the previous two abortions.) 
  6. The day before her abortion, Rosie had spent $8 on a cake for a friend's baby shower. She had a scholarship check for $800 in her purse. (Rosie could have afforded a legal abortion; she just evidently was never told that such an option was available.)
  7. Rosie, predictably, took ill, waited to go to the hospital until she was moribund, and in spite of heroic efforts by the doctors there she died.
There is no evidence that, at any point, anybody informed Rosie of resources such as Birthright that could have helped her to address her problems without resorting to abortion in the first place.

The Reaction

The doctors reported the death to the CDC. The CDC notified their allies in the abortion lobby. Rosie's death was quickly trumpeted nationwide as proof that Henry Hyde was a murderer and that taxpayers should immediately resume funding elective abortions to prevent another such death.

It is worth reiterating, when we look at Rosie's death, that prochoice groups had been very successful in spreading the word that public funding for abortion had been cut -- Rosie's friend and cousin, as well as her physician, were well aware of this fact -- but they had pointedly failed to also pass out the word that Planned Parenthood still referred for abortions on a sliding scale, and that private funds were available. It's almost as if the public-relations departments of Planned Parenthood and other abortion-advocacy groups had deliberately increased the odds of a tragedy like Rosie's death in order to provide the corpses needed in order to prop up a drive to restore tax monies to abortion facilities.

Lessons for Today

Let's start with what we know:
  1. As long as people perpetrate abortions, there will be a certain number of women who die as a result of those abortions.
  2. If the woman dies from a "safe" legal abortion (Jennifer McKenna-Morbelli, Christin Gilbert), the abortion rights machine will minimize the death and wait for any bad press to blow over.
  3. If the woman dies from a quacktastic legal abortion (Karnamaya Mongar, Carolina Gutierrez), the abortion rights machine will do the convoluted routine of "It's all the antichoicers' fault because they regulate and inspect abortion clinics and won't give them money."
  4. If the woman dies from a politically useless illegal abortion (Daisy Roe, Kris Humphrey), the abortion machine will ignore it.
  5. If the woman dies from a nice gory "back alley" style illegal abortion, the full-blown, aggressive Blame Game will begin in earnest. It will be Rosie Jimenez all over again but with the aid of social media.
  6. If the woman didn't actually die from an abortion (Becky Bell, Savita Halappanavar), but her death can be contorted to fit the narrative, they'll get creative with the facts and pretend that the death was due to "lack of access."
It all boils down to this: Abortionists will continue to kill women once abortion becomes illegal. It's an inevitable side effect of their trade.

We are close to achieving the first state with no dedicated abortion facility. The first woman that an abortionist kills in that state will become a martyr to the abortion cause in a way we haven't seen since Ms. published the crime scene photo of Geri Santoro in 1973. But it's not 1973 any more.

In 1973, it was hard to muster a groundswell of fear and outrage because after all Geri had been dead for nearly a decade and Roe vs. Wade had just supposedly put an end forever to women's gruesome abortion deaths. (Except, of course, that it didn't, but it did put an end to prochoice outrage over women's gruesome abortion deaths.)

Abortion rights groups, from the local NOW chapter to the International Planned Parenthood Federation already have established relationships with the mainstream news organizations. The new martyr that the abortion machine creates will become the focus of a campaign that will have all the fury and media hype that Big Abortion can muster. The result will be a well-coordinated assault that will make D-Day look like it was thrown together haphazardly and indifferently.

We also need to remember that Big Abortion will find out about the dead woman long before we will. They have connections in public health agencies that we simply don't, because they began planting them there back when Planned Parenthood was still calling itself the Birth Control League. Those connections will give them adequate lead time before allowing the story to break. Public health officials will not be neutral sources of information -- though of course they will pretend to be. They will be a key part of the orchestrated media blitz, just as the Centers for Disease Control was a key player in the media campaign when Rosie Jimenez died. The specifics of which woman they manage to get killed, and under what specific circumstances, will be well known to them but will blindside us and leave us playing catch-up to find out what really happened.

Look at the traction they're gaining in Ireland from the death of a woman who was not promptly given antibiotics during a miscarriage. It took a wild stretch of the imagination to blame that woman's death on lack of "safe and legal abortion," but that hasn't stopped the abortion machine and its media lackeys. Ireland is poised to come under the control of Big Abortion. Can you imagine what they'll accomplish with a death they have actually engineered and prepared for?

I don't have all the answers, but I have a good starting point: The prolife movement already has everything in place necessary to prevent there from ever being another abortion death. We have pregnancy help centers. No woman needs to be without friends, help, and hope. The abortion machine consistently launches assaults on those who dare to reduce their customer base . Exposing this effort for what it is -- a way to fatten abortionists' purses and give more power to the abortion lobby -- needs to be a key part of our strategy to prevent Big Abortion from creating and exploiting another Rosie Jimenez.

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

December 1: Forth of Six Victims of Dr. Lou E. Davis

                 Dr. Lou E. Davis                    
On December 1, 1928, 23-year-old Esther Viola Wahlstrom died in Chicago from complications of a criminal abortion. Dr. Lou E. Davis (pictured, left) was held by the coroner for murder by abortion on December 12. She was indicted for felony murder on December 15. 

Davis had ben implicated in the abortion death of Anna Borndal only a month earlier. She'd also been implicated in the deaths of Anna Adler in 1913 and Mary Whitney in 1924. She went on to be implicated in the 1932 abortion death of Irene Kirschner and the 1934 abortion death of  Gertrude Gaesswitz.

I don't have enough information about Esther's death to make a judgment about the quality of care she received. I don't know if she died because Dr. Davis did something appalling (assuming, of course, that killing Esther's unborn baby wasn't appalling enough on its own), or if Esther was simply a victim of the quality of medical care in the age before antibiotics and blood transfusions.

December 1: The Betrayal of Susanne Logan

One example of the abortion lobby's profound indifference to women's safety is the 1992 death of Susanne Logan. What passed for "care" at the deplorable Maryland abortion mill was so appalling that even 60 Minutes stopped and paid attention.

A newspaper photo of a young woman with short, dark hair, using her splayed left hand to operate a communication device.
Susanne Logan in the nursing home
Susanne (pictured, left), a waitress originally from Visalia, California, had gone to Hillview for an abortion on September 9, 1989. There was no record of how much intravenous Brevital was administered to Susanne, or who administered the drug. Susanne was already unconscious on the table when abortionist Gideon Kioko (pictured, below) and his unlicensed nurse entered the procedure room. During the abortion, the nurse noted that Susanne's lips were turning blue. She told Kioko, who continued with the abortion. There is no record that anybody monitored her vital signs or administered oxygen.

Eventually somebody summoned emergency medical services (EMS). The EMS personnel reported that the Hillview employees seemed "very confused and did not seem to know what they were doing." EMS staff also noted that Hillview staff had put an oxygen mask on Susanne upside-down, so that she wasn't getting any oxygen.

Susanne was blue from lack of oxygen, limp, had no pulse and was not breathing. EMS workers managed to perform CPR and get Susanne's heart and lungs working again, and transported her to a hospital. Susanne remained comatose and was transferred to a nursing home. Four months after the abortion, she regained consciousness, but was paralyzed and unable to speak. She had no memory of the abortion, but was able to eventually recall having gone to the clinic.

Local prolifers visited Susanne, and bought her a device that allowed her to communicate. She was interviewed by 60 Minutes, and asked what she wanted. She replied, "To go home."

A color portrait of a heavy, middle-aged Black man in a suit and tie. He is bald and wearing eyeglasses.
Dr. Gideon Kioko
Susanne filed suit against Kioko and the clinic. Kioko briefly left Hillview to work at another abortion clinic called CYGMA Health Center, where he was made medical director. He eventually voluntarily surrendered his license in order to halt further investigation into his activities at Hillview. 

The health department slapped owner Barbara Lofton with five state health code violations, which included operating a medical laboratory without a permit and employing a nurse that was not licensed in Maryland. No action was taken against Hillview as an entity and it was permitted to keep operating.

State legislators toyed with the idea of actually holding abortion clinics to reasonable standards of care. Health officials hedged, asserting that physician licensing requirements were sufficient to protect women -- though, of course, they failed to protect women at Hillview. Acting Health Secretary Nelson J. Sabatini fretted, "Once you have a statue that requires certification or licensing, then you have an obligation that every time someone calls to go in and do an investigation. The issue very quickly becomes a question of, 'Will this process or could this process be used to limit access?'" Remember that word access. It comes up often.

In November of 1992, Susanne finally won her suit, and was awarded $2.6 million and $10,000 a month for life, to cover her expenses. Sadly, Susanne died on December 1. She went home to California only to be buried there.

Susanne's death brought the known patient deaths at Hillview to two. Debra Gray had died in 1989 after suffering injuries under circumstances similar to those which ultimately cost Susanne her life.

When 60 Minutes interviewed Barbara Radford in 1991, then-president of the National Abortion Federation, she defended the head-in-the-sand attitude the organization took toward safety issues by saying, "We want to make sure that women have choices when it comes to abortion services, and if you regulate it too strictly, you then deny women access to the service." When they asked pro-choice Maryland State Senator Mary Boergers why nothing was being done to address dangerous abortion clinics. Boergers said, "There's only so much of a willingness to try to push a group like the pro-choice movement to do what I think is the responsible thing to do because they then treat you as if you're the enemy."

That attitude toward the deplorable conditions at Hillview cost Susanne, as well as abortion patient Debra Gray their lives. This obsession with "access" at the cost of women's lives is something I've dubbed "The Compton-Carr Effect" after its most eloquent proponent, Janis Compton-Carr of the Florida Abortion Council. In 1989, an investigation by the Miami Herald revealed that Dadeland Family Planning was reusing disposable instruments, that the doctors were leaving the facility while patients were still in recovery, that there were no nurses on staff, and that "Patient recovery was monitored by employees with no formal health-care training." The stirrups on the procedure tables were covered with blood. The oxygen mask had lipstick on it from the previous patient. Abortions were being sold to women who weren't actually pregnant.

Richard Litt, who performed abortions at Dadeland until 1981, told the Miami Herald that he quit because the owners wanted him to do too many abortions in a single work day, and wanted him to do abortions too late into the pregnancy. He also complained that somebody in the clinic stole his prescription forms and forged his signature in order to get narcotics in bulk. Litt said that Dadeland "is a scum hole. I wouldn't send a dog there. They should be put in jail."

But that wasn't the worst. A dying woman was given little more than tea and sympathy. They scraped her out, handed her some oral antibiotics, and sent her home to die of raging peritonitis.

Ms. Compton-Carr led the fight to halt any state oversight of abortion facilities in the wake of the Dadeland scandal. She summed it all up to the Miami Herald:

"In my gut, I am completely aghast at what goes on at that place. But I staunchly oppose anything that would correct this situation in law."

And that "see no evil" mentality persists, as evidenced by the results we saw when prochoicers decided to turn a blind eye to Kermit Gosnell's Philadelphia "house of horrors" where two abortion patients were fatally injured and uncounted numbers of viable, live-born infants killed with a "snip" to the spinal cord. 

Abortion was legalized ostensibly to prevent women from dying due to quack abortionists. But legalization proponents did nothing to protect Susanne Logan, Debra Gray, and other women who have lost their lives to abortion quackery.

Sources:



Tuesday, November 30, 2021

November 30: A Repeat Offender's First Known Victim

On November 30, 1927, 22-year-old homemaker Lucille van Iderstine of 1844 Cuyler Avenue, Chicago died in the Chicago office of Dr. Emil Gleitsman (pictured) from an abortion that had been performed on her that day. 

Lucille left behind a three-year-old son and  her husband, William.

Gleitsman was indicted for felony murder in Lucille's death on January 15, 1928. 

Evidently Gleitsman beat the rap on Lucille's death because he was later implicated in the abortion deaths of Jeanette Reder in 1930, Mary Colbert in 1933, Marie O'Malley in 1941, and "Maggie" Doe.

November 30: The Widower Demands Justice

At around 2:00 on the afternoon of November 30, 1874, Charles Dix went to the Madison Street Police Station in Chicago to report that Dr. W. T. Aiken had performed a fatal abortion on his wife, Mary. Mary Dix had died the previous day, November 29, at around 12:30 a.m. Detective Flynn of Madison Street Station arrested Dr. W. F. Aikin, who had his office at 343 State Street. The warrant was sworn out for Aiken's arrest. 

Charles said that about a week earlier, Dr. Aiken had come to the house to treat one of their two children, who was sick. Charles had been napping on the sofa and overheard a conversation between Mary and Dr. Aiken that sounded as if Mary was arranging for Aikin to perform an abortion on her. When Aiken left, Charles spoke to Mary about what he'd overheard and she admitted that he was right but promised not to follow through.

Mary left the house on November 29 and was gone all afternoon and into the early evening. That night Mary was in such violent pain that Charles concluded that she'd gone through with the abortion after all. 

She was doing much worse the next day, which alarmed Charles so he summoned Aiken. A servant girl walked to the Dix house with Aiken and told Charles that Aiken had said that he hoped Mrs. Dix would keep her mouth shut if anything went wrong. Charles immediately told Aikin to leave and summoned Dr. Xelonski. He cared for Mary until Friday, when her condition became so critical that he called in Dr. Fleming and Dr. Edwards to help. The three doctors were unable to save her and she died at around 1:30 on the afternoon of December 2.

On questioning, Aiken said that he had been the Dix family physician for several months, having treated both Mr. Dix and his little daughter. On November 22 Mrs. Dix had visited his office for treatment. She came again on Tuesday the 24th, when he examined her and prescribed some medicine. She told him that Dr. White, a physician in Buffalo, had operated on her. Aiken said that he advised her not to walk home but she did so anyway. On Friday the 28th he went to the Dix home and their servant told him that he wasn't to come to the house any more. Mr. Dix, he said, acted strangely and reiterated that his services were no longer wanted. The conversation Mr. Dix had over heard was Mrs. Dix, Aiken said, telling him that she'd already attempted an abortion on herself and wanted to be examined to see if the attempt had been successful. He insisted that the servant girl was of low character and that nobody should trust anything she said. 

The next morning Dr. Fleming and the County Physician, Dr. Henrotin, performed an autopsy at the house. After hours of examining Mary's body and consulting with each other and Dr. Leonard they concluded that Mary's baby had been dead about three weeks before her death.

After an intensive investigation, however, a coroner's jury found no evidence that Mary had told anybody that she'd used any kind of instrument on herself. Witnesses included Julia Brown, Anna Merrit, and Dr. Van Buren. Dr. Wickersham testified about the cause of death as observed in the post-mortem examination. Their final conclusion was as followed:

An inquisition was taken for the People of the State of Illinois... on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd days of December, A. D. 1874, before me, John Stephens, Coroner in and for said county, upon view of the body of Mary Dix, and we find that the deceased, now lying dead at 250 West Randolph street, came to her death, Nov. 30, 1874, from primary inflammation of the womb, followed by septicemia, said inflammation being the result of an effort of the deceased to produce an abortion on herself.

Aiken, age 33, was a graduate of Maryland University. He had been a doctor for fifteen years, serving as an Army surgeon during the Civil War, during which time he was wounded at Gettysburg. He came to Chicago to practice medicine after the war and lived with his wife and son in rooms adjoining his office. 

When a reporter went to the Dix house to speak with Charles, a man greeted him at the door to tell him that Mr. Dix was worn out and distraught and in no condition to speak with a reporter. The man relayed to the reporter that Mr. Dix had been alarmed when his wife had returned from Aiken's office on Tuesday and had called in Dr. Fleming, Dr. Xelowski, and Dr. E.W. Edwards on Friday. The family had moved to Chicago from Buffalo. The couple had a 4-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, and had three more children who had died.

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