Sunday, August 07, 2022

August 7, 1979: One of Four Deaths at Miami Clinic

Ruth Montero, age 23, underwent a safe and legal vacuum abortion of her 8-week pregnancy, under general anesthesia in August of 1979, at Women's Care Center in Miami. Ruth awoke from anesthesia in the recovery room, then went into convulsions and cardiopulmonary arrest. 

The abortion had been performed by Dr. Elisa Avila. Avila told police that she had attempted mouth-to-mouth resuscitation but when this failed to revive her patient she called Miami Fire Rescue.

Ruth died from hemorrhage and a prolapsed mitral valve on August 7. 

She was the first of four women to die after abortions there.

The clinic was owned by 53-year-old Hipolito Barreiro, trained in Argentina and West Africa, but not licensed in U.S. Barreiro was accused of practicing without a license and tampering with witness -- but not until after three more women died: Maura Morales in May of 1981, Myrta Baptiste in December of 1982, and Shirley Payne in January of 1983. Myrta and Shirley died within three weeks of each other.

The deaths of four women in such a short time in one abortion facility was even enough to capture the attention of state officials, who got a judge to sign an order closing the clinic down. Police seized records. Barreiro was charged with manslaughter for Shirley's death.

The Centers for Disease Control moved in to investigate and declared that Myrta Baptiste's abortion was actually an illegal abortion, not the safe and legal kind, because Dr. Orlando Zaldivar's license was expired at the time he performed it. Interestingly enough, CDC officials didn't consider this rash of abortion deaths worth mentioning in their 1982-1983 Abortion Surveillance Summary.

The string of deaths also captured the attention of the Florida Abortion Council, a group of abortion clinic owners who organized to fight against health and safety regulations of abortion clinics. Their success in blocking regulation in 1978 left the door open for Ruth's death. Their further success in 1980 allowed the quackery that killed Maura, Myrta, and Shirley, along with other women who died from quackery in other Florida facilities over the years, including:

Sources:







Saturday, August 06, 2022

August 6, 1988: Found Dead in Motel Room

In late July of 1988, 30-year-old Laura Marie Ryan Sorrels underwent an abortion at a facility in Lancaster, California.

Two weeks later, on August 6th, she was found dead in a motel room. Her one-year-old daughter was found in the room with her.

Whoever had performed Laura’s abortion had failed to notice that the embryo was not in her uterus, but was in her fallopian tube. The tube ruptured, and Laura died of blood loss and shock, her baby daughter by her side.

Even though, in theory, women who choose abortion should be less likely to die of ectopic pregnancy complications, experiences shows that they’re actually more likely to die, due to sloppy practices by abortion practitioners. Induced abortion also increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy in a subsequent pregnancy.

Watch "Fatal Failure to Diagnose" on YouTube.

Sources: State of California Death Certificate, 88-146505; Los Angeles County Autopsy Report, 88-07800



Friday, August 05, 2022

Why I Don't Want Prochoicers to Convert to being Prolife

I realize that saying this makes me sound like a heretic, but what I do with this blog is not intended to convert prochoicers to the prolife cause.

I can just hear the response: ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!?!

Hear me out.

The goal of this blog is to protect women:

  • From unwanted abortions
  • From abortion injuries
  • From quackery and death

"Yes," says the prolifer. "That's why we want people to convert to prolife! Then they will work with us to totally end abortion!"

That's a lovely goal, but it doesn't help the roughly 3,300 women and girls walking into abortion facilities tomorrow. They are at risk right now. And it's those women and girls that this blog is here for.

So today, fellow prolifer, I'm not talking to you. I want to talk to procohoicers who hear stories about abortion injuries, and coerced abortions, and seedy abortion mills, and are horribly dismayed, but don't know what to do to address those problems without having to switch sides on an issue that they have strong convictions about.

I'm talking to prochoicers who wish that they could make abortion just go away.

Here's where I reassert: I don't want to convert you.

"Yeah, right," many of you are thinking.

Bu I am 100% truthful. I do not want to convert you from prochoice to prolife, for a very practical reason: If you convert, you become utterly powerless to address the problems.

If a prolifer tries to shut down a seedy abortion mill, she gets blown off. After all, she wants every abortion facility shut down. Her motives are automatically suspect. The assumption is that she'll say anything to get any abortion facility closed, so she must be lying or taking things out of context or blowing things out of proportion. If she gets other prolifers to join her, then it becomes seen as an evil conspiracy. The prochoice citizens join the abortion-rights establishment in circling the wagons and protecting the place from what they naturally view as an unwarranted attack.

If prochoicers, on the other hand, are the ones waving around medical board documents and copies of health department inspections, and are the ones getting injured or abused women to speak out, their motives aren't called into question. Their concerns are taken seriously. Yes, unless it turns out to be as hideous a place as Kermit Gosnell's "house of horrors," there will still be hardcore abortion-rights advocates that will defend the place, but a lot of the wind will be taken out of their sails if they know that they're being carefully watched by their own constituency.

This is why I don't want you, the prochoice citizen, to convert. If you become prolife, you become just another antichoice nutcase who is only saying those bad things because you want to end abortion. If you remain prochoice, you keep your credibility and your power to take action and to protect women against abuses, coercion, injury, and death -- which is why you identify as prochoice in the first place.

Watch "Prochoicers: Unite Against ALL Unsafe Abortions" on YouTube.

Circle and slash over a coat hanger, Kermit Gosnell, the filthy suction machine at Robert Alexander's abortion clinic, Ulrich George Klopfer, Carolina Gutierrez in her coffin, and Bruce Steir


Thursday, August 04, 2022

August 4, 1942: Midwife's Fatal Efforts in Chicago

On August 4, 1942, 18-year-old Eva Moyer of South Langhor, Pennsylvania died after an abortion perpetrated by Chicago midwife Katheryn Eickenberg, age 58. Her body had been discovered in the attic of the attic of Eickenberg's home. 

A taxi driver testified that he had taken Eva to Eickenberg's house three times in the week prior to her death. The driver said that Eva was accompanied by James Tivey, a sailor, on those trips to the midwife. 

Tivey testified that he had paid Eickenberg $50 for the abortion. 

Eickenberg was convicted or murder by abortion and sentenced to 14 years in prison. Eva hailed from South Langhor, Pennsylvania. I have been unable to determine why she was in Chicago. 

Sources:

 


August 4, 1924: A Habitual Offender in Wichita

Inez Lorean Franklin, a 19-year-old Southwestern Bell Telephone employee of Buffalo, Missouri, died on August 4, 1924 in Wichita, Kansas. The autopsy found that Lorean had died of peritonitis due to an abortion. 

An inquest was held to verify if Dr. Charles C. Keester had perpetrated a fatal abortion on her since Lorean died in Keester's hospital, Keester's Sanitarium at 1600 East Harry Street. 

Authorities believed that he had performed the abortion on August 1. 

Lorean's sister, Addie Furlington, swore a complaint against Franklin in the death. Keester asserted that he had merely operated on Lorean for gallstones.

Two young men who were not identified in the source were "alleged to have admitted their connection with the affair and to have made arrangements with the doctor for the operation."

Keester had already been implicated in the abortion deaths of Hattie Myers, age 19, March 7, 1922; and Hazel Hadicke, age 19, December 16, 1923. The same month that Loren died, Keester was implicated in the abortion death of "Bonnie," age 18. The Newton Journal noted, "Dr. Keester has an infamous reputation in Wichita and evidently has been pulling iniquity with a cart rope. It is alleged that the officers were ready on numerous occasions to close in on questionable cases but the relatives involved would back out, avoiding publicity and scandal."

Keester was charged originally charged with first degree murder but ultimately convicted of manslaughter in Lorean's death and sentenced to 5 to 21 years in prison. He was freed on bail pending the new trial, which was granted after an appellate court found that the judge had erred in instructing the jury that they could find Keester guilty of first degree manslaughter though the charge had been second-degree manslaughter. After eight unsuccessful attempts to schedule a trial, Lorean's sisters agreed in May of 1927 to sign a written recommendation to end prosecution. 

The decision to drop prosecution would prove ill-considered. Keester on to be convicted in the February 28, 1930 abortion death of Rena Armstrong, age 17. 

Watch "Freed to Kill Again" on YouTube.

Sources:

  • "Lorean Franklin," Newton Kansan, August 8, 1924
  • "Charge Doctor With Murder Following Alleged Operation," Hutchinson News, August 11, 1924
  • "Postpones Inquest," Wichita Daily Eagle, August 13, 1924
  • "Kansas Notes," Concordia Press, August 14, 1924
  • "Keester Facing Murder Charge," The Newton Kansan," August 15, 1924
  • "Dr. Chas. C. Keester Charged With Murder," The Newton Journal, August 22, 1924
  • "Dr. Keester Charged With Malpractice," The Newton Journal, August 29, 1924
  • "Keester Asking for New Trial," The Newton Journal, December 12, 1924
  • "Doctor's Case Brings Legal Records to Fore," Wichita Evening Eagle, April 2, 1927
  • "To Hear Keester Appeal Monday," Wichita Daily Eagle, May 2, 1927
  • "Statements of Sisters to End Keester Case," Wichita Evening Eagle, May 3, 1927


  • August 4, 2006: Post-Abortion Murder-Suicide

    A passport-photo style picture of a smiling young white woman with her light-brown hair pulled back from her face
    Laura Grunas

    On August 4, 2006, 30-year-old Laura Grunas, a police officer in Plantation, Florida, shot her boyfriend, 31-year-old firefighter Robert Peat, dead inside his home. Grunas then turned the gun on herself. The couple had been together for about a year. 

    Neighbors reported that Laura was hysterical the last day of her life, standing outside Peat's garage yelling, "Why is everyone blaming this on me? He killed my baby." The argument became so loud that neighbors called the police.

    In what those close to the pair believed to have been a mutual decision, Laura had aborted the couple's baby a few weeks earlier. Michael Roth, a friend of Peat, told police that Peat had been "enormously upset" about the abortion. "He was a lot more religious than me and didn't believe in that, but they had felt that that was the right thing to do for whatever reasons."

    Peat had called Roth and asked him to come over shortly before the shooting. Roth said that when he arrived, Grunas became upset, saying, "If, when he felt the need to call, did he tell you about killing my baby?"

    Robert Peat
    Peat also called the police, and when two officers arrived, Grunas, a colleague of theirs, became furious. They asked her to leave, and she complied. Peat asked Roth to remain with him, and Roth recommended that Peat get a restraining order. "Thirty seconds after I tried to make that suggestion, his phone started ringing. .... And then she started banging on the front door."

    Laura then used a Smith & Wesson 9mm, her work-issued handgun, to shoot out the sliding glass door to the kitchen. Roth, who suffered minor injuries in the incident, fled the kitchen through the shot-out door and called 911.

    Sources:

    Wednesday, August 03, 2022

    August 3: Homicide in California, 2009

    Dr. Andrew Rutland
    On July 28, 2009, 30-year-old Ying Chen, who did not speak English, went to Dr. Andrew Rutland's acupuncture and abortion facility in a San Gabriel, California, strip mall for a safe, legal abortion. She arrived at about 11 a.m. A Chinese translator was present at the facility, though medical board documents do not indicate if Rutland provided the translator or if Ying brought the translator.

    Ying was 16 or 17 weeks pregnant by examination -- well into the second trimester. Rutland didn't document when Ying's last period was, nor did he document her height and weight. He didn't include an ultrasound report in her chart. Her chart did, however, include two signed consent forms -- for a first-trimester abortion.

    Because of how advanced Ying's pregnancy was, Rutland was going to insert laminaria, which are sticks of dried seaweed, in Ying's cervix to dilate it for the procedure, which Rutland planned to perform about six hours later, when the laminaria had sufficiently dilated the cervix. Ying asked for pain medication for this procedure.

    Rutland injected Ying with Demerol, which he was not authorized the dispense in an unauthorized setting. He had brought the drug from his Anaheim office. Rutland didn't document the administration of Demerol in Ying's chart.

    He positioned Ying for the laminaria insertion procedure, and injected her cervix with four injections of lidocaine, which he had also brought from his Anaheim office. Within minutes of the injection, Rutland told the board, Ying's arms and legs contracted, but she was alert and responsive, with good blood pressure. Rutland started an IV.

    About ten minutes later, Ying was having some trouble speaking and breathing. Rutland told an acupuncturist who worked at the same office to call 911. The call was placed at 1:19 pm. Ying went into complete cardio-respiratory arrest. Clinic staff reportedly performed CPR, but when paramedics arrived a minute later, they reported that nobody was providing her with care. The medics took Ying to San Gabriel Medical Center, where she died six days later of lidocaine toxicity.

    In his statement to the medical board, Rutland said that he wasn't aware that the clinic even had a crash cart, which was kept at the back of the facility. The crash cart in question was stocked with expired medications. Rutland didn't use his own crash cart, which he'd brought from his Anaheim clinic, because he'd left it in his car.

    Nobody at the facility was certified in CPR.

    The medical examiner found the case so appalling that Ying's death was ruled a homicide. Her boyfriend, Zixiang Hu, filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of the couple's 2-year-old daughter.

    The Investigation

    The California medical board found that Rutland has been operating in a facility that wasn't adequate equipped for emergencies, which "casts doubt on his professional judgment." The clinic, which Rutland owned, lacked an appropriate municipal license. Rutland didn't carry malpractice insurance, and had lied to the DEA about his medical license having been previously suspended. 

    The board also found that Rutland "administered Lidocaine without knowing the safe dosage range or maximum safe dose" and that his "response to the medical crisis was inappropriate in that he failed to recognize Lidocaine toxicity in a timely manner, did not give the patient an oxygen mask, and delayed in calling the paramedics." They also noted that Rutland failed to report both Ying's hospitalization and her death to the medical board, as required by law.
    Dr. Rultand acknowledged that the incident was terribly unfortunate, but asserted that everything he did was within the standard of care. Dr. Rutland denied operating a medical clinic on the premises, despite a sign on the door that said "Rutland MD Medical Clinic." Dr. Rutland denied owning the medical clinic where the incident occurred. Dr. Rutland argued that the nature of the procedures he performed did not require him to have malpractice insurance and did not require that the clinic be equipped for serious emergencies. Dr. Rutland claimed he administered, not dispensed the Demerol, and that doing so was not in violation of DEA regulations.
    Although Administrative Judge James Ahler said that Rutland "presents a risk of danger and there is a likelihood of injury to the public" if he were allowed to continue to practice, the medical board failed to revoke or even suspend his license. Instead, in their January 7 hearing, they just banned him from performing any more abortions, performing other surgeries, or delivering any more babies. Ultimately Rutland decided to surrender his license permanently on February 11, 2011, rather than face pending disciplinary proceedings.

    California Deputy Attorney General Douglas Lee said that in his care of Ying Chen, Rutland "committed repeated negligent acts", and said that he had a history of dishonesty and corruption, including lying to patients and to authorities.

    Rutland argued that banning him from performing abortions was uncalled for on the grounds that he wasn't actively performing an abortion on Ying when she suffered the fatal mistake. His lawyer, Peter Osinoff, asked the judge to give weight to the 100 abortions Rutland had performed without incident over a two year period.

    Less than a month after he was banned from performing abortions, Rutland got caught scheduling them in a sting operation. His attorney argued that it was okay for Rutland to do chemical abortions and insisted that Rutland's daughter, also a physician, was the one performing the surgical abortions at the clinic.

    Rutland's History

    This was not Rutland's first run-in with the medical board. He had surrendered his license in October of 2002 after allegations of negligence, misconduct, and incompetence in his treatment of pregnant women, gynecological patients, and newborns. One obstetric patient bled to death. Two babies died, one in January of 1997 and one in July of 1999. The board investigated reports that Rutland performed unnecessary hysterectomies, lied to patients, and had sex with patients in his office.

    One of the infants who died, Jillian Broussard, suffered spinal cord injuries while Rutland was using forceps to deliver her. She lived six days. Her death ultimately led the medical board to revoke Rutland's license in 2003. Jillian's parents, who were present at the recent medical board hearing, lamented the reinstatement of Rutland's license in 2007, and the board's failure to revoke his license in the wake of Ying Chen's death.

    "I think his victims and the public needed to get full peace of mind today, and they didn't," Kathy Broussard told the Orange County Register. "He still has a practice in Anaheim. He's still allowed to do gynecological exams and consultations. It's appalling." 

    Scott Broussard told the paper, “There’s the making of a mistake, but then there’s the way that it was made and the reaction by him afterward. He was not a man of honor or integrity… The responsibility for this death is on the medical board, to be shared with Dr. Rutland. They’re supposed to protect the public and they have failed.”

    Rutland had regained his license by promising to only work under the supervision of another physician. He chose, and the medical board, approved Dr. Christopher Dotson Jr., who was himself on administrative probation with the medical board.

    Not Without Warning

    Prolifers in California had been complaining since early March of 2009 to the Medical board about Rutland, who was running an abortion clinic in southern California without another physician supervising him, in violation of his board probation. This facility was at the same location as the illegal abortion mill operated by Bertha Bugarin, who had been convicted of performing unlicensed abortions there. Rutland was also reported by prolifers to be operating at another abortion facility in Chula Vista.

    Watch "Safe and Legal Homicide" on YouTube.

    Sources: 
  • Judge: Doctor Who Killed Woman in Botched Abortion Must Stop Doing Them, Life News, January 8, 2010
  • "Doctor is told to stop performing abortions," Los Angeles Times, January 8, 2010
  • Abortion doc banned from doing abortions after death of patient, retains license to practice medicine, Operation Rescue, January 8, 2010
  • California abortionist accused of gross negligence in woman’s death, Catholic News Agency, January 12, 2010
  • "Troubled Doctor Oversaw Another," Los Angeles Times, February 3, 2010
  • "Doctor is accused of violating order," Los Angeles Times, February 18, 2010
  • "Family sues doctor in abortion death," Orange County Register, August 17, 2010
  • Second Amended Accusation and Petition to Revoke Probation, Medical Board of California Case No. D1-2006-176260 (scroll to page 9)
  • "Abortion doctor gives up license again over death," Orange County Register, January 26, 2011




  • August 3: Delayed Transfer Leads to Death

    Dr. Orrin Moore
    Dawn Mack, a 21-year-old accountant from Stamford, Connecticut, had an abortion performed at National Abortion Federation member facility Eastern Women's Center  on August 2, 1991.  Dawn, the mother of an infant, was about 15 or 16 weeks into her pregnancy. A doctor inserted laminaria to dilate Dawn's cervix then sent her home. 

    She returned the following day for the procedure. During the abortion, Dawn went stopped breathing. Her oxygen saturation level dropped to 88%. The anesthesiologist, Dr. Aurel Calalb, administered oxygen and Dawn's oxygen level returned to normal. Calalb did not make a note of this incident, nor did he mention it to Dr. Orrin Moore, who was performing the procedure. (Moore later let his New York license expire and relocated to Kansas.)

    Dawn was declared stable, with her blood pressure recorded at 8:55 a.m. as 130/80. She was sent to the recovery room just down the hall where her blood pressure was recorded as only 96/60 and her pulse 96. In spite of this alarming sign that Dawn was in severe trouble, nurse Linda Wissbrun noted that Dawn was unusually drowsy then left the recovery room. 

    Several other nurses were present with Dawn, who was at the time the only patient there, but nobody documented attending to the young woman in any way. When Wissbrun returned five minutes later, she found Dawn completely unresponsive. She tried to find a pulse and sent for help.

    Location of Eastern Women's Center
    Eastern's nursing supervisor arrived about five minutes later and began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. There was no crash cart or ambu bag immediately available. Dr. Elena Raftopol, another anesthesiologist, arrived at around 9:07 a.m. and began to administer oxygen by ambu-bag, then took Dawn to the operating room where she intubated her and began CPR. Dawn was not transported to a hospital until 10:00 a.m., nearly an hour after staff first noted that she wasn't breathing. Dawn was pronounced dead at 4:30 pm.


    An autopsy noted that she had suffered an amniotic fluid embolism. All of the defendants in the case filed by Dawn's survivors argued that an amniotic fluid embolism can not be prevented or treated and thus Dawn would have died no matter what they had done. The jury found that the clinic and nurse Wissbrun were 100% liable.

    Eastern Women's Center also provided fatal abortion care to Dawn Ravenelle and Venus Ortiz.

    August 3: An Obsolete and Fatal Approach

    Dr. Youl Choi
    Angel Dardie, age 22, left two children motherless when she died on August 3, 1982, of disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (a clotting disorder) after a safe, legal saline abortion performed by Youl Choi at Plymouth General Hospital near Detroit. 

    Choi performed this highly risky procedure even though three countries -- Japan, Sweden, and the USSR -- had entirely abandoned it due to the risk of serious injury and death to the mothers.

    Angel's mother sued, but was awarded a meager settlement of $6000 from Choi and $2500 from the hospital, roughly half of which was eaten up by legal fees and funeral expenses. Choi was also sued on behalf of two abortion patients who had been left incapacitated by their injures and on behalf of a baby who had been born alive then left in a bucket, delaying medical care until after she had suffered serious injuries.


    Wayne County, MI, Circuit Court Case No. 84 423 794-NM

    Tuesday, August 02, 2022

    August 2, 1981: Screwed Up Anesthesia and Resuscitation

    Twenty-seven-year-old Robin Renee Wells, divorced mother of three children ages 6, 4, and 2, went for an abortion under general anesthesia by Max Pierre Gaujean at Akron Center for Reproductive Health on July 15, 1981.

    Robin went into cardiac arrest in the recovery room, and was transferred by ambulance to a hospital. She remained in a coma until her death on August 2, 1981.

    Both Gaujean and the anesthesiologist were independent contractors and did not maintain private practices. 

    The suit filed by Robin's survivors alleged that she was overdosed on anesthesia and not properly monitored. It also alleged that staff at Akron Center for Reproductive Health failed "to resuscitate her after her condition had been discovered." 

    The case was settled out of court.

    Watch "Did They Even Try?" on YouTube.

    Summit County, OH, Court of Common Pleas Case No. CV 82 4 1036

    Monday, August 01, 2022

    August 1, 1922: A Muddled Case in Colorado

    On August 1, 1922, 27-year-old divorcee Carrie Meehan McDonald died at the county hospital in Denver, Colorado from the effects of an abortion. She had been taken there after her friends realized that the care they were providing to her would not be enough to help her. When she was admitted, Carrie insisted that she'd been suffering from ptomaine poisoning, but an inquest was ordered over the protests of Carrie's parents.

    Carrie had been living in a rooming house as Carrie Healy with a chauffeur called Ed Healy, whose real name was Ed Hanley. He reportedly had been planning to marry Carrie as soon as his divorce was finalized. He left the boarding house several weeks before Carrie's death and hadn't been seen since.

    Six women were held during the investigation because police believed that they might have information about the abortion. They insisted that Carrie had told them about the abortion, perpetrated on July 7, but had been sworn to secrecy as to the identity of the midwife who had perpetrated it.

    Sadie Hines, a beautician who had known Carrie for about a year, said that Carrie had spoken for weeks about arranging an abortion and had asked Sadie to give her the money, but Sadie said she'd refused.

    After the abortion, Sadie said, she'd gone for a car ride with Carrie, who then told her that the baby had been born alive and that she'd heard it crying. "They" had asked if she wanted to see it, and she'd said no. After that, Carrie said, she'd known nothing of the baby's whereabouts. Sadie, however, got the impression that the baby had been killed shortly after birth.

    Fort Collins police helped Denver police in the search for Mrs. Alma Dittman, age 52, suspected to have something to do with Carrie's death, though Alma denied any knowledge of the fatal abortion. She had been implicated, along with Mrs. Ida Cathcart, by Carrie's friend Margaret Lynch, who later recanted her story and insisted she'd known nothing about an abortion.

    Dittman was located at Fort Morgan and brought back for questioning. Dittman said that she'd been called in to care for Carrie after a self-induced abortion. She denied any knowledge of what had happened to Carrie's baby. A search of her home had revealed surgical instruments.

    I have been unable to determine the outcome of the case.

    Watch "Loyalty to Deadly Abortionists" on YouTube.

    Sources:





    August 1, 1991: Perforated Uterus and Peritonitis

    Documents regarding the death of Ingrid L. Thomas, age 28, indicate that her uterus was perforated by Kanu Virani during an abortion.

    Ingrid developed acute peritonitis, and died at Botsford General Hospital August 1, 1991, several days after the abortion.

    Sources: death certificate, summary of coroner's notes