Saturday, December 31, 2005
Christin Gilbert, a 19-year-old with Down Syndrome, was brought by her parents to George "The Killer" Tiller's infamous late-term abortion clinic in Wichita for a third-trimester abortion.
Oriane Shevin was 34 years old when a National Abortion Federation member facility gave her RU-486 in an unapproved, off-label manner. She died of sepsis.
It often takes years for news of an abortion death to surface, if at all, because of how long it takes to get a lawsuit to trial. So there may be other deaths in 2005 that we won't learn of for a while. But two dead women is still two too many, especially when there was no reason for them to die. Christin could have been delivered of her baby alive, safely, near her home in Texas. Oriane's abortionist could have supervised the procedure the way the FDA recommended -- or, perish the thought, could have sent her to people who could have helped her resolve her problems and avoid abortion entirely.
Laws don't kill women. Abortionists do.
When a prolifer refers to "abortion," she means a procedure intended to ensure that a pregnancy ends with a dead fetus instead of a live baby. She does not mean the removal of a hydatidiform mole or a fetus that was dead from other causes before the procedure started. But sometimes, especially in political contexts, abortion advocates use the term "abortion" to refer to these procedures, leading to misunderstanding. Prochoice euphimisms such as "evacuating the uterus," "terminating the pregnancy," and "removing the products of conception" further muddle the issue. These expressions do not address what is being removed from the uterus, and reflect the tunnel vision that many prochoicers maintain: seeing only the woman and not her unborn child.
But the common use of terms such as "removing the products of conception" to avoid the more emotional term "abortion" lead to miscommunications between prolife and prochoice people.
The other misuse of language that muddles the discussion is the way many abortion advocates use "saving the woman's life" as a catch-all phrase to describe any abortion the woman chose to perserve her lifestyle. A high-profile example of this is National Abortion Federation PBA poster child Vicki Wilson, who had a late abortion to kill a dying fetus rather than endure the angst of letting the baby live out her natural life. Vicki referred to this abortion as "the procedure that saved my life," even though she had no medical problems herself that called for ending her pregnancy early.
When a prolife person speaks of an abortion to save the mother's life, she means it literally: the mother very likely, or certainly, would have died had her doctor not ended the pregnancy before the fetus was old enough to survive outside the womb. So when we use the term among ourselves, we know what we mean. But when a prochoice person says that the abortion "saved the mother's life," we tend to blow them off. After all, if Vicki Wilson's abortion "saved her life," then any abortion, no matter how fragile the rationale, "saves the mother's life." All too often, therefore, we don't ask for clarification. We tend to assume that when a prochoice woman says an abortion "saved" her life, that she means it preserved her lifestyle by disposing of an inconvenient fetus.
These differences in meaning led to a major conflict in my old Pro Life Forum at About.com.
A prochoice woman I'll call "Janet" would use the examples of her own "abortions" to defend the prochoice position and call into question the validity of the prolife position. She said that her abortions saved her life, and that therefore it was unreasonable to expect her to repent her abortions, or regret them. Many prolife (or anti-abortion) folks blew off the issue of Janet's life being at stake, and admonished her to repent of her two "abortions" lest she imperil her very soul.
I'm guilty, too. I don't recall what I said, but Janet chided me that I knew her story. Did I wish she had just died? I confessed that I didn't recall her story. Maybe I'd never read that post; maybe I was losing track of whose story was whose. So Janet posted the entire sad tale, and I can assure you of this: I'd never read it before. And it reminded me of the importance of remembering always to ask for clarification, to assume the best of others (even "the other side!"), and to speak always in love.
With no further fanfare, here is Janet's story:
I was first diagnosed with cervical cancer at 18, by 19 I was calling fureral homes because I didn't want my mother to have to make the arrangements. Just before my 20th birthday, they decided to do a complete hystorectomy but I said NO! Take out only what is diseased, I might need the rest of it later,(I was thinking I might need those hormones.
I got pregnant before surgery, so I was told, one or the other but not both. And if I chose the wrong one, I would probably die. So I chose abortion.
Now, I was told I couldn't get pregnant, too much scar tissue. But, evidently, they meant I could *carry* to full term cause 16 years later,(last summer), I got pregnant. But I didn't know it. I thought I had a flu I couldn't kick. Then my period started, no problem right? Wrong! In three days I lost so much blood, I couldn't get outta bed, and before that day was out, I bled through my clothes.
Off to the hospital, and suprise! You're miscarrying, we're gonna have to do something to stop the bleeding. Hmmm, well...let's just say, the worse experience of my life. Didn't really give a sh*t if I lived or not,(ya get so weak, you could care less.), got a rock I could crawl under and expire please?
This was also the 3rd time I almost died. And, it caused me to come into touch with my emotions, which I had buried deep ...So I'm really touchy ya know?
So we're seeing a woman who, in a time of monumental stress, on the advice of her doctors, chose a medically-indicated abortion, having been told that she would die otherwise. This is not an elective abortion; it's one of those rare cases where doctors believe the abortion is necessary to save the mother's life.
We can look at the issues around these abortions. We can look at how often doctors may be wrong. We can look at the state of medical knowledge of the time and discuss whether the doctors were basing their prognosis on the best research. We can even discuss moral issues of when an abortion really is justified to save the mother's life. But we can't treat this as an abortion a woman just chose for reasons that pale beside the baby's life.
The second "abortion" Janet described, however, isn't even an abortion. It was a D&C done to remove the tissue remaining after the natural death of the fetus. This was clearly indicated medical treatment to prevent Janet from bleeding to death from retained tissue.
Prolifers, of course, latch onto the word "abortion," knowing it to mean the killing of a live fetus. So when Janet referred to her second "abortion," the idea that her fetus was already dead didn't enter into our minds. We simply don't use the word "abortion" to refer to this kind of procedure.
I can ask prochoicers to stop using the word "abortion" to describe procedures that do not involve causing the death of the fetus. But the abortion advocacy cause has a lot to gain by using the word "abortion" to describe these procedures. These procedures are genuinely necessary to preserve the woman's life and health, and therefore counting them as "abortions" gives them anecdotes to use to try to make it seem as if prolifers are trying to preserve dead fetuses and hydatidiform moles at the expense of the woman. It's dishonest for them to do this, but since expediency is highly valued among abortion proponents, they're not likely to abandon expediency in favor of honesty just to keep women like Janet from being caught in the crossfire of the culture war. Honest prochoice folks who are relying on the abortion advocacy lobby for their information will therefore probably continue to use the word "abortion" to describe procedures that are not abortions, procedures that do not cause a human death.
It falls upon the prolifers, therefore, to always ask for clarification, to not make assumptions, and to let prochoice folks know that these procedures are not abortions and would not be in any way affected by laws governing abortion.
Janet was subjected to a lot of chiding and lecturing that simply didn't apply to a woman in her circumstances, all because of miscommunication. We need to put aside the need to be right, and instead seek to understand before we seek to come out on top in an argument.
Especially when, as in cases like Janet's, there isn't even anything to argue about.
Staff at a nearby hospital tried in vain to save Sylvia, who had arrived with no pulse and no blood pressure. An emergency hysterectomy was done to remove her lacerated uterus, which still had a plastic instrument embedded in it.
So gross was the negligence of Arnold Bickham that the medical examiner ruled Sylvia's death to be a homicide. However, no charges were pressed against him.
Sylvia was the last woman identified as having died from abortion complications in 1986. The others I've found are:
- Christella Forte, died January 14
- Janyth Caldwell, died February 4
- Laniece Dorsey, died February 6
- Magnolia Thomas, died February 19
- Gail Wright, died March 26
- Gloria Aponte, died April 19
- Claudia Caventou, died May 8
- Dorothy Bryant, , died June 1
- Donna Heim, died August 13
- Carol Cunningham, died August 22
- Jacqueline Reynolds, died September 5
- Liliana Cortez, died September 25
- Michelle Madden, died November 22
- Luz Rodriguez, date of death undetermined
The CDC counted 11 legal abortion deaths for 1986, compared to the 15 I'm aware of. That means that I, personally, know of 36% more deaths for 1986 than the CDC is reporting. And since I don't know for sure which 11 women the CDC counted, it could well be that they're aware of deaths that I missed and that the number is actually higher. I do this on my own time and my own dime; the CDC is heavily staffed with people paid a good salary to keep track of this sort of thing. What does that say for their diligence?
For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:
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Friday, December 30, 2005
The FDA received reports of 607 adverse events involving the abortion drug RU-486 over a four-year period, it was reported this week.
The adverse events included five reported deaths and 68 cases of severe bleeding that required transfusions.
When Suzanne Poppema was reporting on her RU-486 patients to a National Abortion Federation gathering, she said it was difficult for her staff to get used to the amount of bleeding with a chemical abortion. Women would be standing at the reception desk with blood pooling around their feet, she said.
Late last month, federal officials confirmed that five women who died of toxic shock syndrome within a week of taking the drug to induce abortions had the same rare bacterial infection. Four of the deaths occurred in California and one in Canada. Three of these deaths were not among those included in the FDA's 607 events.
Is this because the deaths weren't reported, or because they're outside the area where the FDA is analyzing data? The article doesn't say.
And remember tampon-associated toxic shock syndrome? Remember how much trouble everybody went to, making sure women knew risks and prevention and so forth? How tampon manufacturing and marketing and labeling were changed? Why are tampon users entitled to more and better information than women considering abortion?
In addition to the five toxic shock deaths, a woman in Tennessee died from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy after taking the abortion drug, a Swedish teen died from a massive hemorrhage, and a woman in the U.K. died for unclear reasons.
And how many more deaths have gone unreported?
A total of 237 cases of hemorrhage were reported, with one resulting in death, 68 requiring transfusions, and 42 characterized as life-threatening.
That's 68 women that we know of subjected to the risks of transfusions, including possibly fatal hepatitis.
Seventeen of the adverse events involved ectopic pregnancies that were not discovered until after the women had taken the abortion drug; eleven involved ruptures and one resulted in death.
This is just plain sloppiness, again. There's no excuse for an abortion facility to fail to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy. They're supposed to be doing an ultrasound and an examination to verify the location of the embryo before proceeding. Even a jury of abortionists would call this malpractice! But a jury of abortion lobbyists wouldn't, I suppose.
Researcher Margaret M. Gary, MD, tells WebMD that she believes the adverse reactions reported to the FDA make up only a fraction of the true medical events that actually occur among women who take the drug to induce abortions. .... "The FDA reports that only about 1 percent to 10 percent of adverse events for any given drug are ever reported," she says. "And in this case women may be even less likely to report problems because they may be ashamed."
How about the people dispensing the drugs in the first place are quacks!?
Another problem, [Dr. Gary] says, is that even when women seek treatment their medical problem may not be recognized as being related to use of the drug. Early symptoms of drug-related bacterial infection often include abdominal cramping, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms are common among women who take the abortion drug.
And the women might think it's just stress or the flu. NAF nurses once complained that they couldn't get patients to take their troublesome symptoms seriously after an abortion, possibly because it's been pounded into their heads that abortion is so safe that they can't bring themselves to believe anything really can go wrong. Not to mention how lousy so many abortion facilities are with aftercare. Even if the woman realizes something is wrong, like Brenda Vise did, the clinic may well tell her to just take an aspirin and go to bed.
I've said it before: Abortionists are, by and large, not the kind of people who can be trusted to provide adequate care even in situations where it's obvious what's wrong. These are people who stand around and do nothing while women go into cardiac arrest, who leave hemorrhaging women unattended, who ignore patient allergies and medical histories when injecting women with drugs. And we give them something as dangerous as these drugs and are surprised that they're killing their patients?
Dissonance and Disrespect notes that EU doctors are now required to participate in abortions. Who would have thought that the fall of the Berlin Wall would lead to Western Europe turning totalitarian like this!
i_love-my-ocd mentions three chemical abortion patients that are home killing their embryos and risking sepsis over the New Years weekend. Only of course she doesn't use those words. She says that her "three non-surgical patients are off and ready to start their at home miscarriages." Denial. It's not just a river in Egypt.
Prayers needed for a woman in Canada who's been taken to a shelter to escape an abusive husband threatening to beat her into a miscarriage if she doesn't have an abortion. Thank God, she's being helped by people who don't buy into the idea just aborting her and returning her to her abuser is an answer! But prayers needed for her continued needs.
Peter's Minions Page looks at how Spain's abortion advocates sneaked abortion-on-demand under the guise of just being kind to "hard case" women: "This is a perfect demonstration of the pro-abortion forces using exceptional cases to mask their true intent. If you believe abortion is justifiable, then be strong enough in your convictions to defend it. Don't hide behind exceptional cases and play on people's emotions to hide your true objective. It is a tragedy that innocent children die as a result of such deception." Amen.
New York State argues that "Choose Life" license plates are so "patently offensive" that they could lead to road rage! How enamored are New Yorkers of abortion that the very idea that a some women might choose not to abort would lead to violence?
Jacqueline, a 20-year-old fashion designer from Lebanon, Pennsylvania, moved to New York and took an apartment with two other women. She began spending more and more time at the home of Thomas G. Daniels, age 24, eventually all but moving in with him.
When Jackie's father arrived for a visit on December 30, 1955, he got Daniels and together they went to the police to report Jackie missing. The police were quickly suspicious of Daniels and began to question him more closely. Daniels finally told police that Jackie had gone into the bathroom and stabbed herself to death due to his refusal to marry her, and that he had dumped her body in the Hudson River.
In December, Jackie had told Daniels that she was pregnant. Daniels did not want to marry Jackie and instead arranged for a scrub nurse, Leobaldo Pejuan, to perform an abortion at Daniels' apartment on Christmas Eve. After performing the abortion, Pejuan became alarmed at Jackie's condition, and summoned Dr. Ramiro Morales, who told him that Jackie was dead.
Daniels and Pejuan cut Jackie's body into pieces and took it to Pejuan's home, where over the next several days they cut into as many as 50 pieces, which they wrapped in Christmas paper and disposed of in trash cans along side streets off Broadway, from 72nd to 80th.
Police investigated, and found medical instruments in Pejuan's apartment. The entire story eventually came out, with Pejuan pleading guilty and testifying against Daniels. Pejuan was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison, and Daniels was sentenced to 8 years.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Vivian's husband is suing the drug company, Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernadino Counties, and The Population Council Inc., in Orange County Superiour Court. Planned Parenthood spokesperson Kimberlee Ward said that PP has "absolute confidence in this method of abortion," which is hardly surprising. After all, Vivian's fetus died, leaving PP with nothing to complain about.
Mary Ann Page is one of the women Life Dynamics identifies on their "Blackmun Wall" as having been killed by a legal abortion. She was 36 years old when she went into cardiac arrest during an abortion/tubal ligation performed under general anesthesia on December 28, 1977. Both procedures were completed, then Mary Ann was taken to the Intensive Care Unit. Mary Ann suffered several more cardiac arrests while she was in the ICU. She was pronounced dead on December 29, 1977.
On December 29, 1987, 31-year-old Sheila Watley had an abortion at Concerned Women’s Center in Houston, Texas. She was 17 weeks pregnant, and had one child. The abortion was performed by Dr. Richard Cunningham. About four minutes into the procedure, Sheila went into cardio-respiratory arrest. She was pronounced dead later that day. The cause of death was listed as an amniotic fluid embolism, which is when fluid from the uterus gets into the woman's blood stream.
"Beth" is one of the women Life Dynamics identifies on their "Blackmun Wall" as having been killed by a legal abortion. Beth was 23 years old when she traveled from massachusetts to New York for an abortion in 1971. The abortion was initiated by injecting saline into Beth's uterus. But instead of the amniotic sac, the saline went into Beth's bloodstream. Beth immediately began to have siezures and went into a coma. She was pronounced dead on December 29, 1971.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Tucker had an active medical board order on his license as of January 4, 2002. The Georgia medical board web site does not reveal the details of the order. (Sources: Georgia Certificate of Death #048414; "Woman dies after abortion; doctor investigated," The Atlanta Constitution, February 4, 1986)
Monday, December 26, 2005
I've also added Arretta Hardesty, a 31-year-old mother of three who died sometime in I'm guessing the 1920s. Westlaw tells me that her husband's verdict of $5,000 was upheld, and tells the name of her abortionist, but does not give me the date of her death or even the year. If anybody has information on how and when this young woman left her children motherless, let me know.
Joy Joy was an unmarried mother of one when she died of an illegal abortion May 26, 1950. That's all I could learn about her.
Another woman died February 26, 1924, but the Westlaw summary doesn't give her name. I've dubbed her "Patsy" Roe.
Ilene Eagen died in 1947 after her boyfriend brought her for an abortion at a dentist's office.
Iva Triplett left her children motherless when she died of a botched abortion in 1921.
Kerneda Bennett died of a botched abortion some time in the 1940s. I have no information on her age or the date of her death.
I also have very little information on the death of Gene Raligh, who died of an illegal abortion on a date I could not determine.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
When an autopsy revealed the cause of death as abortion, Loretta's husband of two years indicated that he had not even been aware that Loretta had been pregnant. Dr. John H. Becker Jr., who admitted to having examined Loretta on December 17, was charged with homicide in the death. He denied having performed the abortion.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
I know this is a dismal topic for Christmas Eve, but that's reality. On the eve of the celebration of Jesus's birth, we must remember that abortion was still devastating families, and will continue to devastate families until we learn to universally regard children as a blessing, not as a punishment.
Friday, December 23, 2005
A suit by patient L.H. alleged that she underwent an abortion by Dr. Alan Beer at Planned Parenthood of Mid-Michigan on July 16, 1985. No ultrasound was performed to determine gestational age. Beer ruptured the amniotic sac, then referred Harat to University of Michigan Medical Center, where five days later she gave birth to a 2 lb. 3 1/2 oz premature infant boy of approximately 25-29 weeks gestation. The infant, named Bryan, suffered developmental delay, intracranial bleeding, hydrocephalus, and disfigurement.. (Washtenaw County Circuit Court Case No. 85-30344 NM)
A suit by patient C.J. alleged that she was referred to Planned Parenthood for an abortion. She attended a counseling appointment on June 22, 1987, and expressed concern that her pregnancy might be tubal or otherwise abnormal because the of "spotty watery bleeding she was experiencing and because this pregnancy was unlike her previous pregnancies." C.J. was assured that a doctor would examine her on June 23, just prior to the abortion, and decide if an ultrasound was necessary. C.J. arrived on June 23 for abortion, was given medicine, and was "instructed to put on a hospital gown and to get on a table and put her feet into stirrups." Seabrook "appeared and attempted to abort her pregnancy without examining Plaintiff." C.J. heard Seabrook comment that he was not "getting much material." C.J. slept in recovery for around 1 hour, was given discharge instructions from staff, and was given a prescription in case of heavy bleeding.
Three or four days later, C.J. again experienced watery bleeding and backache, and she "felt tired, depressed and very pregnant." She attempted to contact the clinic on June 27, and left a message on their answering machine. Her call was returned by Nurse Shaw who told her "that her feelings of pregnancy could last for several weeks and assured her that they would go away." Shaw "also allegedly pulled Plaintiff's chart and read part of the chart to Plaintiff and stated that the preliminary laboratory reports appeared to be fine and that they would have a final laboratory report by the time she was to appear for a follow-up visit...July 7."
C.J. continued feeling lethargic. On June 29, she had to be taken home from class a by friend due to severe pain, and called the clinic. She went to the clinic later that day, per instructions, and was given 3 pelvic exams by Nurse Froebel, who detected an adnexal abdominal mass, and recommended that C.J. see her private physician or go to a hospital. C.J. returned to the clinic that had referred her to Planned Parenthood, where a physician assistant examined her, noted the mass, and diagnosed possible pelvic inflammatory disease and prescribed antibiotics.
C.J. stayed home the next day, "exhausted and without any energy." She attempted to attend class the following morning, but had to be taken to a faculty lounge to lie down due to pain. An ambulance was called, and emergency room personnel determined that she was hemorrhaging. C.J. required emergency surgery due to a ruptured fallopian tube. She was hospitalized one week, and recuperated at home 10-14 days.
The laboratory report had detected "scanty chorionic villi," indicating that the abortion had not removed the fetus. C.J. alleged negligence in failing to perform other tests and procedures to determine cause of her symptoms. (Washtenaw County Circuit Court Case No. 89-5317-NH)
With patient S.R., the State of Michigan sued Planned Parenthood to recover $7400 Medicaid money paid out for care "for the injuries sustained ... as a result of the alleged negligence and malpractice of the defendants." S.R.'s June 29, 1983 abortion at Planned Parenthood was unsuccessful, and the continuing pregnancy was detected and aborted when S.R. sought a tubal ligation later at University of Michigan Hospital. Dismissed. (Washtenaw County Circuit Court Case No. 85-29827)
A suit by patient B.M. alleged breach of confidentiality: after her January 10, 1989 abortion, the medical lab that ran the pregnancy test sent a bill to her home, resulting in B.M.'s mother learning of the abortion. (Washtenaw County Circuit Court Case No. 89-38135)
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Prolifers report that a 17-year old girl sued over two abortions PP did on her when she was 13 and being abused by her 23-year-old foster brother. They cite The Associated Press September 2, 2001.
A suit by patient R.M., age 18, alleged that she underwent an abortion by Arnold Singer on October 5, 1984 at Planned Parenthood. Approximately four hours after returning home, R.M. expelled a dead 12-week fetus into her undergarments. She faulted PP with lack of informed consent. Dr. Ann Speckhard, a psychologist of Arlington, Virginia, testified that R.M. sustained severe emotional trauma as a result of the incident. Dr. Cleery, a psychiatrist of Texas, certified that R.M. required one year of intensive care and then continuing psychotherapy for the rest of her life. Planned Parenthood's defense lawyer contended that Planned Parenthood did offer counseling to R.M. after the incident. After a verdict was announced for the defense, Gloria Feldt, then executive director of PP in Phoenix, was quoted as saying "I personally feel very sorry that [R.M.] was sucked into the vendetta the Right-to Life organization has against Planned Parenthood. I feel she was kind of used in this." R.M. may be Lidia Roe #15, below. (Sources include Arizona Republic, Maricopa County Superior Court Case No. C584005)
A former employee alleged, regarding Lidia Roe #14, that a staff abortionist perforated the patient's uterus during an abortion that should never have been done in the first place because they patient actually had an ectopic pregnancy. The patient required major surgery. (From letter from Martha Jo Billy to Personnel Board 12-18-84)
The same former employee alleged, regarding Lidia Roe #15, age 17, that after her abortion, she expelled a 12-week fetus at home. This Lidia Roe may be R.M., above. (Letter from Martha Jo Billy to Personnel Board 12-18-84)
Former employee Martha Jo Billy, who worked at PP 7.5 years, wrote to the Personnel Board December 19, 1984 alleging that Arnold Singer was hired to do abortions August 1, 1984. Although clinic protocol called for a 6 month probationary period, Medical Director Hank Schoenek left town shortly thereafter, leaving a non-medical person to oversee Singer and be contacted with patient medical problems. Ms. Billy reported a "200% turnover in staff in the abortion clinic in less than six months. To be realistic, how much training ... could the staff have been receiving: in fact, there were complaints by the patients and one volunteer took the time to write about her concern over the demoralization of the Phoenix Clinic." Billy also wrote that "twilight sleep is being used although not in the protocol" and that "patients have been given Methergine pre-operatively rather than post-operatively by non-medical staff." She also stated that abortions had been done up to 16 weeks, although the protocol cutoff is 12 weeks.
Ms. Billy also said, "Planned Parenthood of Central and Northern has collected money from Title X eligible patients for several years despite the fact the agency receives around $600,000 annually to provide free services to these patients. This has been brought up repeatedly at supervisor meetings. .... PPCNA had collected Title X money for non-patients at the Globe Center who came for Childbirth Education Classes. Title X is designated for family planning services."
Ms. Billy further alleged that the Arizona Board of Medical Examiners "specified Nurse Practitioners were to give out all prescription medications with exception of birth control pills. This has been done only in two centers." She also said that physical exams were not done for new staff.
Ms. Billy noted, "Multiple complaints have been received about three of the current practitioners. .... Family Planning Assistants sell or have sold the wrong pills and/or medications. One that I am aware of received a 10% merit raise twice in a row. There has never been a pharmacy audit despite the fact that the vast amount of pills and medications are handled only by non-medical personnel." Silly said that several practitioners and a pharmacist complained of inability to reach Schoeneck (the medical director) to address patient problems. She also reported violation of E.E.O. regulations.
Ms. Billy also said that on September 24, 1994, "the Tempe Center registered 339 people to vote during a contraceptive clinic" even though the regulations regarding federal funding forbade this sort of activity.
Ms. Billy wrote, "Both full time physicians with Planned Parenthood were hired with pending suits and/or history of malpractice suit." She noted that medical director Hank Schoeneck inserted an IUD in a patient who was 12 weeks pregnant; the patient attempted to continue the pregnancy.
PP was declared liable by the judge because the facility had refused to turn the woman's medical records over to her. J.B. had gone to PP in December of 1997, and had a first trimester abortion. She still felt pregnant, and told them 2 weeks later in a follow up exam, and called repeatedly. She was told she was not pregnant, that her symptoms were normal.
On February 18, 1998, she demanded a urine pregnancy test, which revealed that she was still pregnant. Since that particular PP does not do late abortions, staff apologized and gave her a list of places that would do second trimester abortions. PP did finally agree to pay for the second abortion.
An ultrasound at the second abortion facility revealed that J.B.'s six month fetus was missing an arm and a leg, possibly from injuries sustained during the initial abortion which failed to kill it. J.B. saw the ultrasound, and according to her attorney, "had an emotional collapse. .... She had to go through a three-day procedure to terminate the fetus' life, something that absolutely wrecks her."
J.B. suffers persistent visions of babies being killed, has contemplated suicide, and weeps at sight of young children, especially twins. "She is like a shattered human being," her lawyer says. "She has been unable to be in a relationship since this happened. She can't get in close proximity to a man without shaking and, sometimes, vomiting." She has been diagnosed with PTSD. Due to California lawsuit caps, the most J.B. will get is $250,000. A juror who was 28 weeks pregnant during the trial nearly wept as she discussed the case. PP vowed to appeal.
Denise checked into Avalon Hospital (an abortion facility owned by Edward Campbell Allred) on December 21. Denise suffered an amniotic fluid embolism that carried pieces of fetal bone marrow into her lungs. She was pronounced dead by Edward Allred at Avalon at 5pm.
Denise is the first confirmed abortion death at an Allred facility. She was just the first to die before the National Abortion Federation was founded, with Allred's Family Planning Associates Medical Group as a member. Others known to have died after abortion at Allred's facilities include:
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Delaware League for Planned Parenthood, a NAF member, was sued by patient A.C. She consulted with PP because it "held itself out to be a qualified options counselor for pregnancy." She faulted PP with failure to provide options other than abortion, which they indicated was appropriate due to her age; failure to notify her of the development of her fetus, and failure to disclose critical biological information material in the decision-making process. PP then referred her to Wilmington Medical Center for an abortion, which was performed by John F. MacGuigan. A.C. suffered injuries during the abortion causing permanent infertility.
Patient G.G. sued after she'd been referred to Inglewood Women's Clinic by Planned Parenthood without being offered a choice of facilities. Her abortion was performed by Dr. Dupont at Inglewood. G.G. required a second curettage on July 11, 1973, and total abdominal hysterectomy July 13, 1973. Dupont's notes indicate "minimal" blood loss, no perforations noted, "patient taken to recovery room in satisfactory condition, apparently having tolerated the procedure well."
Patient J.K. filed suit after she'd been referred to Inglewood by Planned Parenthood for an abortion performed by Dr. Perlow in 1972. Perlow failed to diagnose that J.K. had an ectopic pregnancy. A week after her abortion she called back to Planned Parenthood due to pain,. They told her to call West Coast Medical Group. They gave her an appointment in one week, but before the appointment the pregnancy ruptured. She required surgery. The surgeon found her abdomen full of blood and blood clots. J.K. had to be placed in the Intensive Care Unit overnight because she was in critical condition. J.K said that Planned Parenthood failed to check the qualifications of the facility before providing a referral. "They told me that the abortion was a quick and simple procedure and that no problems could result," I wasn't warned...that the doctors performing the abortion had so many other abortions to do that realistically it would be hard for them to do anything with care, and "I was sent to an abortion mill."
Pittsburgh Planned Parenthood had their attorney threaten to file suit against patient M.E. when she filed suit against them for misdiagnosing her as pregnant, resulting in an unnecessary 1988 abortion. Her suit alleged that the misdiagnosis was due to "confusion of urine samples between patients" and nurse-midwife improperly performing an exam and counseling M.E. to undergo an abortion.
Patient T.B., age 23, alleged that she underwent an abortion at Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles on January 29, 1988. She suffered a lacerated uterus, hemorrhage, surgery, hospitalization, loss of child-bearing capacity, and emotional distress.
Diana Lopez, the woman pictured in my sidebar with two children, died after an abortion at a Los Angeles Planned Parenthood. Holly Patterson, the lovely young blonde in my sidebar, died of sepsis after an abortion at PP.
Planned Parenthood in Merrillville, Indiana, hired James T. Howard as a part-time abortion doctor without first learning that he was on an agreement not to perform elective abortions in order to avoid prosecution for botching an illegal 6-month abortion in his Bloomington office.
A Planned Parenthood in D.C. was sued by patient A.A., age 28. A.A. said that she went to Planned Parenthood on February 25, 1992, for birth control pills. A.A., who speaks only Spanish, was led to a procedure room by a Spanish-speaking employee who had her disrobe, put her in stirrups, inserted a speculum, and left the room. Planned Parenthood staffer Marc Jerome entered the room and initiated a vacuum abortion procedure. A.A. screamed for him to stop, but Jerome "ignored the obvious pain and terror" of his patient, and continued with the procedure. Jerome had gone into the wrong room and failed to correctly identify which patient he was about to operate on. The suit noted that A.A. "suffers continuous flashbacks and crying episodes," particularly due to her strong religious opposition to abortion. Planned Parenthood successfully blocked the woman's attempt to file suit anonymously, on the grounds that the suit "does not involve an abortion, or a woman's right to privacy when choosing to obtain an abortion. The female plaintiff in this case was not pregnant...did not seek and did not obtain an abortion." I'll grant that she didn't seek an abortion, but PP was more than willing to provide her with one anyway. Imagine if that poor woman had been fool enough to trust PP to provide prenatal care!
Monday, December 19, 2005
My notes on Reich indicate that he worked at Nicholas Braemer’s Clinica Medica para la Mujer de Hoy. He was charged with 28 criminal acts in 1982, including sexual abuse and battery of female patients, prescribing drugs without a license, falsely representing himself as an MD, when he is a DO, and attempting to intimidate witnesses. He pleaded no contest in 1984 to two counts of battery and two of misrepresentation. In 1994, he completed a 10-year medical board probation for a botched abortion.
Reich plea bargained in June of 1984, no contest to two counts of battery and two counts of misrepresenting himself in exchange for dropping other charges. He was fined $3200.
OR's blog entry contains a plethora of information about Reich and his associates, with links.
Cheers to Boxer for standing up for women! Though of course it's not clear at this point that Boxer even realizes that Reich is an abortionist. Would that change her mind about wanting him put out of practice, I wonder?
I sent Sen. Boxer an email praising her for her action, and I did a write-up of Reich's situation here.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
WHO's coding rule no. 12, together with its recommendation no. 7, states that deaths due to medical and surgical treatment must be reported under the complication of the procedure and not under the condition or reason for treatment. In effect, this makes abortion a "ghost" category under which it is impossible to code a death. Medical coders have, in fact, relayed that any attempt to code a death due to abortion under an abortion category yields a "reject message" from the computer programs provided by the National Centre for Health Statistics of Washington D.C., a division of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia. (This computer program is now used in Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, and will be introduced in the British Isles this January.) .... Only a minute number of abortion-related deaths actually qualify to be declared under abortion, i.e. those for which the medical certificate of death categorically and unequivocally gives abortion as the underlying cause of death. If abortion is mentioned anywhere else on the death certificate, on the underlying cause line, the death gets coded as an accident of some kind, a sudden or unexpected death, an illness (like septicaemia—blood poisoning) or an injury, etc.
The Centers for Disease Control, from which we get our "official" tally of abortion deaths in the US, gets the bulk of its abortion death information from the NCIS, which, as WHO's coding rules dictate, will flag virtually no deaths as abortion deaths even if the abortion is noted on the death certificate!
On the WHO-prescribed medical certificate of death form, there is a confusing (and optional) maternal death question that reads as follows: "If deceased was a female, did the death occur either during pregnancy (including abortion and ectopic pregnancy) or within 42 days thereafter? Yes, No."
Thus any death of a pregnant woman, or of a woman who was known to have been recently pregnant, gets coded as "maternal mortality," even if her death had nothing to do with the pregnancy (i.e. automobile accident), or if her death was due to an induced abortion.
In Statistics Canada's Causes of Death publication for 1995, under those categories in which medical coders have admitted to tabulating abortion-related deaths, there are 1,026 deaths of women between the ages of 10 to 50. The categories given by coders include misadventures during surgical and medical care; accidental cut, puncture, perforation or haemorrhage; accidental poisoning by urea, saline solution, prostaglandins, anti-infectives, sedatives and anaesthetics; postoperative shock; postoperative haemorrhage; postoperative infection; convulsions; injuries to abdominal organs/blood vessels; and late and adverse effects of the above.
This means that any researcher trying to determine how many women died from abortion complications would have to search for codes for all of these causes of death, then investigate each to see if abortion was involved.
Response to the unearthing of the inaccurate recording of abortion deaths has been encouraging. The International Statistical Institute, based in The Netherlands has agreed that intervention is required. It stated in its letter "The problem … originates from the coding rules issued by the World Health Organization. Since they issue erroneous coding rules, they are responsible for correcting them. ISI would certainly endorse such an approach."
For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:
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Myrta arrived at the hospital in critical condition due to delay of transfer by the clinic staff. She bled to death from 2 uterine perforations. Zaldivar could not be reached for 7 hours while hospital staff were struggling to save his patient's life.
Since Zaldivar's license was inactive at the time he performed Myrta's abortion, the CDC classified her death as being due to illegal abortion rather than legal abortion. The other deaths at that facility -- Ruth Montero, Shirley Payne, and Maura Morales -- were counted as legal abortion deaths.
For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:
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Saturday, December 17, 2005
In a nutshell, the Indiana AG wants to review PP's Medicaid records to see if PP's been covering up sexual abuse of underage girls, and the ACLU is helping PP block the move - despite the fact that one requirement of accepting Medicaid money is that you're willing to allow a review of what it's paying for. Suddenly, when it looks like they'll be caught doing ill by kids and good by perverts, they want to renege on the deal.
God willing, PP may go down in screaming flames over this. At the very least, they ought to lose all Medicaid funding, and be required to pay back every Medicaid penny they obtained fraudulently.
Friday, December 16, 2005
Dr. McNair looks at how it's possible for abortion supporters to reconcile in their own minds the abuse and malpractice common in abortion facilities with the professed goals of empowering women and keeping them safe. She theorizes that at least some abortion supporters have other goals than women's well-being, and thus can blow off the problems as being irrelevant:
If one of the elements that is contradictory can be made unimportant, then that can take care of any tension that might otherwise arise.
An example would be the view that current numbers of population are too high, or that the current numbers of "undesirable" people are too high. There are those who are obsessed with the idea of overpopulation. Some believe in eugenics, the philosophy that certain people are burdens on society and accordingly their births should be prevented.
Many of those who believe overpopulation is the cause of most of the problems the human race now faces, also believe draconian measures may be called for. A little covering up is also justified. Limiting births becomes far more important than concerns like the safety of women, and the prevention of births is a goal worthy of the occasional dead woman. If people are less likely to be convinced to have abortions because they fear unsafe consequences, then they need to be convinced that they are safe. That doesn't make it necessary that they actually are safe, only that people think that they are. Choice, consciousness-raising, safety and respect for women all become irrelevant, which means that their conflict with a position in favor of pushing abortion would not bring on the tension of contradictions.
Evidence indicated that the abortion of Venus' approximately 15-week pregnancy was performed by a Dr. Leiber. The abortion took place at Eastern February 24, 1993. There was negligence in administering anesthesia to Venus, and failure to establish an airway. Brevital, fentanyl, and midazolam were administered in dosages and manners contrary to standards of practice, causing Venus to suffer a synergistic reaction.
Eastern's staff failed to promptly diagnose and attend to cardio-pulmonary arrest. Eastern's notes of 5:35 PM indicate "2:35 PM end of surgery ... we noticed patient's ashen color and the pulse oximeter tracing and digital readout were gone from the monitor." Emergency medical services were called.
Venus was transported by ambulance to a hospital, accompanied by Dr. Cyrus, Dr. Goodman, and/or Dr. Jeffrey P. Moskowitz. However, the damage had already been done. Venus was left in permanent need of respirator, with profound brain damage. Venus remained in a coma/vegetative state. She was hospitalized a little over five months before being transferred to permanent nursing home care.
To further underscore Eastern's neglect of patients' needs, the suit also noted that although this was her 4th abortion, Venus had not been referred to a social worker.
Venus remained in a permanent vegetative state for the remainder of her life. She died in New York on December 16, 1998 at the age of 29.
Two other Eastern Women's Center patients, Dawn Ravenelle and Dawn Mack, had already died of complications of their abortions.
During the procedure, performed by either Edward Allred or Ruben Marmet, Mary sustained two cervical lacerations, and because she was bleeding heavily, a hysterectomy was performed in an effort to save her life. The surgery was not successful, and at 1:50 am on December 16, 1984, she died while on the operating table. Mary was 43 years old and the mother of five.
The Investigator's Report states "Dr. Allred cleared the case with Coroner and body was released to the family picked mortuary ... and services held. When the death certificate was taken to Kern County Health Department they refused to accept it and called the case to Los Angeles Coroner. ... Mortuary in Bakersfield will bring body to this office for autopsy on morning of 12-20-84."
Only then was cause of death attributed to exsanguination due to cervical laceration due to therapeutic abortion. The cervix showed two lacerations - a small one that had been sutured and a large unsutured one extending through the full ring of the cervix. Once a cause for the fatal hemorrhage was determined, the death certificate was accepted, and Mary was laid to rest again.
San Vicente had been purchased by National Abortion Federation member Familiy Practice Associates Medical Group shortly before Mary's death. Natalie Meyers had already died at San Vicente prior to the purchase.
Other FPA deaths include:
- Deanna Bell
- Chanelle Bryant
- Laniece Dorsey
- Patricia Chacon
- Denise Holmes
- Kimberly Neil
- Susan Levy
- Josefina Garcia
- Tami Suematsu
- Joyce Ortenzio
Since Allred would have been able to cover up his facility's responsibility for Mary's death if not for a sharp-eyed vital records clerk, only a hand search of California death certificates to look for those signed off by Allred's doctors would determine for sure how many other women met their ends under FPA's dubious care.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
The only bright spot is that it's the first "prochoice" site I've ever seen that condemns the forced abortion in China. That's progress.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Snoop Zone looks at the racial element in abortion. I made a post pointing out the disproportionate deaths among Black women. A Black woman is twice as likely to be sold an abortion as a white woman, and once she's on the table she's twice as likely to die.
Don't Get Stuck on Stupid offers to abolish capital punishment in exchange for abolition of abortion. Think there'll be any takers?
Lunacy East is a bit creeped out over the idea of an abortion scheduled for Christmas Eve. She wants to know about abortions scheduled for holidays, birthdays, etc, and is the date chosen or it is just that's when the scheduling fell. I mentioned Sylvia Moore, who was shoved out the door in a wheelchair after her New Years Eve abortion, and who bled to death as a result.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
In one session of a National Abortion Federation Risk Management Seminar, a participant indicated that when he pulled bowel (extracted part of a patient's bowel through a perforation in her uterus), his preferred method of treatment (if you can call it that) was to stuff the bowel back through the perforation, administer medications to make the uterus contract and control bleeding, monitor the woman more carefully in recovery, and if she seemed okay, send her home none the wiser.
The moderator was appalled. He pointed out that even if there was no obvious injury to the bowel, it might be bruised and damaged. The recommended procedure is to admit the patient to the hospital and examine her bowel, and observe her for signs of further injury. The moderator then asked how many of the other participants followed this method of stuffing the bowel back in and hoping for the best. Six participants raised their hands to be counted.
I knew it was only a matter of time before one of these bowel-stuffing abortionists killed somebody. That's where the unwitting Sharon Hamptlon stepped into the picture. She went to Bruce Steir at A Lady's Choice Women's Medical Center for an abortion on December 13, 1996. She was 20 weeks pregnant.
Steir remained at the facility for about an hour after Sharon's abortion. She was still in the recovery room when he left.
Excerpts from Doris's statement to the medical board can be found at ...And So I Could Hold You and You Could Go to Sleep. Here are some excerpts:
Maybe around 3:00 pm I took Curtis inside to use the bathroom. I saw a grey haired man dressed in green surgical clothes sitting at a desk. He said, "You know she is far along." I said, "No. I didn't know because she didn't tell me." Then I saw Sharon in the recovery room about 3:30 or 4:00 pm. She looked so bad that I felt scared. She was laying on a lazyboy style chair with an IV in her left arm and a blood pressure cuff on the other. She looked very pale. Her eyes were partially open and I could see only the whites of her eyes as if she were in shock. She was not speaking and her whole body was shaking real hard in big shivers. Her legs were especially bad. The doctor said, "She doesn't react to drugs well." .... A woman came in and said that Sharon didn't need the blankets that were on her already and pulled the blankets off. Other girls in the recovery room were vomiting and the attendant woman told the girls to keep vomiting, that vomiting was good for them at this time. I went back to the waiting room and a Spanish lady came out and said that Sharon would be ready in a few minutes as soon as the IV finished.
Sharon was in the recovery for only about 45 minutes, because at 5:00 pm they came out and said she was ready to leave. I heard someone say that the doctor was real busy and he had to rush out like he was going to the airport, something about him having to go to Sacramento or San Francisco. I saw two women struggling to place Sharon in a wheelchair. Sharon could not walk at all and she was not speaking. She looked very, very pale now.
On the way home to Barstow, I stopped at Wendy's to get a sandwich for little Curtis. I tried to wake Sharon but all she said was "Huh, Huh." Then Curtis said, "Mamma, I love you. Do you need anything? Are you okay?" And Sharon said, "Okay. I'll take a drink." Sharon was lying in the backseat of the car and said to Curtis, "Come on back with me Curtis. I love you and so I could hold you and you could go to sleep." She was silent for about one hour. Near Victorville, she said, "I'm so hot. Please let the window down." I opened the window a bit. After that, Sharon was silent forever.
We got home to Barstow and I saw that Sharon, still laying in the back seat was naked from the waist up, having removed her shirt, shoes and socks. I started yelling, "Sharon. Sharon. Wake up," but she didn't and my husband, Ben Hamptlon, said, "Call 911."
According to Nancy Myles, an untrasound technician who was assisting Steir during Sharon's abortion, Steir was having trouble locating and extracting the fetal skull. She said that he looked at her strangely and said, "I think I pulled bowel."
Steir was already on probation with the medical board at the time of Sharon's abortion; he had a history of botching abortions, including causing uterine perforations. He'd been found negligent in six abortion cases, including three in which the woman had to undergo a hysterectomy. One woman had to have a fetal skull removed from a tear in her uterus. Steir surrendered his licence in 1997, in the wake of the fallout surrounding Sharon's death.
Pro-choice organizations, including the national leadership of NOW, and the National Abortion Federation and the California Abortion and Reproduction Rights League, rallied around Steir. One supporter stood outside the courthouse with a sign reading, "Abortion doctors are heroes, defend Dr. Bruce Steir." The Feminist Women's Health Center in Chico, with whom he once was affiliated, set up a "defense committee" and raised funds for his legal expenses.
Joseph Durante, who owned the facility, was also on probation with the medical board at the time of Sharon's fatal abortion. He had attempted a late abortion which resulted in the birth of a live but injured infant.
Sharon was a single mother who worked part-time at Burger King while attending community college. Sharon's mother said that she wanted to go off welfare and become a nurse. California taxpayers ffunded the fatal abortion through Medi-Cal.
Steir eventually plea bargained. He was sentenced to a year in prison, with six months of the sentence suspended in leiu of community service. He was also given five years' probation. At the sentencing hearing, four years after Sharon's death, Sharon's father said he still often pulled his car to the side of the road, looked at his daughter's picture, and wept.
Steir was released after serving only four months of his sentence.
Again, from Doris Hamplton's statement:
I don't know how she heard about Dr. Durante's offices. I think he was recommended by the people at San Bernardino County Social Services or by Dr. Krider. Sharon was on Medi-Cal and had Pacific Care as the Medi-Cal managed care agent. I understand that because Dr. Durante and Dr. Steir were on probation they were not entitled to Medi-Cal payment, but they got it anyway. I understand that their office was not accredited as an ambulatory surgical office, and that it was supposed to be accredited to comply with the law. I had no idea that Dr. Durante and Dr. Steir were on probation with the Medical Board for incompetence and negligence against women patients. I am sure that Sharon did not know either. If I had known, I would never have taken Sharon to such a bad place with such bad doctors. I learned about their records in the newspaper articles.
I cry every day for the terrible loss of my daughter, and I am overwhelmed that 3 year old Curtis had his mother taken away forever. My husband, Ben Hamptlon, (father of Sharon), is sick with grief, has terrible head pain, is under the care of a doctor for this and has been taking strong pain medicine since Sharon's death. My prayer is that these doctors be stopped immediately so that no other girl will be killed and that no other family will have to suffer as we have.
In the past 20 years, PP's share of US abortions rose from about 5.5% to about 20%. The actual number has skyrocketed to 255,015. In contrast, PP cared for 17,610 prenatal clients. (You can see the numbers yourself on the PPFA "Fact Sheet".) PPFA didn't release numbers on how many abortion referrals their affiliates are responsible for, nor how many prenatal care referrals. Without those numbers, we can't accurately assess to what extent the women who trust PP end up aborting versus giving birth. Does anybody know where this information can be found?
Monday, December 12, 2005
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Earth to abortion apologists: Even if your claim was true, it's irrelevant.
Could you imagine the public outcry if, in the wake of the recent tragedy in Chicago, the National Transportation Safety Board and the airline industry insisted that there was no need for an investigation and no need to take corrective measures on the grounds that, "Well, flying is still safer than taking the bus!" We'd never stand for it. No matter how much safer airline travel is than taking the bus, we still hold airlines to strict safety standards. No matter how much safer airline travel is than taking the bus, we still investigate crashes. No matter how much safer airline travel is than taking the bus, we still remain ever alert for ways to reduce risks and make it safer.
The comparative safety of an alternative method of transportation simply isn't relevant. We ask the question, "What caused this tragedy? What can we do to prevent this from happening again?" The question of how many people die using other methods of transportation is never asked in the wake of a plane crash, because it's not relevant.
But let a woman die from a legal abortion, and abortion apologists come out of the woodwork simpering, "Well, women die in childbirth all the time! Why not worry about them!" But the fact remains that there is no amount of addressing childbirth safety that will change how abortions are performed. No matter what we do about how prenatal care is provided, or what equipment is available in delivery rooms, and so forth, none of this will change what goes on in abortion clinics, just as putting airbags in cars doesn't make airline travel safer.
By all means, yes, let's address childbirth mortality. Let's make better prenatal care available. Let's educate women about the importance of good nutrition before and during pregnancy. Let's develop protocols for referring high-risk women to specialists. Let's improve all aspects of obstetric care, for the better health and safety of mothers and babies. But let's not for a minute forget that none of this will change a thing about abortion practice.
If abortion apologists are serious about their often chanted mantra of "safe and legal," they'd do something to address "safe" other than obsessing with "legal." They'd investigate abortion mishaps the way the NTSB investigates air travel mishaps. They'd make recommendations about preventing further mishaps. They would, in short, take abortion safety as seriously as they take abortion legality.
Mary's on a roll, by the way. She's also posted an amazing response to the Unconscious Violinist post at The Amazing Kim.
LTI Blog puts in a plug for speaker Steve Wagner. He meets people where they are and shows them that their own values lead them to supporting life.
Little David is a beautiful story of how love can grow from a tragic situation if we only allow it to.
Hugs and prayers for Just Like You, Only Fatter. Her daughter is planning an abortion.
Adam's Blog reflects on a Dalton Conley piece addressing the lack of say a father has when he wants his unborn child to live.
MYNYM takes an interesting look at the double-standard progressives have. If they don't think you do enough to help The Poor, they sneer at your opposition to abortion on those grounds. But if, like Mother Teresa, you do plenty for The Poor.... they sneer at your opposition to abortion anyway.
Does anybody know how to contact the editors of Blogthings? As you can see here, Blogthings lists among the events of 1973 "Supreme Court rules in Roe vs. Wade that states may not prevent a woman from having an abortion during the first trimester". How can anybody still be suckered into believing that, with all the public debate and discussion about late second-trimester and even third-trimester abortions?
Saturday, December 10, 2005
"I was a survivor of abortion. I can remain silent no more." --Audrey
One day when I was in third grade, my mom and dad asked me to sit down for a talk. They began by saying that since I was very little, my parents always found me sleeping curled tightly in the fetal position, buried in the covers and always to one side of the bed. I had a recurring nightmare of being trapped in a room with a window blocked by a knife, and they said they often found me talking to my "other self." My mom said she though these were signs telling her to confess something she had done and hoped I would forgive her.
She told me how, at 39, with her 5 children grown... she had found herself pregnant. She had been pressured especially by a particular friend to abort because she was too old and it would be "ridiculous" at her age, to have a baby. This was 1952, and her friend told her a self abortion method. ....
She started to cry and told me never to believe them when they tell you it is not a baby, but just a blob of tissue. Tracing a tiny outline in the palm of her hand, she said "he was this big and a fully formed baby." She could hardly continue. .... She cried to heaven on that cold bathroom floor and asked God to forgive her and promised Him if she were ever to become pregnant again, she would NEVER abort a baby. She flushed her little son down the toilet and said she lay on the cold floor crying until she was numb.
No one knew, except her and her so called "friend." Later, she still felt pregnant. .... And the first part of September, I kicked her! The doctor was amazed that I had been a hiding twin and survived the abortion attempt. She told no one of her pregnancy except my dad, and later, my youngest brother....
.... She asked me to forgive her. I asked if she loved me NOW because she did not know me then. She sobbed and sobbed and said, "Yes. I love you with my very life." I said, "Ok," and walking back down the hall to my room I could still hear her heartbreaking sobs. ....
Years came and went. My mom's "illness" without a name was cyclical and caused her to take to her bed from the end of June to the beginning of September. Sometimes she flew into rages, or walked the floors night after night, or went on buying binges. She suffered from paranoia, and gobbled down her doctor's pills. This led to stays in mental hospitals, filled with psychotropic drugs and painful electroshock therapy. Part of the therapy was to tell her it was shame abortion was not legal then, because she could have gone to college, had a career...and not wasted her talents. ....
Three months before my mom died, I asked her why all the breakdowns June through September every year. Why? she broke down in tears and said it was on Elliott's birthday (the end of June) that she aborted my brother and when Elliott had died tragically at age 27, she felt she had caused the death of her first born son when she aborted her last son. By September she remembered the day I kicked her and how happy she was, and that would bring her out of her moods. She could not trust herself and hated herself for aborting her baby! How could God forgive her? It was a form of self punishment for a crime she felt she could not be forgiven. I told her that is why Jesus died and that God forgave her when she found out that she was still pregnant with me. He trusted her to give me life. She never saw this until the day I told her. Three months later she died, but at peace, and forgiven.
I can remain silent no more. I was a survivor of abortion. Life is never a mistake; life is always a blessing from God. Every single person has a divine mission that only they can fulfill.
"There is no reason why government cannot do more to educate and inform and provide assistance so that the choice guaranteed under our Constitution either does not ever have to be exercised or only in very rare circumstances." -- Hillary Rodham Clinton, quoted in the Pasadena Star-News. The opinion piece continues: "Abortion is, indeed, a sad and tragic choice for many, and that's the way we ought to talk about it - not as a continuum between extremes of 'choice' or 'murder,' but as an endpoint of last resort that we want to work strenuously against. .... Politically motivated or not, Hillary Clinton's shift parallels that of a growing number of Americans who have become less comfortable with abortion and who seek a way out that doesn't criminalize women." If only it can be so! (HT: Hilderbeast)
Friday, December 09, 2005
From Another Think:
This map ranks states by their abortion rates per 1,000 live births. California ranks highest with approximately 575 abortions for every 1,000 live births; Idaho ranks lowest with only 36 abortions per 1,000. The CDC tracks some cities individually as well as in their state totals: New York City gets the prize with 767 abortions per 1,000, with Washington, D.C., not far behind at 706. To be fair, California cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco may be just as high, but California stopped reporting its abortion statistics to the CDC in 1998, making information about abortions trends there hard to discover (the point, I suppose). Other non-reporting states are New Hampshire and Alaska. Hawaii ranks 23rd. Wyoming's abortion numbers are so low that meaningful statistics are hard to come by. Accurate data would probably rank Wyoming as the state with the fewest abortions in the nation.
Notice that there's a pretty sharp red state/blue state divide with the notable exceptions of Kansas and Florida. This should be no surprise, with Tiller wielding political power in Kansas and the Florida Abortion Council keeping abortion regulations from getting through the state legislature.
The New York Magazine article, "The New Underground Railroad", looks at Haven Coalition, a group of volunteers that provide overnight stays for women who come to the city for late abortions.
The volunteers' devotion to choice is evidently limited to the decision to abort, as "some Havenites insist that their guests eat 'healthy' food -- fresh fish, for instance, or vegetarian -- even if they ask for Big Macs and Ding Dongs."
And why are these women coming to New York for late abortions in the first place? Conventional prochoice wisdom is that it takes the women that long to get the money together, though it seems to me that if they're motivated enough to scrape together $2000 by 24 weeks, they could have scraped together $300 or $400 by 12 weeks.
The article also muses that "chasing an ever-burgeoning fee isn't the only thing that delays abortions. As [one volunteer] puts it, there's often 'some combination of denial and disorganization and general flakiness' going on as well. Some women have breakthrough bleeding, assume they're having periods, and fail to realize they're pregnant until after the first trimester. Other women delay seeking an abortion because they're holding out hope that a relationship is going to work."
And the volunteers often have to bite their tongues to keep from falling into the only sin they seem to believe in: that of judging their guests.
The first woman Levine ever hosted was here having a late-term abortion because she had simply "put off" dealing with her pregnancy until it was almost too late. The delay certainly didn't seem to be for financial reasons: "She had a late-model pickup truck that was better than my car," remembers [her hostess], "and I wondered, Why am I the one paying for dinner?"
[The hostess] rolled out the red carpet anyway. "I had to tell myself, "Every abortion is the choice of the woman having the abortion. "
Mary returned at about 10 AM on the 9th. He administered a solution to induce anesthesia. "I injected that solution into the vein of the left arm and in ten seconds she was asleep." Spencer said that the next thing he noticed was that Mary wasn't breathing. She also appeared blue. He injected some medication into her left leg. She didn't respond, so he gave her an additional five cc's, this time injecting the drug into a vein.
Mary still did not respond, so Spencer attempted to resuscitate her with oxygen. He called his assistant, Mildred Zettlemoyer, into the room to assist him. With Mary in Zettlemoyer's care, Spencer went to another part of the building to retrieve adrenaline. He gave Mary three injections of adrenaline
Mary still was not responding, so Spencer had Zettlemoyer call the laboratory assistant, Steve Sekunda, and tell him to come to the office. Spencer put a breathing tube into Mary's throat, but had to work blind because the light on his scope wasn't working. He resumed artificial respiration, "and pulled on her tongue, but got no response." By the time Sekunda arrived, at around 11:30, Spencer had concluded that Mary was dead. The puzzled man concluded "that this patient died in my office from some heart disease."
Dr. Milton Helpern, chief medical examiner for New York City, was among the experts that testified in Spencer's trial for Mary's death. Helpern concluded that Mary had been pregnant, that the pregnancy had been terminated right before her death, and that she'd died from administration of a drug used for anesthesia for performing a D&C. Mary had been in good health prior to her death.
Patricia G. Miller, author of The Worst Of Times, asked another doctor, "Dr. Bert," who had practiced before legalization, to review news reports of Mary's death and speculate as to whether Mary would have died had abortion been legal.
"Dr. Bert" faulted Spencer for not having an assistant while he was administering general anesthesia. "In my view, to give a general anesthetic alone is below good medical care, even in those days." He speculated that Spencer had not had an assistant working with him due to the law against abortion -- an odd speculation, since Spencer was doing abortions quite openly, with at least one member of his staff present in the building. It's also an odd speculation considering how many legal abortionists have had patients die from anesthesia complications, either due to inadequate supervision of the anesthesia process or inadequate resuscitation efforts.
The staff of CRASH, for example, diddled around for nearly an hour before seeking emergency care for patient K.B. Investigators learned that CRASH "did not employ proper monitoring equipment or procedures," "had no working EKG machine," and didn't have a cardiac defibrillator. They noted that no one on staff was qualified to perform CPR. No one on staff was qualified to administer anesthesia, and they did not use proper procedures or equipment. Anesthesia was administered "by eye," with no means of accurately measuring the dose. Dosage was estimated to be twice that recommended in the procedure manual.
Catherine Pierce went into cardiac arrest while left unattended in recovery after her abortion. State officials alleged "serious problems" after Peirce was injured. They cited this National Abortion Federation facility for administering "the same anesthesia dosages" to patients whose weights ranges from 107 to 167 pounds, inadequate record keeping, and inadequate supervision of patients.
Eastern Women's Center allowed three women to die of anesthesia complications: Dawn Mack, Dawn Ravenelle, and Venus Ortiz. Inspectors, and the families of the dead patients (I hesitate to say "women" because Dawn Ravenelle was only 13 years old.) found numerous faults with the facility, which was unable to locate its medical director during inspections.
Another National Abortion Federation member facility gave 13-year-old Deanna Bell a massive, fatal dose of Brevitol during her abortion.
Deborah Lozinski languished in a coma after abortion clinic staff failed to properly monitor their her vital signs during the abortion, and failed to quickly detect and properly treat respiratory difficulty. Deborah died without ever regaining consciousness.
60 Minutes did an expose on a Maryland abortion clinic that fatally injured two abortion patients, Debra Gray and Suzanne Logan. There was no anesthesiologisst on duty, and no physician supervising the administration of anesthesia medication.
Diane Watson went into cardiac arrest due to a reaction to anesthesia during her abortion at Hedd Surgi-Center in Chicago. None of the four physicians present performed CPR to revive her.
Donna Heim told the staff at Her Medical Clinic that she had asthma, but a nurse administered general anesthesia anyway. Donna started to have difficulty breathing, but Mahlon Cannon continued with the procedure for five more minutes before helping the nurse anesthetist to try to restore Donna’s breathing. Donna wasn't the only woman to die due to staff neglect at Her Medical Clinic. Liliana Cortez was another asthma patient; she went into cardiac arrest after her abortion. Michelle Thames died after going into a seizure during an abortion. Maria Soto died there after being injected with drugs and left unattended.
Prochoice icon Milan Vuitch had a clean record as a criminal abortionist, but after legalization he allowed two patient to die of anesthesia complications. After the death of Georgianna English, inspectors also noted repeated violations of medical standards regarding sanitation and anesthesia. Vuitch and his staff had allowed 17-year-old Wilma Harris to lapse into a coma and lie unattended for 12 hours before transferring her to the hospital.
Jacqueline Reynolds was not given adequate oxygen during her abortion at Grady Memorial Hospital. She lapsed into a coma from which she never recovered.
These are just a few of the women who died of anesthesia complications.
Spencer's widow, Eleanor, told Patricia Miller that her husband had been quite stricken by Mary Davies' death. He continued to perform abortions, however, along with his regular medical practice, up until the trial. He was acquitted on all counts, likely because it was impossible to prove that Mary hadn't either miscarried during those two weeks of bleeding prior to her appointment with Spencer, or been aborted by somebody else. No mention is made of any fetal remains being found in Mary's body or in Spencer's office.
Spencer briefly stopped doing abortions after the trial, "for a month or so," his widow said. But he resumed his business and eventually got entangled with a fellow named Harry Mace who set up a business for himself rounding up abortion patients and bringing them to Spencer. Spencer's widow lamented that Mace flooded Spencer with patients, pressuring him to rush through abortions. Spencer's health began to fail. He was arrested again, due to the attention from Mace's activities, but died before the case went to trial.
Mary Davies is the only woman known to have died from abortion related complications under Spencer's care. Spencer is estimated to have performed between 40,000 and 100,000 abortions.
For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion
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